Substrate Metabolism Laboratory Studies
SML Studies Overview
Research in the Substrate Metabolism Laboratory (SML) focuses on the health effects of exercise and/or diet on the regulation of metabolism in obesity and obesity-related disease (like diabetes). Descriptions of our current research projects, as well as some of our other recent studies are provided below.
You may have been directed to this webpage because you are interested in participating in one of our research studies. If you are interested in any of the studies, please complete the general screening questionnaire (you can find the link to the questionnaire for each study below each study description). If eligible, you will be contacted by the Study Coordinator (Suzette Howton) via email to set up a screening appointment. If you would like further information, you may also email SML Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SML Studies Currently Recruiting Research Subjects
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Study
Do you want to start exercising? You may be eligible to participate in a research study investigating the effects of continuous and interval exercise on health and fitness!
Who can participate?
- Men & women 18-40 years of age
- Classified as overweight (Body Mass Index 30-40 kg/m2)
- Weight Stable (+/- 6 pounds for past 6 months)
- Non-smoker who is relatively healthy
- Do not currently participate in regular exercise
You will undergo/receive:
12 weeks of supervised exercise training (4x/week):
- Body composition analyses
- 1 overnight hospital visit before and 2 overnight hospital visits after training with blood sampling and metabolic testing
- Financial compensation upon completion the study
- A free Activity Monitor to track your physical activity
Preliminary Screening – Before participating in the study, you will undergo a screening visit at the Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) at the Michigan Medicine Cardiovascular Center (CVC). This appointment should take about 1.5 hours to complete and will include a resting electrocardiogram (EKG), a pre-participation screening questionnaire and a detailed medical history survey.
If you are deemed eligible based on the results of the preliminary screening, you will be enrolled into our study. The study consists of three (3) distinct phases:
- Baseline Testing: We want to assess your current level of health and fitness. We will measure your: aerobic fitness with a bike test, body composition, blood sugar control, resting metabolic rate, and blood lipid profile. These tests will involve blood sampling and we will obtain a small piece of muscle from your thigh, and small piece of fat from your stomach. You will be required to stay in the hospital overnight in order for us to obtain some of the important measures of your health.
- Exercise training: You will undergo 12 weeks of supervised exercise training (4x/week) at the University of Michigan Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB). You will be performing aerobic-type exercise (i.e. cycling, running, elliptical – you choose!). Depending on what group you are randomized into, you will perform your prescribed exercise in an interval or continuous manner. We also provide all participants with a free Activity Monitor to track your physical activity! Body weight will be recorded before every supervised exercise training session. If body weight changes 4-5 pounds from your initial weight, you will consult with our research dietitian for strategies to maintain weight during this 3-month exercise training period. NOTE: After the 12 weeks of supervised exercise training, weight maintenance is not required. Diet will not be controlled during the 9-month follow-up testing portion of the study.
- Post-Training Testing: We will perform all of the same tests that we did at baseline testing described above in order to see how your health and fitness has changed after 12 weeks of exercise training. This will involve two overnight hospital stays which are scheduled 3 days apart.
To sign up to screen for this study, select “High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Study” on our general online screening questionnaire (myumi.ch/51VM2)
Exercise and Fat Metabolism (CAT) Study
The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of exercise training on the structure and metabolic function of fat tissue from overweight/obese adults.
This research is limited to weight stable (± 6 pounds in the past 6 months), overweight/obese men and women between the ages of 18-40 years old. For this study, overweight/obesity is measured by a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to 27-35 kg/m2. We will recruit two different groups matched for BMI: 1) individuals who do not regularly exercise (i.e. have not completed any regularly planned exercise for the past 1 year or more), and 2) those who exercise regularly (i.e. at least 4 days/week of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise for ≥30 min/session at moderate-vigorous intensities). All participants must not have any evidence or history of cardiovascular or metabolic disease and must not take any medications known to affect inflammation, lipid or glucose metabolism. Tobacco or e-cigarette users will be excluded. Female participants must not be pregnant, actively breastfeeding, or menopausal and must have regularly occurring menses. No racial or ethnic group will be excluded.
You will be contacted to set up a remote screening appointment where the details of the study will be discussed with a study team member complete the following questionnaires:
- Detailed Medical History Questionnaire
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) / American Heart Association (AHA) Health/Fitness Facility Pre-participation Questionnaire
- Godin Physical Activity Assessment
If you agree to participate in the study, you will be scheduled for an in-person physical screening appointment at the “Clinical Suite” located in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan. At this appointment we will complete the following:
- Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) to test your body composition
- Exercise Fitness Test*
*During the COVID-19 pandemic era, prior to the exercise fitness test you will be required to take a COVID-19 test 48-96 hours before this appointment. Only subjects with a negative COVID-19 test will be eligible to continue to participate.
If eligible to participate in the study after completing the physical screening appointment, you will be asked to return to the Substrate Metabolism Laboratory to participate in an experimental trial appointment.
This appointment will take place at the School of Kinesiology’s “Clinical Suite”. You will be required to eat a standardized dinner at 6:00 PM and standardized snack at 10:00 PM the evening before your Experimental Trial Appointment. After eating your snack, you will “fast” overnight -- no other food or beverages (besides water) will be permitted. The next morning, after an overnight fast, you will arrive to the “Clinical Suite” at 7:00 AM. After 30 min of quiet rest we will obtain an abdominal fat tissue biopsy sample. After the biopsy procedure, you will complete an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Once the OGTT is complete, you will be provided a meal and discharged. This appointment will take about 4.5 hours to complete
You will receive $100 for completion of the entire study. No compensation will be given for the physical screening appointment/testing. If you do not complete the entire study you will be compensated at a rate of $10 per hour for the time that you have participated in the experimental trial, this does not include the time spent during the physical screening appointment.
To sign up to screen for this study, select “Exercise and Fat Metabolism (CAT) Study” on our general online screening questionnaire (myumi.ch/51VM2)