Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC

UTHSC News: PhD Student Says Studies Let Him Be ‘Friends with Geniuses’


When asked why he likes being a doctoral student and working in a lab at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Christopher Pitzer says, “I just kind of casually get to be friends with geniuses.”

Pitzer is in his final year in the molecular and translational physiology track of the Biomedical Sciences Program in the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences, studying how muscle health underpins human health. He is also currently serving as president of the college’s student government, the Graduate Student Executive Council (GSEC).

Pitzer completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology at West Virginia University (WVU). While there, he not only developed a love for research and the lab environment, but he also got to know Stephen Alway, PhD, then-chair of WVU’s exercise physiology department. When Dr. Alway joined UTHSC as dean of the College of Health Professions and director of the Center for Muscle, Metabolism, and Neuropathology, Pitzer wanted to continue to learn from him while earning his doctorate.

“Dr. Alway had taken the position here at UTHSC about six months before I finished my master’s at WVU,” Pitzer says. “As I was graduating, I had this desire to continue doing research. Plus, I had known folks in Dr. Alway’s lab, he knew me pretty well, and he had some projects that aligned with my interests, so it worked out.”

Read more at our UTHSC News site.