Now an associate professor and scientific director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition & Metabolism Center at Duke University’s School of Medicine, Deborah M. Muoio got her first taste of research as a graduate student in UB’s nutrition program.
“I had the opportunity to train under the mentorship of Dr. David Pendergast in the UB Physiology Department,” she said. “Most memorable were the opportunities I had to travel with David and Dr. John Leddy to regional and national American College of Sports Medicine meetings and to present our work to peers in the field. It was the wonderful experience I had in Dr. Pendergast’s laboratory that inspired me to pursue a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and a subsequent career as an academic scientist.”
“After graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in food science and human nutrition, I considered medical school, but instead decided to test the waters in graduate school. I’d been a sports enthusiast and athlete my entire life and was particularly drawn to the topics of exercise physiology and sports nutrition.”
Originally from the Buffalo area, Muoio was aware of UB’s high quality graduate programs and she returned to Western New York to earn her master’s in nutrition.
After graduating from UB, Muoio was accepted into the PhD program in nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “The coursework I completed at UB provided an excellent foundation for my studies at UNC—both the didactic and research components helped me to compete successfully for several pre-doctoral fellowship awards.
“After my experience at UB, I felt very well-prepared and well-focused going into graduate school at UNC. Unlike many other incoming students at UNC, I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish and where I wanted to my career to land. My education at UB was certainly a strong factor in shaping my research interests and career goals.”
Today, in her role at Duke, Muoio spends the majority of her time “dedicated to research and mentoring of trainees in my laboratory” and teaching graduate and medical school courses.