Kinesiology Junior Receives LSU Spring 2021 Research Grant


Baton Rouge native Abigail Lafleur stays busy. She is a UREC Group Fitness Instructor, a member of the LSU Triathlon Club team, as well as in the Ogden Honors College. And this spring she’ll be busy with another undertaking through her Spring 2021 Research Grant: studying standardized exercise regimens in fruit flies to better understand how genetic variations impact exercise. Read about her exciting work, why she chose to study Kinesiology, and more below! 

photo of Abigail Lafleur

What year in school are you and when are you projected to graduate?
I'm a junior and plan on graduating May 2022.

What is your degree concentration?
Human Movement Science

You recently won a Spring 2021 Research Grant. Tell us about your research.
I am working to assess physiological adaptations to a standardized exercise regimen in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster by assessing mitochondrial oxidative capacity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in permeabilized flight muscles trained vs. untrained flies. Studying standardized exercise regimens in Drosophila provides the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the role in genetic variations on inter-individual responses to exercise, which could help identify novel molecular regulators of exercise-induced adaptations.

How did you choose to study Kinesiology?
Learning how the human body works and moves are some of the most interesting studies I've encountered, and I enjoy applying that knowledge to help people accomplish their goals. Understanding the anatomy and physiology behind human movement helps me improve my health, as well as others. I chose kinesiology because staying healthy and feeling good are two of my top priorities.

What are you looking to pursue after you graduate?
I would like to earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

What advice would you have for your fellow students?
Take your time, do the work right, and always read all the instructions. It's much better to be overprepared than underprepared, so ask as many questions as you can.