Oh Kwon

Assistant Professor, PhD


Research Interests

My research experience has ranged from the study of cells and rodents to humans and from basic science and molecular science to clinical science in skeletal muscle and cardiovascular physiology. I have investigated the variety of research area in exercise physiology link to numerous diseases; immune dysfunction, muscle atrophy, cancer cachexia, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Most of the previous and present research has been focused on mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial-derived oxidative stress related to these diseases.
Here are my representative research accomplishments.
1. Mitochondrial bioenergetics and etiology of insulin resistance.
In East Carolina University, my research focused on the molecular mechanisms governing mitochondrial bioenergetics and function in the context of the etiology of metabolic disease as well as disease prevention/treatment.
2. Exercise mediated changes in skeletal muscle antioxidant systems and the role of mitochondrial-derived oxidative stress in skeletal muscle atrophy.
Most of the previous research on redox signaling in skeletal muscle have used one of two experimental approaches: 1) inhibition of a redox-sensitive pathway using pharmacological agents or 2) deletion of a gene that presumably plays a critical role in the signaling pathway. As same as East Carolina University, I utilized a newly developed permeabilized fiber approach to study mitochondrial function in rodent skeletal muscle, pharmacological agents and transgenic models to manipulate mitochondrial ROS production and scavenging.
3. In my first postdoc at the University of Utah, my research focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle growth and metabolic function in healthy and mobility-impaired older adults and rodents.
4. In my second postdoc, I am studying the integration of aging, diseases, skeletal muscle, and cardiovascular function, especially, the role of mitochondria and NADPH oxidase in the attenuated endothelial function with advancing age.

Future research topics I am interested in include the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer or chemotherapy-induced skeletal muscle and cardiovascular dysfunction.
Another research topic I focused on is the role of mitophagy, autophagy, and mitochondria fission/fusion in skeletal muscle and vasculature by physical inactivity.

I will proceed with investigating exercise and/or nutritional strategies to help: 1) enhancing muscle quality in aging and several diseases 2) prevent cardiovascular, diabetic and obesity-related health complications. My current and future research will be interacting with other researchers related to obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease as well as will provide a novel therapeutic target for enhancing or maintaining skeletal and vascular function with aging and various diseases.


Ph.D., University of Florida, 2013
Master, East Carolina University, 2009
Master, Seoul National University, 2002

Recent Publications

1. Kwon OS, Andtbacka RHI, Hyngstrom JR, and Richardson RS. Regulation of Endothelial Function in Human Skeletal Muscle Arteries: Role of Adropin. Journal of Physiology – in press, 2019 [PMID: 30690728] Impact factor: 5.037

2. Park SH*, Kwon OS*, Andtbacka RHI, Hyngstrom JR, and Richardson RS. Vascular Mitochondrial Respiratory Function: the Impact of Advancing Age. (*Co-first author) AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2018 Dec; 1;315(6): H1660-1669 [PMID: 30192630] Impact factor: 3.569

3. Berg OK, Kwon OS, Hureau T, Cliffton H, Thurston T, Fur YL, Jeong EK, Trinity JD, Wang E, and Layec G. Maximal strength training increases muscle force generating capacity and the anaerobic ATP synthesis flux without altering the cost of contraction in elderly. Experimental Gerontology, 2018 Oct; 1;111:154-161 [PMID: 30031838] Impact factor: 3.533

4. Hart CR, Layec G, Trinity JD, Kwon OS, Zhao J, Reese VR, Gifford JR and Richardson RS. Increased skeletal muscle mitochondrial free radical production in peripheral arterial disease despite preserved mitochondrial respiratory capacity. Experimental Physiology, 2018 Jun; 103(6):838-850 [PMID: 29604234] Impact factor: 2.921

5. Gifford JR, Trinity JD, Kwon OS, Layec G, Garten RS, Park SY, Nelson AD, and Richardson RS. Altered skeletal muscle mitochondrial phenotype in COPD: Disease versus disuse. J of Applied Physiology, 2018 Apr 1;124(4):1045-1053 [PMID: 29357496] Impact factor: 3.351

6. Park SY*, Kwon OS*†, Andtbacka RHI, Hyngstrom JR, Reese V, and Richardson RS. Age-related endothelial dysfunction in human skeletal muscle feed arteries: the role of free radicals derived from mitochondria in the vasculature. (*Co-first author and †corresponding author) Acta Physiologica, 2018 Jan 1; 222(1):1-12 [PMID: 28493603] Impact factor: 5.93

7. Broxterman RM, Trinity JD, Gifford JR, Kwon OS, Kithas AC, Hydren JR, Nelson AD, Morgan DE, Jessop J, Bledsoe A, and Richardson RS. Single passive leg movement assessment of vascular function: The contribution of nitric oxide. J of Applied Physiology, 2017 Dec 1; 123:1468-1476 [PMID: 28860173] Impact factor: 3.351

8. Ives SJ, Park SY, Kwon OS, Gifford JR, Hyngstrom JR, Andtbacka RH and Richardson RS. TRPV1 channels in human skeletal muscle feed arteries: implications for vascular function. Experimental Physiol, 2017 Sep 1; 102(9):1245-1258 [PMID: 28681979] Impact factor: 2.55

9. Layec G, Hart CR, Trinity JD, Kwon OS, Rossman MJ, Broxterman RM, Le Fur Y, Jeong EK and Richardson RS. Oxygen delivery and the restoration of the muscle energetic balance following exercise: Implications for delayed muscle recovery in patients with COPD. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2017 July 1; 313(1):E94-104 [PMID: 28292763] Impact factor: 4.142

10. McKenzie AI, Briggs RA, Borrows KM, Nelson DS, Kwon OS, Higgins TF, Marcus RL and Drummond MJ. A pilot study examining the impact of exercise training on skeletal muscle genes related to the TLR signaling pathway in older adults following hip fracture. J of Applied Physiol. 2017 Jan 1;122(1):68-75 [PMID: 27789770] Impact factor: 3.351

11. Kwon OS, Nelson D, Borrows K, O’Connell RM and Drummond MJ. Intramyocellular ceramides and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration are partially regulated by toll-like receptor 4 during hindlimb unloading. Am J Physiol Regul. Integr. and Comp, 2016 Nov 1;311(5):R879-R887. [PMID: 27581814] Impact factor: 3.168

12. Talbert EE, Smuder AJ, Kwon OS, Sollanek KJ, Wiggs MP and Powers SK. Blockage of the Ryanodine Receptor via Azumolene Does Not Prevent Mechanical Ventilation-Induced Diaphragm Atrophy. PLoS One. 2016 Feb5;11(2): e0148161 [PMID: 26849371] Impact factor: 3.534

13. Smuder AJ, Gonzalez-Rothi EJ, Kwon OS, Morton AB, Sollanek KJ, Powers SK, Fuller DD. Cervical spinal cord injury exacerbates ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction. J of Appli Physiol. 2016 Jan 15;120(2):166-77. [PMID: 26472866] Impact factor: 3.351

14. Park SY, Son WM, Kwon OS. Effects of whole body vibration training on body composition, skeletal muscle strength, and cardiovascular health. J of Exerc Rehabil. 2015 Dec 31; 11(6):289-295. [PMID: 26730378]

15. Kwon OS, Smuder AJ, Talbert EE, Wiggs MP, Hall SE, Sollanek KJ, Morton A, Toklu HZ, Tumer N, Powers SK. AT1 receptor blocker losartan protects against mechanical ventilation-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction. J Appl Physiol. 2015 Nov 15;119(10):1033-41. [PMID: 26359481] Impact factor: 3.351

16. Tanner RE, Brunker LB, Agergaard J, Barrows K, Briggs RA, Kwon OS, Young LM, Hopkins PN, Volpi E, Marcus RL, LaStayo PC, Drummond MJ. Age-related differences in lean mass, protein synthesis and skeletal muscle markers of proteolysis after bed rest and exercise rehabilitation. Journal of Physiology 2015 Sept;593(18): 4259-73. [PMID: 26173027] Impact factor: 4.544

17. Kwon OS, Tanner RE, Barrows K, Runtsch M, Symons JD, Jalili T, Bikman BT, McClain DA, O’Connell RM, and Drummond MJ. MyD88 regulates physical inactivity-induced skeletal muscle inflammation, ceramide biosynthesis signaling and glucose intolerance. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2015 Jul 1;309(1): E11-21. [PMID: 25968578] Impact factor: 4.142

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-1120
Mailing Address2095 Hillside Rd, U-1110, Room 220 Storrs, Connecticut 06269 United States