HLKN Welcomes First Female Department Head
The Department of Health and Kinesiology (HLKN) welcomes Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore ‘87 as its new department head and first female department head. Dr. Sheffield-Moore holds a long and distinguished career in both the education and health sectors. She will succeed Dr. Richard Kreider on Aug. 1.
As a former student and graduate of the department, Dr. Sheffield-Moore described her new role as a way of coming full circle.
“I was brought to lead this group of talented educators and researchers. Fortunately, this department is very strong and much of the foundation is already in place,” Dr. Sheffield-Moore said. “I’m excited to bring my research and educational expertise from a medical school setting to Texas A&M University and move the department forward by growing our presence in the community through educational and research outreach related to exercise and health.”
Excellence in education and research are a high priority for the department, according to Dr. Sheffield-Moore. She would also like to grow donor relations within the department to facilitate novel educational approaches and innovative science to further human health.
“Exercise is medicine, and with the opening of the new Human Clinical Research Facility, we have an excellent opportunity and obligation to share our knowledge with others, be open and collaborative in our education and research and showcase how the work of the department can directly benefit human health.”
After earning her master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Houston, she spent four years working at NASA Johnson Space Center as an experiment support scientist. She later earned her doctorate in human biogenetics from Ball State University, training with Dr. David Costill — one of the pioneers of exercise physiology.
She completed her National Institute of Health (NIH) funded postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Medical Branch within the Department of Surgery and Shriners Burns Hospital. While there, she completed her training in human metabolism and skeletal muscle biology.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Sheffield-Moore has worked at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the Department of Internal Medicine. During her time at UTMB as a professor, she has held a number of leadership roles including being the director of the Translational Technologies Key Resource for the Institute of Translational Sciences and a program director of the Institute of Translational Sciences Clinical Research Center.
“We are honored to have Dr. Sheffield-Moore join our college and lead the department into its next phase,” said Dr. Joyce Alexander, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove to benefit the entire college as a whole.”
Dr. Sheffield-Moore has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Aging, National Cancer Institute, NASA, and through foundation grants to support her human clinical research program in areas of aging, cancer and traumatic brain injury.
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