Rebecca Fleeman

Mentor: Dr. Evangelos Christou
Health and Human Performance
 
"I got involved in research because I am very passionate about helping people to change their diet and lifestyle in order to prevent and reverse chronic diseases. I am especially interested in using a plant based diet instead of pharmaceuticals to reverse cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. I hope to get my PhD in nutrition and run clinical studies, so I got involved with research early on at UF. I really enjoy being at the forefront of new information and getting to speak with participants."

Major

Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Minor

Nutrition, Business Administration

Research Interests

  • Prevention/Reversal of Chronic Diseases
  • Plant Based Diet
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Academic Awards

  • Doctor’s Goodwill Foundation Junior Ambassador Award 2015
  • Resident Assistant of Distinction for Collaboration 2016
  • Matthew Scruggs “One Murph” Award 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • College of Health & Human Performance Ambassadors
  • Vegan Eating for Gators
  • Department of Housing Resident Assistants

Volunteer

  • UF Equal Access Clinic Free Therapy Nights
  • Florida Alternative Breaks
  • Baby Gator

Hobbies and Interests

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Leading Group Fitness Classes
  • Hammocking

Research Description

Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (DM1) is a genetic disorder that impairs movement patterns of its affected population. The disease has a multisystem affect, impairing more than just the muscles. The genetic mutation causes dysfunction of chloride channels leading to muscle myotonia, which is a delay in relaxation of muscles after producing a forceful contraction. However, new evidence has shown that the central nervous system also plays a key role in myotonia. Our goal is to understand the alterations of motor commands to the muscles in DM1 populations, and how these together with the channelopathy contribute to myotonia. To accomplish this, we will utilize surface EMG during ankle dorsiflexion to characterize the muscle activation of the tibialis anterior and soleus muscles to study individual motor unit activities.