Faculty Spotlight

Shiu-Ming Kuo

Elizabeth G. Mietlicki-Baase, PhD

Shiu Ming Kuo is an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

How did you get interested in this field?

From very young age, I enjoyed learning about new things, discovering why things happen and teaching others. So being a faculty member at the University at Buffalo is the perfect fit, allowing me to conduct research and teach students about the field of exercise and nutrition sciences.

What is the focus of your research?

My research is focused on fiber and intestinal microbiome, and differential targeting of membrane transporter protein. 

We all know that fiber is known to be important for regularity, but in addition my research has found that fiber from food supplement can both increase the amount of microbes in the large intestine which in turn is the most predicable pathogen-suppressing condition.  This is important because no other food component is known do do this.

As far as the differential targeting of membrane transporter protein, the intestines and kidneys are essential organs in maintaining the necessary chemical environment for our health.  Our intestines can absorb nutrients and the kidneys can manage body chemical balance because of their epithelial cells.  The goal of my research is to decipher the molecular mechanism behind the wonderful ability of epithelial cells.

What are the real world implications of the research you conduct?

I believe the biggest takeaway from my research is the fact that fiber intake is important, but in the United States most people are not consuming enough fiber.  My research focuses on the discovery of mechanisms behind life events so I, along with my students and research associates, spend long hours on the lab bench to test hypotheses.  The real world impact of any research can take many years to unfold, but I believe that understanding the mechanisms is what is truly important in the long run.

What is your greatest accomplishment while at UB?

I think my greatest accomplishment is having the ability to educate future researchers in the field of exercise and nutrition sciences.  While many of my students will consider me demanding, they will also say that I am well-prepared and willing to help them succeed.  Students who are willing to work hard in my classes and in my lab will learn a lot and be prepared for future success.