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Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., CSCS*D
Associate 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.  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 140 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

  • Working on Women in Science Scholar, 2019-Present (
  • 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. Saylor, 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 second 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.


Lacey Gould, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant

Educational Background
B.S., Highpoint University

Contact Information:
Twitter/Instagram: laceygould

Lacey Gould is from Clemmons, North Carolina and graduated from High Point University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Biology. She has a strong desire to have a positive impact on the health of others and is focused on studying the effects of nutrition and metabolism on body composition in both clinical and athlete populations, with a special interest in female physiology. Lacey is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work alongside well-established and inspiring faculty, staff, and graduate students here at UNC Chapel Hill.


Andrew Hoyle, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant

Educational Background
B.S., Greensboro College

Contact Information:

Andrew Hoyle is from Cary, NC. Andrew graduated from Greensboro College with a B.S. in Health Science and Exercise and Sport Studies: Exercise Science. Prior to joining the UNC community, Andrew worked at the Appalachian State University Human Performance Lab in Kannapolis, NC. He is currently working in the Applied Physiology Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan as a graduate researcher. He is particularly interested in studying the relationship between exercise, metabolism, and body composition, and determining how these factors interact to affect general health and well-being.


Amanda Gordon, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant

Educational Background
B.S., Auburn University

Contact Information:



Amanda Gordon is from Colorado Springs, CO. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish. She is currently a first year master’s student studying Exercise Physiology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while working in the Applied Physiology Lab under Dr. Smith-Ryan.

Undergraduate Research Assistants:

Alyson Nelson, ‘21

Alyson is a senior studying Exercise and Sport Science and Anthropology with a minor in food studies. She plans to attend graduate school to study nutrition.

Lab Group Alumni

Malia N.M. Blue, PhD, Assistant Professor, Congdon School of Health Sciences, Exercise Science, High Point University. Graduated 2020.

Katie R. Hirsch, PhD, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity. University of Arkansas Medical Center. Graduated 2020.

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

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

Mary Woessner, PhD – Clinical Trial Project Coordinator, Bone Health & Fractures Research Program, Australian Catholic University

 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