January 15, 2015


 Missouri professor gives $1 million toward physical activity research

​Posted Dec. 30, 2014

Frank Booth, PhD, a professor in the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine, and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, granted $1 million to the university Nov. 20, 2014. The money will go toward funding his research into physical activity and health. Dr. Booth’s gift will also provide fellowship awards for second- and third-year graduate students engaged in research on physical health and exercise at the MU Health Activity Center.

Frank Booth, PhD (Courtesy of University of Missouri)

“In his 15 years at MU, Frank Booth has worked tirelessly to research exercise in animals and people and the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on health and longevity,” said Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the veterinary college.

Dr. Booth has more than 40 years of research experience in physiological, biochemical, molecular, and genetic adaptations that occur during exercise. Some of his most recent research has focused on genetic predispositions to exercise. He has succeeded in breeding rats that have traits of either extreme activity or extreme laziness. Dr. Booth believes these findings may suggest a link between the genes responsible for exercise motivation and the genes responsible for mental development. He also says this research hints that exercising at a young age could help develop more neural pathways for motivation to be physically active.

He says his gift is motivated by a passion to help humans and animals live longer lives free of chronic diseases.

“Throughout my years of research, I have discovered the true importance of exercise and physical activity on health,” Dr. Booth said. “Unfortunately, many people fail to realize how much they could improve their health by remaining physically active.

“My goal with this gift is to support continuing research on the effects of exercise and to help communicate the importance of exercise to overall health, including the prevention of chronic diseases.”