Nathaniel Jenkins, assistant professor in health and human performance has been named the Terry J. Housh Outstanding Young Investigator of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The award recognizes noteworthy contributions to the field of applied exercise or sport science by a researcher who has been in the field for seven years or less. Jenkins will be presented with this prestigious award at the 2018 NSCA National Conference Awards Banquet in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 13.
“Dr. Jenkins is a very accomplished young scientist in the exercise physiology profession,” said Doug Smith, head of the School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation. “He has a strong record of securing external funding, publishing manuscripts and presenting abstracts at national conferences. This award is very well deserved! Dr. Jenkins is a great representative for our university, college and school.”
Jenkins joined the Oklahoma State University College of Education, Health and Aviation (EHA) faculty in 2016 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska. He serves as co-director of the OSU Applied Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory and was recently recognized as a 2018 EHA Distinguished Researcher. His primary research focus is understanding the acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise and nutritional interventions in a variety of conditions across the human lifespan. For instance, Dr. Jenkins and his graduate student research team are studying why high school baseball pitchers are reporting higher rates of an elbow injury requiring “Tommy John” surgery than professionals. After studying the pitching mechanics of high school and pro players, the research team report that the relative physical immaturity of high school pitchers means higher risk. The amount of pitching done by young players is also a factor.
In 2017, Jenkins was awarded the NSCA International Collaboration Grant, which facilitates collaboration between a United States-based colleague and an international colleague. The grant is helping fund the project, “Genetic Polymorphisms and the Effects of Caffeine on Neuromuscular Function,” a joint effort between Jenkins and Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. Each year, the NSCA Foundation awards hundreds of thousands in research and grant dollars to outstanding individuals within the strength and conditioning community.
As the worldwide authority on strength and conditioning, the NSCA advances the profession by supporting strength and conditioning professionals devoted to helping others discover and maximize their strengths. The organization disseminates research-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services and continuing education opportunities. The NSCA community is composed of more than 45,000 members and certified professionals who further industry standards as researchers, educators, strength coaches, personal trainers and other roles in related fields.