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Robert Coker

Credit: 
Robert Coker
Research Interests: 

My primary research focus is directed at the mitigation of metabolic stress in clinical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, sarcopenia and alcohol abuse.

Credit: 
Robert Coker
Robert H. Coker
Associate Professor of Biology and Wildlife
Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute for Arctic Biology
Office: 
105 A CANHR
907 474-6701
Lab: 
227 IAB
907-474-6701
Postal Address: 
Institute of Arctic Biology
PO Box 757000
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
  • B.S. in Physical Education, North Georgia College, Dahlonega, GA, 1982-1986
  • M.Ed. in Physical Education, North Georgia College, Dahlonega, GA, 1988-1989
  • Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 1991-1995          
  • Postdoctoral Fellow in Physiology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 1995-1998
  • Visiting Fellow in Physiology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1998-1999
  • Exercise Physiologist, Methodist Hospitals of Memphis, Memphis, TN, 1995-1999.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 1999-2001.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Geriatrics, UAMS, Little Rock, AR, 2001-2007.          
  • Consultant, Pfizer Global Research and Development, New London, CT, 2004-2010.
  • Associate Professor (tenured), Department of Geriatrics, UAMS, Little Rock, AR, 2007-2013
  • Consultant, Healthspan Solutions, LLC, Little Rock, AR 2007-2011  
  • Research Health Scientist, Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, AR, 2008-2010
  • Co-Owner and Lead Scientist, Essential Blends, LLC, Sterling, AK 2013-present
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Geriatrics, UAMS, Little Rock, AR, 2013-present
  • Principal Investigator, Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2013-present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 2013-present

2008

Hays, N.P., Galassetti, P.R. & Coker, R.H., 2008. Prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes: current role of lifestyle, natural product, and pharmacological interventions. Pharmacology & therapeutics, 118, pp.181–191.
Yeo, S.E. & Coker, R.H., 2008. Aerobic exercise training versus the aetiology of insulin resistance. European Journal of Sport Science, 8, pp.3–14.

2007

Carrithers, J.A. et al., 2007. Concurrent exercise and muscle protein synthesis: implications for exercise countermeasures in space. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine, 78, pp.457–462.
Coker, R.H. et al., 2007. Exercise Training with and without Weight Loss: Effects on Hepatic and Peripheral Insulin Sensitivity. DIABETES-NEW YORK-SUPPLEMENT-, 56, p.145.
Yeo, S.E. et al., 2007. Fat distribution and glucose metabolism in older, obese men and women. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 62, pp.1393–1401.

2006

Coker, R.H. et al., 2006. Exercise-induced changes in insulin action and glycogen metabolism in elderly adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 38, p.433.
Hays, N.P. et al., 2006. Effects of an ad libitum, high carbohydrate diet and aerobic exercise training on insulin action and muscle metabolism in older men and women. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61, pp.299–304.

Pages

  • Clinical Research Success Award, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 
  • Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
  • Graduate Honors Fellowship, University of Mississippi
  • Graduate Scholarship Award, Mississippi Joint Conference on Aging
  • Graduate Honors Award, University of Mississippi
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American College of Sports Medicine, President Elect - Alaska Chapter

Active Grants

National Institutes of Health 1P30GM103325 (01/01/2013-12/31/2018)

Center for Alaska Native Health Research at UAF           

(Experimental Design and Biostatistics Core Director: Coker)

The purpose of the Experimental Design, Biostatistics, and Data Services Core is to provide centralized research and statistical design, data analysis, and data management services to research supported by the Center for Alaska Native Health Research.

National Dairy Association  (10/01/12-09/30/15)
Macronutrients and Metabolic Syndrome
The purpose of this project is to determine the protective influence of dairy products in the prevention of metabolic syndrome.

NIH 1P30AG028718-01A2 (09/01/211-08/31/16)
Arkansas Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at UAMS
(Program Director: Wei, JY); Resource Core 2 (RC2) (Role: Co-Leader)
Goals: This RC2 (Nutrition, Metabolism and Physiology Core)provides many key resources including body composition analysis, standardized testing for metabolic function, a dietician and a metabolic kitchen. The components of this core work with the excellent nutritional support provided by the NIH-funded Translational Research Initiative at UAMS.

Center for Clinical and Translational Research (10/01/12-09/31/13)
Lysine Supplementation and Glucose Metabolism
The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of lysine supplementation for improvement of glycemic status in the obese, elderly population.

Grants Awarded but Returned or Transferred

NIH (01/01/12-12/31/14)
Small Business Innovations in Research (Phase II)
Anabolic Countermeasures against Sarcopenic Obesity
The aim of this award was to further investigate the long-term therapeutic efficacy of a meal replacement rich in essential amino acids in the treatment of sarcopenic obesity. Moreover, this included a methods-based commercialization of the product into the private sector.

NIH (06/01/09-12/31/09)
Small Business Innovations in Research (Phase I)
Nutritional Countermeasures against Sarcopenic Obesity The specific aim of this award is to determine the efficacy of a unique formulation of essential amino acids in protecting against the loss of lean mass during caloric restriction-induced weight loss in the obese elderly population.

BGA 03653552 Coker (PI) (07/01/03-06/30/05)
American Heart Association; Heartland Affiliate
Influence of Caloric Restriction and Exercise Training on Metabolic Syndrome
This proposal was funded on the first submission based on a 1.5 merit score and 11.4 percentile rank but was returned upon receipt of the SDA award from the American Heart Association.

Previous Grants

Abbott Laboratories (07/01/11-06/30/12)
Comparison of Medical Nutritional Supplements with or without AN77 in Elderly Men – BK96
(PI: Wolfe, RR) Role: Co-Investigator
Goals: To assess the effect of hydroxyl methylbutyrate on muscle protein synthesis.

NIH 1RC2GM092277 National Institutes of Health (09/30/09-08/31/11)
Stable Isotope Analytical Core for Studies in Human Metabolism (PI: Wolfe, RR)
The primary purpose of this grant is to provide core laboratory offering routine and specialized sample analysis and assistance in methods development and training in use of stable isotopes in human metabolic studies.

Clinical Merit Review; Coker (PI) (04/01/08-03/31/10)
Veterans Administration
Weight Loss and Insulin Action
The specific aim of this award was to elucidate the degree of weight loss necessary to reduce adipocyte inflammation and normalize insulin resistance in obese adults.

NIH/NIA PO1 AG023591-01 (04/01/04-03/31/09)
Bedrest and Aging, Evans (Program Director)
Insulin Resistance and Carbohydrate Metabolism; Coker (Project Leader)
The major goal of this project is to examine the influence of bedrest on insulin action in the elderly and provide clinically useful strategies to prevent its deleterious influence.

JDFI 397014; Wasserman (PI) (07/01/97-06/30/99) $61,000
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, International
Role of Adrenergic Drive in Regulation of Carbohydrate Metabolism during Exercise in Health and Diabetes
The goal of this grant in combination with RO1 DK50277 was to determine the role of adrenergic stimulation in carbohydrate metabolism during exercise in health and disease.

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Medical Physiology
Current Graduate Students (More info)
  • Stephanie Crawford
  • Kenneth Shin
Past Graduate Students
  • Karen Jeans, Ph.D., “A descriptive comparison of human research protection program characteristics and accreditation outcomes in VA facilities, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Committee member, 2010.
  • La’Tasha M. Smith, Ph.D., “Comparative profiling of adipokines and gene expression of adipocyte differentiation factors in obese african-american and Caucasian women, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Committee Member, 2008.
  • Chad Carroll, Ph.D., “Human muscle specific protein synthesis with amino acids”, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Committee Member, 2004.
  • Rick H. Williams, M.S., “Application of microdialysis for the measurement of skeletal muscle protein degradation”, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Committee Member, 2003.
  • Kendal P. Honea, Ph.D., The effects of a 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme-A reductase inhibitor and moderate cardiorespiratory exercise on cholesterol metabolism in obese, hypercholesterolemic males, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Leisure Management, Committee Chair, 2001.
Past Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • Ill-Young Kim, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
  • Sophie Yeo-Hussey, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR
News Releases
In the News
  • Reviewer, Metabolism, American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Applied Physiology, 1999-present
  • Reviewer, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Canadian Journal of Pharmacology and Physiology, 2004-present
  • Voting Member, Institutional Review Board, UAMS, 2003-2005
  • Voting Member, Veterans Administration Research and Development Committee, Central Arkansas Veterans Administration, 2003-2007.
  • Clinical Research Success Award, UAMS, 2005
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2007-present
  • Voting Member, Institutional Review Board, Central Arkansas Veterans Administration, 2007-2009.
  • Reviewer, Diabetes Care, Metabolism, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Physician and Sportsmedicine, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, 2009-present
  • American Heart Association, Grant Review Committee, 2009-present
  • National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Digestive, Diabetes and Kidney Diseases, Grant Review Committee, 2009-present
  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Translational Research Institute, UAMS. 2009-2013.

For graduate students (MS and PhD) and post docs, apply directly to: rcoker@alaska.edu