FSU nutrition researcher receives early career award

bradley gordon

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A Florida State University researcher has received a prestigious early career award from the American Society for Nutrition.

Bradley Gordon, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Science, has received the 2019 Vernon R. Young International Award for Amino Acid Research.

The award is given to an early career researcher — within 10 years of postgraduate training — for outstanding research related to amino acids. Gordon will receive his award at the ASN meeting in Baltimore in June.

“Our annual awards honor the individuals who are making significant advancements in nutrition research, education and practice,” said Catherine Field, president of the ASN. “Through their leadership, they are trailblazing the future of nutrition. On behalf of the entire ASN community, I extend heartfelt congratulations and look forward to their continued success.”

Gordon’s research centers on understanding the pathways that contribute to the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass and function.

“We want to use that knowledge to make unhealthy muscles better,” he said. “In particular, we are trying to preserve muscle mass and function in those individuals who are experiencing some sort of issue.”

Gordon’s award stems from research he performed while a postdoctoral scholar at the Penn State University College of Medicine. He examined how the amino acid Leucine altered the signals that regulate protein synthesis.

Leucine is an amino acid that has been known for many years to initiate the protein synthetic process in skeletal muscle. Gordon found that Leucine altered the phosphorylation status of a protein known as Sestrin2. Phosphorylation is a chemical process that is necessary to carry out several biological functions. This change in phosphorylation altered the downstream signaling events that mediate initiation of protein synthesis.