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Robert J. Spina, known for his research on exercise and its effects on aging, cardiovascular function and metabolism, has been named chair of the exercise science, sport, physical education and recreation department at Old Dominion University.

Spina, who joined the faculty June 25 as a professor with the award of tenure, comes to ODU from San Francisco State University, where he held positions as chair and graduate coordinator of the kinesiology department, and associate dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

"My hope is to facilitate research initiatives here at Old Dominion, after familiarizing myself with the Old Dominion community," he said.

Prior to joining SFSU, Spina served as a member of the faculty at the University of Central Florida, University of Texas at Austin and Washington University School of Medicine.

After completing his doctorate in exercise physiology at the University of Pittsburgh, Spina received a National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He studied the acute and chronic effects of exercise on cardiovascular function, metabolism and skeletal muscle in young and older men and women. At WU, he continued to study the physiological adaptations to exercise that could be applied to maintenance of health and functional capacity in older people. Specifically, he was funded to study the independent and combined effects of exercise and hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular function in postmenopausal women.

Spina received his master's degree in exercise physiology from Queens College, City University of New York, and his bachelor's degree in physical education from C.W. Post College of Long Island University.

This article was posted on: July 5, 2006

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