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CVM Professor Earns American College of
Sports Medicine’s Prestigious Honor Award

Dr. Frank Booth

Frank W. Booth doesn’t walk the walk, he runs the run. Booth, PhD, FACSM, is a professor in the Biomedical Sciences Department at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. He also holds appointments with the Departments of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology within the School of Medicine and of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology with the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and as a research investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.

An advocate for exercise, he can be caught most mornings lacing up his running shoes for his morning commute to the office. At day’s end he reverses the 1.3 mile route back to the Columbia home he shares with his dog, Run, the most recent among his exercise-theme named pets ― his previous dogs were Jog, Sprint, Dash and Swim.

Perhaps not surprisingly, his research focuses on the health risks of sedentary lifestyles.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently named Booth the recipient of its prestigious Honor Award for 2011, the highest honor the College bestows. The award is granted to one individual each year with a distinguished career of outstanding scientific and scholarly contributions to sports medicine and the exercise sciences. Dr. Booth joins 48 other recipients of this International Award, including Joseph Wolfe, Per-Olof Åstrand, Bruce Dill, Erik Hohwu-Christensen, John Holloszy, Jere Mitchell, Bengt Saltin, David Costill, Ralph Paffenbarger, Britton Chance and Steve Blair. The ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world with more than 35,000 international, national and regional chapter members. The College aims to advance health through science, education and medicine. Its members will recognize Booth for his achievements during the organization’s awards banquet on June 4 in Baltimore, Md.

Booth earned a PhD from the University of Iowa and completed two postdoctoral fellowships ― the first at the School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, and the second at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the first graduate student accepted for membership by the American College of Sports Medicine.  In 1975 he took a faculty appointment at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston where he conducted research and taught graduate and medical students. He accepted the professorship at MU in 1999.

The ACSM Honors Award plaque to be given to Dr. Booth for his scholarly activity reads that largely through his efforts, exercise science research has become integrated with the field of molecular biology. Booth’s studies have focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the atrophy of muscle tissue due to inactivity and aging, increase in skeletal muscle size due to resistance-type training, and loss of metabolic function with type 2 diabetes. His gene expression research has examined the physiological consequences of inactivity and obesity as a national health problem.

Previously, the National Institutes of Health honored Booth with a Merit Award for his research and selected him to serve on its Respiratory and Applied Physiology Study Section. He also served on several research panels for NASA. Other honors Booth has captured include an ACSM Citation Award, an Honor Award from the International Conference on the Biochemistry of Exercise and the American Physiological Society Environmental and Exercise Section Honor Award of 2009.

Booth has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 70 invited reviews and a textbook that promotes exercise as good medicine.

He is the founder and director of the Health Activity Center on the University of Missouri campus. Through education and promotion, MU faculty members affiliated with the Health Activity Center are dedicated to ending 35 identified inactivity-related disorders. The center uses medical research to determine the biological basis of how physical inactivity makes the body susceptible to chronic disease and disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, physical frailty, cancer, and arthritis.

His commitment to spotlighting the problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle also led Booth to establish a research organization, Researchers Against Inactivity-related Diseases (RID). To drive home its message, RID’s Web site features a death counter on its homepage that keeps a running tally of the number of deaths in the United States attributable to Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDES).

Booth battles SeDES not only in his research, publications and organization, but by setting an example through his own lifestyle.  He engages in resistance training four times per week and is incorporating high-intensity interval training into his schedule. He not only runs to and from work, he also limits his vehicle usage to 50 miles per week by running all of his errands on campus and downtown. His motto is, “Go green and get healthy by non-motorized transportation.”

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Last Update: February 24, 2012