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Dr. Robert S. Bowen

Dean, Associate Professor of Physiology


Dean of STEM | Faculty

Office Phone

706-865-2134, ext. 6400



Miller Hall 203B
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship. (2011) Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Emphasis: Molecular Endocrinology
  • Ph.D., Biology (2010) University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Dissertation: “The Role of the Sex Steroids in Regulation of Physical Activity Levels in Mice.” Emphasis: Exercise Physiology
  • M.S., Exercise Science (2006) Northern Michigan University
  • Thesis: “Analysis of Dorsiflexion and Oxygen Uptake during Cross-Country Skiing Using the V1 Skate Technique”. Emphasis: Physiology
  • M.G.I.S., Geographic Information Science (2004) University of Minnesota
  • Capstone: “Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Evaluate Temporal Changes in Minnesota’s Wetlands”. Emphasis: Wetland Ecology
  • B.S., Physical Geography (2002) Northern Michigan University
  • BI 103 Human Biology
  • BI 107 Principles of Biology I
  • BI 212 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BI 213 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BI 300 Cellular Biology
  • BI 318 Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BI 420 Endocrinology
  • BI 460 Research Methods in Biology
  • BI 497 Capstone Research
  • BI 498 Capstone Presentation
  • BI 500 Biostatistics
  • BI 510 Advanced Human Physiology
  • ES 101 Physical Wellbeing I
  • ES 102 Physical Wellbeing II
  • ES 110 Introduction to Exercise Science

My research interests are centered around the sex steroids (estrogen and testosterone) and how these hormones influence wheel running behaviors in mice. The goals of my research are to provide a base to understand why humans are not more physically active. Physical inactivity is the second leading actual cause of death in the United States—only smoking currently causes more deaths each year. Physical inactivity is related to a new area of medical diagnoses known as hypokinetic diseases that include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. There will never be a magic exercise pill, but there appear to be mechanisms that have severely dysfunctioned. Elucidating the mechanisms that drive activity patters and identifying how they have malfunctioned might be the key to greatly reducing the prevalence of hypokinetic diseases through altering physical activity patterns. The role of the sex steroids appears to be paramount to the functions of these mechanisms and provides a clear directive for my research which ultimately focuses on the molecular and cellular changes that occur following alterations to sex steroid biology.

  • Faculty Excellence Award, Truett-McConnell College, 2016
  • Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award, Truett-McConnell College, 2014
  • Member, American Physiological Society
  • Member, Southeast Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
  • Associate Member, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society
  • Bowen, RS.  Estrogens are for more than just reproductive endocrinology. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews.  47(1):2, 2019.
  • Stott, NL, MR Abreu, BE Cates, BM Dillard, BR Foster, MJ Haskett, JC Lee, HG Simoes, TP Spivey, RS Bowen. Prolonged effects of estrogen on physical activity levels following orchidectomy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 50(8):1588-1595, 2018.
  • Cates, BE, BM Dillard, BR Foster, SV Patterson, TP Spivey, EB Combs, RS Bowen. Effects of varying doses of estrogen and caudal pressure on wheel running in orchidectomized male mice. Physiological Reports. 6(11):e13730, 2018.
  • Bowen, RS, BE Cates, EB Combs, BM Dillard, JT Epting, BR Foster, SV Patterson, TP Spivey. Stabilization of the wheel running phenotype in mice. Physiology and Behavior. 155:149-156, 2016.
  • Bowen, RS, AM Knab, AT Hamilton, JR McCall, TL Moore-Harrison, JT Lightfoot. Effects of supraphysiological doses of sex steroids on wheel running activity in mice. Journal of Steroids and Hormonal Science. 3(2):110, 2012.
  • Knab AM, RS Bowen, AT Hamilton, JT Lightfoot. Pharmacological manipulation of the dopaminergic system affects wheel-running activity in differentially active mice. Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents. 26(1):119-129, 2012.
  • Bowen, RS, DP Ferguson, JT Lightfoot. Effects of aromatase inhibition on the physical activity levels of male mice. Journal of Steroids and Hormonal Science. S1:001, 2011.
  • Ferguson, DP, RS Bowen, JT Lightfoot. Heart rate and core temperature responses of elite pit crews during automobile races. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 25(8):2075-2083, 2011.
  • Bowen, RS, MJ Turner, JT Lightfoot. Sex hormone effects on physical activity levels: why doesn’t Jane run as much as Dick? Sports Medicine. 41(1):73-86, 2011.
  • Lightfoot, JT, LJ Leamy, D Pomp, MJ Turner, AA Fodor, A Knab, RS Bowen, D Ferguson, T Moore-Harrison, A Hamilton. Strain screen and haplotype association mapping of wheel running in inbred mouse strains. Journal of Applied Physiology. 109(3):623-634, 2010.
  • Knab, AM, RS Bowen, T Moore-Harrison, AT Hamilton, MJ Turner, JT Lightfoot. Repeatability of exercise behaviors in mice. Physiology and Behavior. 98(4):433-440, 2009.
  • Knab, AM, RS Bowen, AT Hamilton, AA Gulledge, JT Lightfoot. Altered dopaminergic profiles: implications for the regulation of voluntary physical activity. Behavioural Brain Research. 204(1): 147-152, 2009.
  • Tsivitse, SK, MG Peters, AL Stoy, JA Mundy, RS Bowen. The effect of downhill running on Notch signaling in regenerating skeletal muscle. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 106(5): 759-767, 2009.
  • Bowen, RS, RL Jensen, JM Ryan, PB Watts. Modeling oxygen uptake during V1 treadmill roller skiing. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2(1): 48-59, 2009.
Image of staff member of Robert Bowen


During my undergraduate education at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. This experience completely altered my life. I had been a cross-country skier with intentions of becoming an Olympic athlete, but through a variety of circumstances God rectified my life to His son and pulled me from the mire of elite athletics. I went from a ski-bum never expecting to graduate to a steadfast learner. It was during a post-doctoral fellowship after completing my PhD that God again tugged on my heart and re-focused my vision to the training of Christian biologists. An unexpected offer to join the science and mathematics faculty at Truett McConnell University was the answer to God’s tug on my heart. As an Associate Professor of Physiology, I strive to impart my knowledge of physiology, cellular biology, and endocrinology on our students while allowing God to focus and sharpen each student ’s life for ministry. I am in the business of training Christians to become biologists that will someday soon storm the secular world of science with the hope of Christ.