Principal Investigators

  • Dr. David Nieman. photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette

    Dr. David C. Nieman, DrPH, FACSM

    David Nieman is a professor in the Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, at Appalachian State University, and director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC. Dr. Nieman is a pioneer in the research area of exercise and nutrition immunology, and helped establish that 1) regular moderate exercise lowers upper respiratory tract infection rates while improving immunosurveillance, 2) heavy exertion increases infection rates while...

  • Dr. Crystal West, Ph.D.

    Dr. West is a broadly trained physiologist with more than ten years of experience in cardio/renal research specializing in the hormonal regulation of sodium balance and blood pressure homeostasis in health and disease.  Dr. West’s research focuses on the role of renal sodium transporters/channels along the aldosterone sensitive distal nephron in the pregnancy mediated sodium retention, plasma volume expansion, and blood pressure regulation. This research has provided the field of...


  • Matt Arnold. photo submitted.

    Mr. Matt Arnold

    Matt Arnold is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Medicine at Catawba College. He is currently a NCAA Division II Swimmer and Bluegrass Mountain Conference finalist. He has lead a research project regarding the identification of physiological factors during the Manchester United fitness test that was funded by the Catawba College Impact grant and North Carolina Independent College & University grant. Arnold was selected as an intern at...

  • Mr. Steven Beck

    Steven Beck is a recent graduate from Appalachian State University with a degree in Molecular Biology. Steven's research interests include protein analysis, genomics, and preventative medicine. His aspirations include pursuing a M.D. in Orthopedic Medicine or a M.S. in PA studies. After school, he attends to work for the Health Care System to help educate and treat patients in an Orthopedic focused environment.

  • Andrew Simonson headshot. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette.

    Mr. Andy Simonson, MS, EP-C, EIM-II

    Andy Simonson completed his Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical activity concentrating in Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Health, Physical Activity concentrating in Chronic Disease and Obesity at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he worked for the University of Pittsburgh as a research associate. Since 2013, his research work focused on scientifically developing an injury prevention and performance optimization program that is culturally specific and dynamically...

  • Josh Williams. photo submitted.

    Mr. Joshua Williams

    Joshua Williams is currently attaining his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Joshua started his internship with the App State Human Performance Lab at Kannapolis, N.C. in January 2020. His aspirations include pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy or a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology. With a master's degree in Exercise Physiology, Williams  would pursue further research interests in the field of Exercise...

Previous Interns

  • Will Mackey headshot. Photo submitted.

    Mr. Will Mackey

    Will Mackey is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He intends to graduate in spring 2020. His professional experience is starting as an intern at the App State Human Performance Lab, Kannapolis, N.C. in January, 2020. Mackey has developed an interest in the field of Exercise and Human Performance research. Future aspirations include a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and nutritional support.

  • Ms. Danielle Sterner

    Danielle Sterner, CSCS is pursuing her Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Neuromechanics at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a West Chester University of Pennsylvania Alumni and received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology with minors in Nutrition and Coaching in December of 2019. During her Bachelors, she captained the Track and Field team while competing as a heptathlete. Previously, She was a recipient of the 2020 National Strength and Conditioning...