Lori Ploutz-Snyder (NASA scientist) named Dean of School of Kinesiology

Submitted by James Burrill Angell on February 18th, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Looks like this week's Regents meeting saw the appointment of a few new Deans. Looks like a research scientest from freaking NASA is being brought in to run the School of Kinesiology.  From a release just sent out by the Provost:

"Lori Ploutz-Snyder earned the B.S. and M.S. degrees in zoology in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree in biological sciences in 1994, all from Ohio University.  In 1996, she joined the faculty of Syracuse University as an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the School of Education; she rose through the ranks to become a professor in 2008, while serving as the chair of the Department of Exercise Science from 2004-2008.  At Syracuse University she had extensive experience teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in course and curriculum development.  She was also a research professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation in the Medical School at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.  In 2008, she joined the NASA Johnson Space Center and University Space Research Association in Houston, TX where she is now Lead Scientist, Exercise Physiology and Countermeasures Project. While in Texas, she was appointed as an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Performance at the University of Houston in 2009, and in 2010 as an adjunct professor in the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  In 2013, she was appointed as a musculoskeletal alterations team leader at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Professor Ploutz-Snyder’s research focuses on the effects of unloading or disuse (spaceflight, aging, casting, detraining, bed rest) on skeletal muscle and in the past decade has expanded to include whole body integrative exercise physiology (understanding the effects of exercise on multiple organ systems such as musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, sensorimotor and psychological health).  Under her leadership, the NASA Johnson Space Center research program for exercise physiology and countermeasures has nearly tripled its budget to its current $6 million per year.  This group conducts research, supports the in-flight operational needs of the International Space Station (ISS) and conducts medical fitness tests on astronauts.  She has successfully competed for approximately $9 million in support from NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.  This required that she compete in the manner of an external university investigator because NASA does not have an intramural research program.  Her success results from her ability to build interdisciplinary teams of researchers collaborating in new ways.  Professor Ploutz-Snyder is also responsible for the development of NASA’s strategic plan in exercise physiology, which must address muscle and aerobic deconditioning due to long duration microgravity exposure during deep space exploration.  In her work with International Space Station research teams, she has been involved at various leadership levels in multi-national collaborations involving complicated negotiation, cooperation and integration not required in typical studies.  She has more than 100 peer-reviewed research publications, including articles, abstracts and book chapters.  In addition, she serves as an associate editor of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  She is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.
Professor Ploutz-Snyder brings an impressive background leading research programs in both university and government arenas.  These interdisciplinary research programs require understanding of, and coordination with, other types of organizations such as for-profit research corporations and other non-governmental non-profits such as university consortia, national laboratories, and research institutes. Professor Ploutz-Snyder has considerable experience in international collaboration, negotiation, and strategic planning that will be valuable to the School as it develops and expands its research activities.  She has a keen understanding of translational science and is attentive to opportunities such as those in bioscience and big data that bring together people with different kinds of expertise and different methodologies to define and explore new areas of research.  
Professor Ploutz-Snyder’s experience in academe and at NASA give her a perspective that is key to leading in a multidisciplinary research and teaching environment.  She will be an outstanding dean for the School of Kinesiology."



February 18th, 2016 at 4:55 PM ^

My semi-cool story bro: her office is in the little building next to the little building I work in... have seen her quite often in the parking lot.


February 18th, 2016 at 5:35 PM ^

I suppose we could measure deans like this, but I personally trust the University to get at least four-star recruits to fill these vacanies. Of course, the data on dean rankings is a little sketchy - Rivals and ESPN don't seem to care much about such recruitments. 

Jokes aside, of course, the biographical information the OP gave is very impressive indeed. Welcome to Michigan, Lori Ploutz-Snyder.