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Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., CSCS*D
Professor, Department of Exercise and Sport Science
Adjunct Associate Professor, Gillings School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Allied Health Science

Contact Information:
Twitter/Instagram: @asmithryan


Dr. Smith-Ryan’s research interests center around exercise and nutrition interventions to modify various aspects of body composition, cardiovascular health, and metabolic function, with a special interest in female physiology.  She is an active researcher in the field of metabolism, sport nutrition and exercise performance, in both healthy and clinical populations, leading projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and International and National industry sponsored clinical trials.  Dr. Smith-Ryan contributes to the current body of scientific literature with over 165 peer-reviewed manuscripts; a number of scholastic books and book chapters, and international/national presentations.

Previous Education
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 2011
M.S., University of Oklahoma, 2008
B.S., Truman State University, 2006

PubMed Link:

Google Scholar:


Awards and Honors

  • William J Kramer Outstanding Sports Scientist Award, National Strength & Conditioning Association, 2022
  • Working on Women in Science Scholar, 2019-2021 (
  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine, 2016
  • Fellow, National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2016
  • Terry J. Housh Young Investigator of the Year Award, National Strength & Conditioning Association. 2015
  • Nutrition Researcher of the Year Award, National Strength & Conditioning Association. 2014.
  • Fellow, International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2013


Lab Highlights:

The Team


Hannah E. Cabre, MS, RD
Doctoral Student

Educational Background
M.S., Florida State University
B.S., University of Georgia


Contact Information:
Twitter/Instagram: hannahsaylor_rd

Hannah is a fourth year PhD student in the Human Movement Sciences Department studying under Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Georgia and went on to obtain her master’s degree and complete her dietetic internship at Florida State University. She is a registered dietitian and her passion for nutrition and exercise shape her research interests, which include the influences exercise and nutrient timing have on body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and metabolic health, specifically in women.


Sam Moore, MS, CSCS

Doctoral Student

Educational background
M.S. California University of Pennsylvania
B.S.. Western Oregon University


Contact Information:

Sam Moore, MS, CSCS is an applied sport scientist who recently joined University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Human Movement Science Curriculum in the School of Allied Health Sciences, working under the direction of Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan. Her research interests center around metabolic and performance effects of female sex hormones

Prior to Carolina, Sam was with the NC State Wolfpack from 2019-2021 as the Director of Sport Science and Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach; the first woman to serve in this role in the NCAA. At NCSU, Sam’s primary responsibilities were designing and implementing a revolutionary and evidence informed framework of women’s specific training design based on the hormonal landscape of the Wolfpack female athletes.



Kelly Joniak, BS, CSCS

Kelly Joniak is from Wheaton, IL and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science. Kelly has experience working in athletics in the collegiate, professional, and private sector. At UNC, she works under the mentorship of Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan in the Applied Physiology Laboratory. Her research interests focus on exercise, body composition, and female physiology. In her free time, Kelly competes in Olympic Weightlifting and loves to hike and bike outside to explore new places.


Alex Ladan, BS

Alex Ladan recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. After retiring from rhythmic gymnastics and ballet, Alex spent two years discovering her passion for sports science and nutrition in the Integrative Gut Microbiota Laboratory. She is excited to continue my education at the University of North Carolina to research female physiology, metabolism and nutrition for recovery and rehabilitation. In my free time, I’ve enjoyed taking my dog on hikes and finding new coffee spots.



Noah Patterson

Noah Patterson is a junior undergraduate student from Cincinnati, OH. He is studying Nutrition with a minor in Exercise and Sport Science. He is currently working in the Applied Physiology Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan. He has interests in sports nutrition, exercise interventions, and prevention of chronic disease. Noah plans to attend graduate school to study exercise physiology.




Noah Cole

Noah Cole is a junior undergraduate studying Exercise and Sport Science.





Lab Group Alumni

Malia N.M. Blue, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Graduated 2020.

Katie R. Hirsch, PhD, Assistant Professor University of South Carolina. Graduated 2020.

Eric T. Trexler, PhD, Director of Education, Stronger By Science. Graduated 2019.

Amanda Gordon, MA, CSCS – Sports Scientist Boston RedSox

Lacey Gould, MA – LabCorp

Gabrielle Brewer, MA – Doctoral Student, University of Connecticut

Austin Peterjohn, MA – Clinical Research Associate, IQVIA

Kara Anderson, MA – Doctoral Student, University of Virginia

Alexis Pihoker, MA – Fire Fighter, Pittsburgh, PA

Meredith Mock, MA – Physician’s Assistant Student, The George Washington University School of Medicine

Erica Roelofs, MA – Doctoral Student, University of Minnesota

Hailee Rich (Wingfield), MA – Fitness & Wellness Supervisor, Wake Med

Sarah Fultz Colbert, MA – head Programming Coach, OxFit, Exercise Physiologist for Best Health, Atlanta, GA


 Current Grant Funding & Research Projects

High intensity interval training as an innovative therapeutic intervention for obesity-driven endometrial cancer (Co-Principal Investigator), Awarded by the National Institutes of Health, 2019-Current


Metabolic Effects of Menopause: Implications for Body Composition and Exercise Capacity (Principal Investigator), Awarded by the Carolina Women’s Center. 2020-2021


Metabolic, hormonal, & physiological characterization of isoenergetic high intensity interval training moderate intensity continuous training in adults with type 1 diabetes. (Principal Investigator), Awarded by North Carolina Diabetes Research Center. 2020-2022


The effects of l-citrulline + glutathione on endurance performance. (Principal Investigator), Clinical Trial Grant Awarded by Kyowa Hakko Bio Co., LTD. 2019-2021


Randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled single center study to evaluate the effect of pre-workout and recovery formulations on soreness, performance, tolerance and safety in healthy adults. (Principal Investigator), Awarded by Nuskin International Inc (NSEP). 2019-2022


Brain Body & Health Program (Co-Investigator), Comprehensive evaluation of retired National Football League Athletes, Funded by National Football League Players Association, The Trust. 2014-Current