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The Foundations of Lipids and Exercise (FLEX) laboratory is a multidisciplinary lab focused on translational research related to identifying molecular signatures/biomarkers of response to behavioral and lifestyle interventions. The lab employs an integrated -omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, lipidomics, and diverse cellular assays) approach to identify and characterize the biological factors associated with the response of clinically relevant cardiometabolic phenotypes, particularly lipids and lipoproteins, to lifestyle and exercise interventions.

The goal is to better predict which individuals are most likely to benefit from lifestyle therapies in the management of cardiometabolic risk factors and to identify the features & functions of circulating molecules contributing to the cardioprotective benefits of a healthy lifestyle.



    The Team    

Principal Investigator

Mark Sarzynski 2023 headshot.jpg

Mark A. Sarzynski, PhD

The FLEX lab is led by Mark Sarzynski, PhD, FACSM, FAHA and housed in the Dept. of Exercise Science within the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Links to research profiles:


C. Scott Schwartz, MS

Postdoctoral Fellow


Eric C. Leszczynski, PhD

Graduate Students


Prasun Kumar Dev, MS

Doctoral Student

Expected Graduation: 2025

Undergraduate Students

Matt picture.jpeg

Matt Valakos

Major: Public Health

Expected Graduation: 2025


Alexis Daugird

Major: Biology

Expected Graduation: 2026

Michael Pitre Headshot.JPG

Michael Pitre


Expected Graduation: 2027

FLEX Alumni

PhD Students:

  • Jacob L. Barber, PhD, 2022, Molecular Architecture of Cardiometabolic Responses to Regular Exercise; Current Postdoctoral fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

  • Jonathan J. Ruiz-Ramie, PhD, 2020, Dissertation: Lipoprotein discordance: Associations with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and response to exercise; Current Position: Assistant Professor, Augusta University

  • George L. Grieve, PhD, 2018, Dissertation: The effects of exercise mode and intensity on energy expenditure during and after exercise in resistance trained males; Current Position: Assistant Professor, The Citadel

  • Leanna M. Ross, PhD, 2017, Dissertation: The association of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness with changes in cardiometabolic risk factors; Current Position: Instructor of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine

MS Students:

  • Joshua Hawkins, MS, 2022, The effects of exercise training on cholesterol efflux capacity in the HERITAGE Family Study

  • Emanuel J. Ayala, MS, 2021, Thesis: Clinical Determinants of VO2max Response to Endurance Training: HERITAGE Family Study

  • Ryan Flynn, MS, 2020, Thesis: The Effects of Exercise Training Modality on Circulating Branched-Chain Amino Acid and Ketone Levels in Diabetics

  • Jacob L. Barber, MS, 2018, Thesis: The Effects of Exercise Training on Cardiovascular-related Circulating MicroRNAs

Post Baccalaureate Scholar:

  • J. Sebastián Miranda Marvi, BS, 2023, Current Position: PhD Student Department of Kinesiology at Louisiana State University

Undergraduate Students:

  • 2023: Riley Reasons, Current Position: Medical School, University of South Carolina

  • 2022: Katherine J. Kerwin, Current Position: MPH student, Emory University

  • 2021: Andrew Hendrix, Current Position: Medical School, University of South Carolina

  • 2020: Brice Smoker, BS, 2020, Honors Thesis: Association of Body Mass Index Genetic Risk Markers with Body Composition During Adolescence; Current Position: Medical School, University of South Carolina

  • 2018: Emanuel Ayala, William Alex Clarkson, Bailey Radenbaugh, Milaan Shah

  • 2017: Rama Hassouneh, Kaitlyn Muscarella

  • 2016: Jacob Barber, Lois Buist, Caitlin Cramer, Andrew Dopp


Flex Lab SEACSM 2024



FLEX Lab Current Research Projects:

  • NIH/NHLBI R01: Effects of exercise dose and type on HDL function and composition

    • Goal: Comprehensively identify the biological, clinical, and genomic factors underlying exercise-induced changes in HDL function

      • The effects of varying doses and types of exercise training will be examined in three key functions of HDL: cholesterol efflux, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative properties.

      • The effects of exercise training on the HDL proteome, HDL lipidome, and HDL miRNA profiles will be examined

    • Project will utilize data & samples from 4 large clinical exercise trials (N=1224) of aerobic, resistance, or combination exercise training in young-to-older adults with metabolic profiles spanning the diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome spectrum.

  • NIH/NINR R01: Molecular predictors of cardiometabolic responsiveness to an endurance exercise intervention

    • Goals: (1) Identify comprehensive plasma molecular signatures (metabolites & proteins) of exercise responsiveness for VO2max, insulin sensitivity, visceral fat, and HDL-cholesterol. (2) To examine whether biomarkers of exercise response are potentially causally related to relevant cardiometabolic traits and outcomes

    • Project will utilize proteomic, metabolomic,  genomic, and phenotype data from the HERITAGE Family Study (N=715)

  • Pilot study: Molecular predictors of VO2peak response to training in heart failure

    • Will examine differences in the circulating microRNA and protein profiles of high vs low responders of VO2peak to aerobic training in patients with heart failure with reduced left ventricular function (HFrEF)

  • Metabolic health and overweight/obesity status projects

    • Associations of metabolic health and weight status with cholesterol efflux capacity and NMR lipoprotein profile in the Dallas Heart Study

    • Associations of metabolic health and weight status with cardiometabolic responsiveness to exercise training in HERITAGE Family Study





Eric Leszczynski wins Whats Up Doc competition at SEACSM 2024




  1. Hoffmann WG, Chen YQ, Schwartz CS, Barber JL, Dev PK, Reasons RJ, Miranda Maravi JS, Armstrong B, Gerszten RE, Silbernagel G, Konrad RJ, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA. Effects of Exercise Training on ANGPTL3/8 and ANGPTL4/8 and their Associations with Cardiometabolic Traits. J Lipid Res. 2024; 65(2): 100495. PMID: 38160757. doi: 10.1016/j.jlr.2023.100495. 

  2. Hota M, Barber JL, Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Schwartz CS, Lam DTUH, Rao P, Mi MY, Katz DH, Robbins JM, Clish CB, Gerszten RE, Sarzynski MA, Ghosh S, Bouchard C. Omics-driven investigation of the biology underlying intrinsic submaximal working capacity and its trainability. Physiol Genomics. 2023 Nov 1;55(11):517-543. PMID: 37661925. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00163.2022.

  3. Benson MD, Eisman AS, [28 more  authors], TOPMed Consortium, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Rich SS, Rotter JI, Wang TJ, Wilson JG, Clish CB, Sarkar IN, Natarjan P, Gerszten RE.  Protein-metabolite association studies identify novel proteomic determinants of metabolite levels in human plasma. Cell Metab. 2023 Sep 5;35(9):1646-1660.e3. PMID: 37582364. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2023.07.012.

  4. Samani SL, Barlow SC, Freeburg LA, Jones TL, Poole M, Sarzynski MA, Zile MR, Shazly T, Spinale FG. Left Ventricle Function and Post-Transcriptional Events with Exercise Training in Pigs. Plos ONE (in press)

  5. Mi M, Barber JL, Rao P, Farrell LA, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Robbins JM, Gerszten RE. Plasma Proteomic Kinetics in Response to Acute Exercise. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 2023; 22: 100601. DOI: 10.1016/j.mcpro.2023.100601

  6. Silbernagel G, Chen YQ, Rief M, Kleber ME, Hoffman M, Stojakovic T, Sarzynski MA, Marz W, Qian Y, Schanagl H, Konrad RJ. Apolipoprotein C-II Is Associated with Cardiovascular Mortality in a Manner Consistent with its Modulation of Lipoprotein Lipase Activity. European Heart Journal 2023; 00: 1-11. PMID: 37155355 DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad261

  7. Robbins JM, Rao P, Deng S, Keyes MJ, Tahir UA, Katz DH, Beltran PMJ, Marchildon F, Barber JL, Peterson B, Gao Y, Correa A, Wilson JG, Smith JG, Cohen P, Ross R, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Gerszten RE. Plasma proteomic changes in response to exercise training are associated with cardiorespiratory fitness adaptations. JCI Insight. 2023 Apr 10;8(7):e165867. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.165867. PMID: 37036009; PMCID: PMC10132160

  8.  Cronje HT, Mi MY, Austin TR, Biggs ML, Siscovick D, Lemaitre R, Psaty BM, Tracy R, Djousee L, Kizer J, Ix JH, Sotoodehnia N, Rao P, Robbins JM, Barber JL, Sarzynski MA, Clish C, Bouchard C, Mukamak KJ, Gerszten RE, Jensen MK. Plasma proteomic determinants of glucose-insulin homeostasis and incident type 2 diabetes: Insights from the Cardiovascular Health Study and HERITAGE Family Study. Diabetes 2023; Feb 7;db220628. PMID: 36749929 doi: 10.2337/db22-0628

  9. Turner-McGrievy GM, Wilson MJ, Carswell J, Okpara N, Aydin H, Bailey S, Davey M, Hutto B, Wilcox S, Friedman DB, Sarzynski MA, Liese AD. A 12-week randomized pilot intervention comparing the Healthy US, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian dietary patterns of the US Dietary Guidelines for changes in body weight, hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, and dietary quality among African American adults. Journal of Nutrition 2023; 53(2):579-587. PMID: 36894249 doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2022.11.020.

  10. Marini CF, Sisti D, Leon AS, Skinner JS, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Rocchi MB, Piccoli G, Stocchi V, Federici A, Lucertini F. Accounting for individual characteristics makes the %HRR-%V̇O₂R relationship neither 1:1 nor more accurate. European J Sports Sci 2023; 8: 1600-1611. PMID: 35960537 DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2022.2113441


  1. Barber JL, Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Robbins JM, Gerszten RE, Leon AS, Rao DC, Skinner JS, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA. Regular exercise and patterns of response across multiple cardiometabolic traits: The HERITAGE Family Study. Br J Sports Med 2022; 56: 95-100. PMID: 33619128. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103323

  2. Sarzynski MA, Rice T, Perusse L, Tremblay A, Stanforth PR, Tchernof A, Barber JL, Robbins JM, Ghosh S, Gerszten RE, Leon AS, Skinner JS, Rao DC, Bouchard C. The HERITAGE Family Study: A Review of the Effects of Exercise on Cardiometabolic Health. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2022; 54(5S):S1-S43. PMID: 35611651, PMCID: PMC9012529 doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002859

  3. Wang Z et al. Genome-wide association analyses of physical activity and sedentary behavior provide insights into underlying mechanisms and roles in disease prevention. Nature Genetics 2022; 54: 1332-1344. PMID: 36071172. PMCID: PMC9470530 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-022-01165-1

  4. Katz DH et al. Whole Genome Sequence Analysis of the Plasma Proteome in Black Adults. Circulation 2022; 145: 357-370. PMID: 34814699. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.055117

  5. Katz DH, Robbins JM, Deng S, Tahir UA, Bick AG, Pampana A, Yu Z, Ngo D, Benson MD, Chen ZZ, Cruz DE, Gao Y, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Correa A, Natarajan P, Wilson JG, Gerszten RE. Proteomic Profiling Platforms Head-to-Head: Leveraging Genetics and Clinical Traits in Human Populations to Compare Aptamer- and Antibody-based Methods. Science Advances 2022; 8: eabm5164. PMID: 35984888 PMCID: PMC9390994 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm5164

  6. Tahir UA, Katz DH, Avila-Pachecho J, Bick AG, Pampana A, Robbins JM, Yu ZY, Chen ZZ, Benson MD, Cruz DE, Ngo D, Deng S, Shi X, Zheng S, Eisman AS, Farrell L, Hall ME, Correa A, Tracy RP, Durda P, Taylor KD, Liu Y, Johnson WC, Guo X, Yao J, Chen YI, Manichaiku AWl, Ruberg FL, Blaner WS, Jain D, NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine 1 Consortium, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Rich SS, Rotter JI, Wang TJ, Wilson JG, Clish CB, Natarajan P, Gerszten RE. Whole Genome Association Study of the Plasma Metabolome Identifies Novel Metabolites Linked to Cardiometabolic Disease in Black Individuals. Nature Communications 2022; 14: 4923. PMID: 35995766 PMCID: PMC9395431 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32275-3

  7. Sparks JR, Sarzynski MA, Davis JM, Grandjean PW, Wang X. Cross-Sectional and Individual Relationships between Physical Activity and Glycemic Variability. Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine 2022; 7: 1-12. PMID: 36091485 doi: 10.1249/tjx.0000000000000207

  8. Smith AB, Gay JL, Emerson DM, Sarzynski MA, Arent SM, Torres-McGehee TM. Examination of the Prevalence of Female Athlete Triad Components among Competitive Cheerleaders. IJERPH 2022; 19(3): 1375. PMID: 35162393

  9. Smith AB, Gay JL, Monsma E, Arent SM, Sarzynski MA, Emerson DM, Torres-McGehee TM.  Investigation of Eating Disorder Risk and Body Image Dissatisfaction among Female Competitive Cheerleaders. IJERPH 2022; 19(4): 2196. PMID: 35206381

  10. Marini CF, Sisti D, Leon AS, Skinner JS, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Rocchi MB, Piccoli G, Stocchi V, Federici A, Lucertini F. Accounting for individual characteristics makes the %HRR-%V̇O₂R relationship neither 1:1 nor more accurate. European J Sports Sci 2022. PMID: 35960537 DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2022.2113441

  11. Sui X, Sarzynski MA, Gribben N, Zhang J, Lavie CJ. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and the Risk of All-cause, Cardio-vascular and Cancer Mortality in Men with Hypercholesterolemia. J of Clinical Medicine 2022; 11: 5211.      PMID: 36079141 PMCID: PMC9457072 DOI: 10.3390/jcm11175211

  12. Dai J, Boghossian NS, Sarzynski MA, Luo F, Sun X, Li J, Fiehn O, Liu J, Chei L. Metabolome-Wide Associations of Gestational Weight Gain in Pregnant Women with Overweight and Obesity. Metabolites 2022; 12: 960.


  1. Robbins JM, Peterson B, Schranner D, Tahir U, Rienmuller T, Keyes M, Katz D, Baumgartner C, Jean Beltran PM, Carr SA, Ghosh S, , Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Gerszten RE. Plasma proteomic profiles of cardiorespiratory fitness. Nature Metabolism 2021; 3(6): 786-797.. PMID: 34045743. doi: 10.1038/s42255-021-00400-z

  2. Fix DK, Counts BR, Smuder AJ, Sarzynski MA, Koh H, Carson JA. Wheel Running Improves Fasting-induced AMPK Signaling in Skeletal Muscle from Tumor Bearing Mice. Physiological Reports. 2021; 9:e14924.

  3. Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Barber JL, Lloyd-Jones DM, Gross MD, Rana JS, Sidney S, Jacobrs DR, Lane-Cordova AD, Sarzynski MA. Cardiovascular Health Trajectories and Elevated C-Reactive Protein: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Journal of American Heart Association 2021; 10: e019725. DOI:

  4. Takeshita L, Davidsen PL, Herbert JM, Antczak P, Hesselink MKC, Schrauwen P, Rice TK, Weisnagel SJ, Bergman RN, Rao DC, Robbins JM, Gerszten RE, Ghosh S, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Falciani F. Genomics and transcriptomics landscapes associated to changes in insulin sensitivity in response to endurance exercise. Scientific Reports. 2021; 11: 23314. PMID: 34857871. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-98792-1

  5. Marini CF, Sisti D, Leon AS, Skinner JS, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Rocchi MB, Piccoli G, Stocchi V, Federici A, Lucertini F. HRR & VO₂R fractions are not equivalent: Is it time to rethink aerobic exercise prescription methods? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2021; 53: 174-182. PMID: 32694364. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002434

  6. Sparks JR, Kishman EE, Sarzynski MA, Davis JM, Grandjean PW, Durstine JL, Wang X. Glycemic Variability: Importance, Relationship with Physical Activity, and the Influence of Exercise-A Brief Review. Sports Medicine & Health Science 2021; 3: 183-189. PMID: 35783368 PMCID: PMC9219280. DOI:

  7. Sparks JR, Sarzynski MA, Davis JM, Grandjean PW, Wang X. Alterations in Glycemic Variability, Vascular Health, and Oxidative Stress following a 12-Week Aerobic Exercise Intervention-A Pilot Study. Int J Exerc Sci 2021; 14: 1334-1353. PMID: 35096240 PMCID: PMC8758171



  1. Sarzynski MA and Bouchard C. World-class athletic performance and genetic endowment. Nature Metabolism 2020; 2: 796-798. PMID: 32943784. DOI: 10.1038/s42255-020-0233-6

  2. Vellers, HL, Verhein KC, Burkholder AB, Lee J, Kim Y, Lightfoot JT, Shi M, Weinberg C, Rakinen T, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard, C. Association between Mitochondrial DNA Sequence and Heteroplasmy with maximal Oxygen Uptake Trainability. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2020; 52: 2303-2309. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002390

  3. Murthy VL, Baldridge AS, Carnethon MR, Sidney S, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Lima JAC, Lewis GD, Shah SJ, Shah RV. Polygenetic risk, fitness and obesity: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Youth (CARDIA) Study. JAMA Cardiology 2020; 5(3): 40-48. PMID: 31913407. DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2019.5220



  1. Williams SA, Kivimaki M, Langenberg C, Hingorani AD, Casas JP, Bouchard C, Jonasson C, Sarzynski MA, Shipley MJ, Alexander L, Ash J, Bauer T, Chadwick J, Datta G, DeLisle RK, Hagar Y, Hinterberg M, Ostroff R, Weiss S, Ganz P, Wareham N. Plasma protein patterns as comprehensive indicators of health. Nature Medicine 2019; 25: 1851-1857. PMID: 31792462 DOI: 10.1038/s41591-019-0665-2

  2. Ross LM*, Barber JL*, McLain AC, Weaver RG, Sui X, Blair SN, Sarzynski MA. The Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Ideal Cardiovascular Health in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. *equal authorship. Journal of Physical Activity & Health 2019; 16(11): 968-975. PMID: 31553947 DOI: 10.1123/jpah.2018-0220

  3. Ross R, Goodpaster BH, Koch LG, Sarzynski MA, Kohrt WM, Johannsen NM, Skinner JS, Castro A, Irving BA, Noland RC, Sparks LM, Spielmann G, Day AG, Pitsch W, Hopkins WG, Bouchard C. Precision Exercise Medicine: Understanding How Exercise Response Varies. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019; 53(18): 1141-1153. PMID: 30862704 DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100328

  4. Robbins JM, Herzig M, Morningstar JE, Wilson J, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C, Rankinen T, Gerszten RE. Dimethlyguanidino valeric acid predicts partial resistance to the metabolic health benefits of regular exercise. JAMA Cardiology 2019; 4(7): 636-643. PMID: 31166569 DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2019.1573

  5. Weaver RG, Brazendale K, Hunt E, Sarzynski MA, Beets MW, White K. Disparities in Childhood Overweight and Obesity by Income: An epidemiological examination using three nationally representative datasets. International Journal of Obesity 2019; 43(6): 1210-1222. PMID: 30718822 DOI: 10.1038/s41366-019-0331-2

  6. Barber JL, Zellers KN, Barringhaus KG, Bouchard C, Spinale FG, Sarzynski MA. The Effects of Exercise Training on Circulating Cardiovascular-related MicroRNAs. Scientific Reports 2019; 9:7527. PMID: 31101833 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-43978-x

  7. Ghosh S, Hota M, Chai X, Kiranya J, Ghosh P, He Z, Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Sarzynski MA, Bouchard C. Exploring the underlying biology of intrinsic cardiorespiratory fitness through integrative analysis of genomic variants and muscle gene expression profiling. Journal of Applied Physiology (in press). PMID: 30605401 DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00035.2018

  8. Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Barber JL, Sarzynski MA. Effects of exercise on HDL functionality. Current Opinion in Lipidology 2019; 30: 16-23 PMID: 30480581 DOI: 10.1097/MOL.0000000000000568

  9. Bornstein DB, Grieve GL, Clennin M, McLain AC, Whitsel LP, Hauret KG, Jones BH, Sarzynski MA. Which US States Pose the Greatest Threats to Military Readiness and Public Health? Public health policy and national security implications for a cross-sectional investigation of cardiorespiratory fitness and injuries among U.S. Army Recruits from 2010- 2013. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 2019; 25: 36-44. PMID: 29319585 DOI: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000778


  1. Baird JF, Gaughan ME, Saffer HM, Sarzynski MA, Herter TM, Fritz SL, Den Ouden DB, Stewart JC. The effect of energy-matched exercise intensity on brain-derived neurotrophic factor and motor learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 2018; 156: 33-44. PMID: 30359727 DOI: 10.1016/j.nlm.2018.10.008

  2. Barber JL, Kraus WE, Church TS, Hagberg JM, Thompson PD, Bartlett DB, Beets MW, Blair SN, Earnest CP, Huffman KM, Landers-Ramos R, Leon AS, Rao DC, Seip RL, Skinner JS, Slentz CA, Wilund KR, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA. Effects of Regular Endurance Exercise on GlycA: Combined Analysis of 14 Exercise Interventions. Atherosclerosis 2018; 277: 1-6. PMID: 30170218 DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.07.029

  3. Sarzynski MA, Ruiz-Ramie JJ, Barber JL, Slentz CA, Apolzan JW, McGarrah RW, Harris MN, Church TS, Borja MS, He Y, Oda MN, Martin CK, Kraus WK, Rohatgi A. The effects of increasing exercise intensity and dose on multiple measures of high-density lipoprotein function. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2018; 38: 943-952. PMID: 29437573 DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.310307

  4. Rao P, Merath K, Drigalenko E, Jadhav AYL, Komorowski RA, Goldblat MI, Rohatgi A, Sarzynski MA, Gawrieh S, Olivier M. Proteomic characterization of high-density lipoprotein particles in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Clinical Proteomics 2018; 15:10. PMID: 29527140 DOI: 10.1186/s12014-018-9186-0

  5. Miller KE, Martz DC, Stoner C, Jowers A, Taheri ML, Sarzynski MA, Wilkinson LW, Plaisance EP. Efficacy of an individualized telephone-based medical nutrition program on blood lipid and lipoprotein metabolism: results from Our Healthy Heart. Nutrition & Dietetics 2018; 75(1): 73-78. PMID: 29411495 DOI: 10.1111/1747-0080.12366


  1. Clarke K, Ricciardi S, Pearson T, Bharudin I, Davidson PK, Bonomo M, Brina D, Scagliola A, Simpson DM, Beynon RJ, Khanim F, Ankers J, Sarzynski MA, Ghosh S, Pisconti A, Rozman J, Hrabe de Angelis M, Bunce C, Stewart C, Egginton S, Caddick M, Jackson M, Bouchard C, Biffo S, Falciani F. The Role of eIF6 in Skeletal Muscle Homeostasis Revealed by Endurance Training Co-Expression Networks. Cell Reports 2017; 21(6): 1507-1520​ DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.040

  2. Sui X, Sarzynski MA, Lee DC, Kokkinos P. Impact of changes in cardiorespiratory fitness on hypertension, dyslipidemia and survival: an overview of the epidemiological evidence. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases 2017; 60(1): 56-66. PMID: 28274819 DOI: 10.1016/j.pcad.2017.02.006

  3. Sui X, Sarzynski MA, Lee DC, Zhang J, Kokkinos P, Payne J, Blair SN. Longitudinal patterns of cardiorespiratory fitness can predict the development of hypertension among men and women. American Journal of Medicine 2017; 130(4): 469-476. PMID: 27986522 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.11.017

  4. Sarzynski MA, Ghosh S, Bouchard C. Genomic and transcriptomic predictors of response levels to endurance exercise training. J Physiology 2017; 595 (9): 2931-2939. PMID: 27234805 PMCID: PMC5407970 DOI: 10.1113/JP272559

  5. Graff et al. Genome-wide physical activity interactions in obesity ‒ a meta-analysis of 200,452 adults. PLoS Genetics 2017; 13 (4): e1006528. PMID: 28448500 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006972 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006528

  6. Justice AE et al. Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis Accounting for Smoking Behavior Identifies Novel Loci for Obesity Traits. Nature Communications 2017; 8: 14977. PMID: 28443625 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14977


  1. Breneman C, Polinksi K, Sarzynski MA, Lavie CJ, Kokkinos PF, Ahmed A, Sui X.The impact of cardiorespiratory fitness levels on the risk of developing atherogenic dyslipidemia. American Journal of Medicine 2016; 129 (10): 1060-1066. PMID: 27288861 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.05.017

  2. Sung YJ, Perusse L, Sarzynski MA, Fornage M, Sidney S, Sternfeld B, Rice TK, Terry G, Jacobs DR Jr, Katzmarzyk P, Carr JJ, Ghosh S, Rankinen T, Rao DC, Bouchard C. Genome-wide association of abdominal and visceral fat with replication of prior findings. International Journal of Obesity 2016; 40(4): 662-74. PMID: 26480920 PMCID: PMC4821694 DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2015.217

  3. Ried et al. A principal component meta-analysis on multiple anthropometric traits identifies novel loci for body shape in >170,000 individuals of the GIANT consortium. Nature Communications2016; 7: 13357. PMID: 27876822 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13357

  4. Sarzynski MA, Loos RJF, Lucia A, Perusse L, Roth SM, Wolfarth B, Rankinen T, Bouchard C. Advances in Exercise, Fitness, and Performance Genomics in 2015. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2016; 48(10): 1906-1916. PMID: 27183119 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000982

  5. Lu et al. New loci for body fat percentage reveal link between adiposity andcardiometabolic disease risk. Nature Communications 2016; 7: 10495. PMID: 26833246 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10495

  6. Kilpelainen et al. Genome-wide meta-analysis uncovers novel loci influencing circulating leptin levels Nature Communications 2016; 7: 10494. PMID: 2683309 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10494

  7. Rankinen T, Fuku N, Wolfarth B , Sarzynski MA, Alexeev DG, Ahmetov II, Boulay MR, Cieszczyk P , Eynon N, Garton F, Generozov EV, Govorun VM, Houweling PJ, Kawahara T, Kostryukova ES, Kulemin NA, Larin AK, Maciejewska-Karłowska A, Miyachi M, MuniesaCA, Murakami H , Naumov VA, Ospanova EA, Padmanabhan S, Pavlenko AV, Santiago C , Sawczuk M, Scott RA, Wang G , Yvert T, Perusse L , Rauramaa R, North K, Lucia A , PitsiladisY, Bouchard C. No Evidence of a Common DNA Variant Profile Specific to World Class Endurance Athletes. Plos ONE 2016; 11(1): e0147330 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147330

  8. Shah RV, Murthy VL, Colangelo LA, Reis J, Venkatesh BA, Sharma R, Abbasi SA, Goff DC Jr, Carr JJ, Rana JS, Terry J, Bouchard C, Sarzynski MA, Eisman A, Neilan T, Das S, Jerosch-Herold M, Lewis CE, Carnethon M, Lewis GD, Lima JAC. Fitness in Young Adulthood is Associated with Improved Survival and Cardiovascular Risk: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. JAMA Internal Medicine 2016; 176(1): 87-95. PMID: 26618471 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6309


NIH/NINR R01: Molecular predictors of cardiometabolic responsiveness to an endurance exercise intervention (Gerszten, Sarzynski,MPI)

NIH/NHLBI R01: The Molecular and Genetic Basis of Exercise-induced Changes in HDL Function (Sarzynski, PI)

  • 1R01HL146462, April 2019 – March 2024, Direct Costs: $2,770,482

  • 3R01HL146462-02S1, Diversity supplement to E. Ayala, April 2020 – March 2022, Budget: $123,032

  • Project details on NIH RePORTER

NIH/NIGMS South Carolina IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC INBRE): P20 GM103499

NIH/NIGMS Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE): Center for Dietary Supplements and Inflammation: P20 GM103641


    Open Positions    

The FLEX Lab is recruiting talented graduate students and post docs with flexible starting dates (see flyer below). Please contact Dr. Sarzynski for more info

FLEX lab PHD postdoc flyer 2021.png



Mark A. Sarzynski, PhD, FACSM, FAHA

921 Assembly Street 

PHRC Room 301B

Columbia, SC 29208

Office: 803-777-9510

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