Gwendolyn Thomas is an exercise physiologist with a focus on exercise endocrinology and exercise prescription in the management of chronic disease in at-risk health populations.
Professor Thomas is the director of the Exercise Prescription Lab (ExRx Lab) which examines how acute and chronic exercise can reregulate immune and metabolic function in obese individuals with and without chronic disease.
Resistance Exercise, Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease
Her research focuses on the role of resistance exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, with a particular interest in metabolic and immune mechanisms. Her methods include smart phone based exercise interventions and acute laboratory protocols. She has expertise in applied approaches to the physiological mechanisms and adaptations influencing sport and exercise, which include body composition, exercise training, and strength training. She also has expertise and extensive experience in immuno-related factors affecting cancer risk and survival, body composition assessment, mHealth, and resistance exercise with regard to preventive health evaluation. Her research has examined the central and peripheral endocrine responses to acute exercise in obese individuals. She completed postdoctoral training at Yale University in chronic disease, and received training in the conceptual and methodological basis for behavioral interventions and the implementation of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
More recently, her work has focused on cancer control and prevention and how targeted exercise interventions may be delivered via smartphones to promote prevention of reoccurrence in cancer survivors. The Robert E. Leet and Clara Guthrie Patterson Trust currently funds her research. Current projects seek to understand what daily barriers prevent breast cancer survivors from engaging in exercise and whether delivering a video-based home exercise program on a smart-phone can provide the needed support and interface to increase adherence to a regular exercise program.