The TMRL is co-directed by Matt Robinson, Ph.D. and Sean Newsom, Ph.D. Their combined expertise in molecular and integrative metabolism makes the TMRL an emerging leader in the human metabolic disease research. The TMRL is also comprised of several high-performing student scientists. Below you can learn more about all members of the TMRL.


Matt Robinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Robinson completed doctoral training at Colorado State University in Human Bioenergetics followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic. He joined Oregon State University in the summer of 2016 as an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Robinson has lead multiple projects investigating the benefits of acute exercise and longer term training interventions on skeletal muscle physiology and mitochondrial metabolism. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jeanne, and their 4 children. Their favorite past-times include riding bikes and gardening.

Watch research seminar: Impact of Exercise and Insulin Resistance on the Mitochondrial Proteome

Sean Newsom, Ph.D.

Dr. Newsom completed doctoral training at the University of Michigan in the School of Kinesiology, and postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He joined Oregon State University in the summer of 2015. Dr. Newsom has completed several metabolic research investigations aimed at understanding the consequences of obesity and sedentary lifestyle on skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, as well as the metabolic benefit of acute exercise and/or dietary interventions. Away from the lab, Sean can be found running and biking the trails surrounding Corvallis, dreaming of earning a PGA Tour card and spending quality time with his wife, Lauren, and their two dogs, Roxy and Ouzo.

Sarah Short, B.S.

Research Coordinator

Sarah grew up in the Willamette Valley and graduated from OSU in 2020 with a degree in Public Health Management and Policy. During the pandemic, she served individuals experiencing homelessness in Atlanta with Americorps. Her work experience includes hospital administration, interning with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, assisting in COVID research for the NIH, and working as a chronic conditions health coach. She is passionate about public health interventions for women and children, food equity, and body positivity. In her free time she enjoys running, lifting, hiking, traveling, and eating all the food.

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Student Scientists

Erin McGowan, M.S

Erin McGowan is a doctoral student in the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory. Erin moved to Oregon from Massachusetts where she earned a B. S. in Biology and a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She earned her M.S. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Boston University School of Medicine. At Oregon State University, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a focus in exercise physiology and cell metabolism. Erin’s research interests include the effects of diet and exercise on mitochondrial respiration, skeletal muscle physiology, and insulin sensitivity. Outside the lab, Erin enjoys outdoor activities, trying out new recipes, and spending time with her dogs.

Phil Batterson, M.S.

Phil Batterson is a doctoral student in the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory. Originally from Michigan, Phil earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He then moved to Colorado to earn his M.S in Biology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. At Oregon state University, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a focus on exercise physiology and cell metabolism. Phil’s research interests include skeletal muscle physiology, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and insulin sensitivity. Outside of the lab, Phil enjoys mountain biking, trail running, and rock climbing.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy is an undergraduate student who joined the Translation Metabolism Research Laboratory in the spring of 2021. He transferred to Oregon State University in the fall of 2020 to pursue a B.S. Kinesiology, hoping to eventually continue on to graduate studies in the field of exercise physiology. Mike’s research interests include skeletal muscle physiology, bioenergetics, and almost anything related to resistance training adaptations or program design. Outside the lab, Mike enjoys reading, powerlifting, and occasionally engaging in non-lifting physical activities.

Former students

Sarah Ehrlicher, Ph.D.

Sarah is completing her Dietetic Internship at University of Alabama in Birmingham to become a Registered Dietitian. She is gaining skills in clinical nutrition assessment and nutrition education to strengthen her ability to conduct translational metabolic research. She has been participating in Dr. James Hill’s lab group and assisting with a weight loss study aimed at comparing high-protein to normal-protein in a calorie restricted diet on improvement of metabolic complications from type 2 diabetes. Sarah is glad to be back in the South closer to family but misses the Oregon landscape and her OSU community.


Harrison Stierwalt, Ph.D.

Harrison is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Dr. John Thyfault’s laboratory. He is gaining skills and experience in leading pre-clinical studies using mouse models to investigate the impact of exercise on brain and liver metabolism while also learning some valuable clinical techniques such as skeletal muscle biopsies. Harrison received a competitive F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIH to investigate the effect of acute and chronic exercise on bile acid metabolism in the liver as a potential protective mechanism against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He is happy being closer to family in the mid-west but misses the cool summer nights and the diverse array of outdoor activities in Oregon.

Bergen Sather

Bergan graduated and is currently at Medical School at OHSU.

Bergen Sather joined the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory in the winter of 2016 during her second year at Oregon State University. She majored in Biology and Public Health with a focus in Pre-Medicine. Her research interests included the effects of lifestyle interventions, specifically nutrition and exercise, on human health. She was particularly interested in the mechanisms of these interventions on a molecular level.


Emily Burney

Emily graduated and is currently at Medical School at OHSU.

Emily pursued an Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with an option in Health Management and Policy, and minored in Business and Entrepreneurship and Chemistry. She came to Oregon State University because of its vast array of academic options and focus on research. Emily was excited to learn about the cellular processes and functions relating to insulin sensitivity and apply the knowledge gained to make a difference.

Ryan Wong

Ryan graduated and is a graduate student in Physics at the University of Chicago.

Ryan spent his freshman year in the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory, where he received wet lab training and conducted research on mitochondrial metabolism using skeletal muscle cell culture. He transitioned from Kinesiology to Physics during his second year and worked on a number of projects in Dr. Bo Sun's Cellular Biophysics Lab, most notably on breast cancer morphological dynamics. Ryan spent his senior and post-graduate summers working on soft and active matter systems at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. At Chicago, Ryan hopes to conduct meaningful research at the bio-soft matter physics intersection and expand his horizons on other academic subjects.


Jackson Brim-Edwards

Jackson graduated and is currently working in a laboratory at OHSU.

Jackson joined the Translational Metabolic Research Laboratory during his junior year at Oregon State University, while pursuing a degree in Kinesiology with a Pre-therapy Allied Health Option. Jackson contributed to numerous projects, including human participant research in a clinical setting as well as laboratory analysis. He currently works in the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, investigating the mechanistic causes of drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia and will be applying to graduate programs in medicine or physiology.

Victoria Boechler

Victoria graduated and is currently in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at OSU-Cascades.

Victoria majored in Kinesiology with a focus in pre-physical therapy. During her second year of undergrad she was awarded an undergraduate research award to work in the Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory. She completed her Honors Thesis research by investigating the role of acyl-CoA synthetases (enzyme regulators of fat metabolism) in human skeletal muscle, working closely with Harrison Stierwalt.


Rachel Meighan

Rachel graduated and is applying to nursing schools.

Rachel joined the Translational Metabolic Research Laboratory at the start of her senior year at Oregon State University. She pursued a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with focuses in Pre-Nursing and Medical Humanities. She is currently seeking admission to a Certified Nurse Midwife graduate program. Rachel was inspired to dive deeper into the field of human metabolism by an invigorating term of KIN 324: Exercise Physiology. She was excited to learn about the metabolic dysfunction that contributes to insulin resistance and the effects of nutrition and exercise interventions to improve health.