Our Team of Experts


Heather D. Huntsman, PhD, CSCS

From a 3-time NCCAA Woman’s Basketball National Champion, a 3-time marathon and 1-time ironman finisher, to a biomedical scientist with 13 publications in health science, Heather is an expert on the human body and its potential. She has trained at the highest level athletically and academically, and is passionate about taking her experience and knowledge and using it to improve the health of others. Having spent the last 4 years at the National Institutes of Health where she worked to improve bone marrow transplant based therapies, iHealthPotential is an opportunity to come back to her exercise physiology roots and equip people to live healthier, more full lives by preventing many of the chronic conditions that plague our society today. With a unique background including athlete, personal trainer, coach, professor, and for the last 11 years as a scientist and mentor to several entering the medical field, Heather is uniquely equipped to change the way health information is communicated, and is passionate about providing people with the tools to make the best health decisions for themselves. For these reasons, Heather created iHealthPotenital.

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Marc Cook, PhD, CEP

Marc D. Cook M.S., PhD is an Assistant Professor at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC. Dr. Cook is a Molecular Exercise Immunologist who's primary focus is determining the role of the Gut Microbiome (Dysbiosis) on chronic disease's including metabolic (Diabetes) and cardiovascular (hypertension) disease while utilizing exercise to quantify functional shifts in the microbiome associated with improved health. He has over 15 years of experience in working with human and animal models of exercise and its impact on immune function and chronic diseases as a clinical research exercise physiologist and a molecular bench-top researcher. In addition to being a professor and researcher, Marc is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP).

Exercise Immunology Laboratory

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Rebecca M. Kappus, PhD, CEP

Rebecca M. Kappus is an assistant professor of exercise science at Appalachian State University and manages the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory. Dr. Kappus’s research is focused on the development and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, especially in high risk populations. She is currently focused on studying the sex differences in the onset and progression of cardiovascular disease by studying endothelial function, vascular stiffness, and cardiac function in pre- and post-menopausal females. Dr. Kappus is a member of the American Physiological Society, the American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, and the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences. In addition to being a professor and researcher, Rebecca is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP).

 Cardiovascular Research Laboratory


Sushant Ranadive, PhD, CEP

Sushant Ranadive completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following this he worked at the Mayo Clinic as a postdoctoral fellow. His research primarily focuses on studying different aspects of integrative human physiology. His research missions encompass hypertension in postmenopausal women and racial differences in cardiovascular function. Dr. Ranadive’s educational background in Exercise Physiology and Occupational Therapy makes him uniquely well suited to study these variables in humans. He has worked extensively on research projects involving vascular function in relation to aging, inflammation and environmental stressors. He has worked on the NIH funded SCOR projects at Mayo Clinic and developed research projects focused on vascular function in postmenopausal women. In this context, he is currently studying the mechanisms related to the higher prevalence of hypertension in postmenopausal women as compared with age-matched men. He plans specifically to study neurovascular control mechanisms in both pre- and postmenopausal women that are either unstudied or understudied. In addition to being a professor and researcher, Sushant is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP).


Juan Pablo Ruiz, PhD [candidate]

Juan Pablo Ruiz is currently a PhD student in Biomedical Sciences, working on how the cells and environment surrounding developing blood stem cells affect their function later in life. Likewise, he is fascinated by how a person's environment (at home, work, or elsewhere), affects their mental health and therefore ability to reach their highest potential. He has applied this passion towards bringing positive cultural change to academic lab environments: he is the founder of Labmosphere.com, sits on the board of directors of Future of Research, and is on a policy working group created by the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) at the National Institutes of Health. Juan hopes to continue exploring this passion after his PhD by pursuing research into the recently reported mental health crisis in STEM graduate student and postdoc populations, and how this affects their overall output, health, and performance in the workplace.

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Allison Sylvetsky, PhD

Allison Sylvetsky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and is Director of the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science undergraduate degree program at George Washington University. She is also affiliated faculty at the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness and a Special Volunteer at the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to joining the GW faculty in 2014, Dr. Sylvetsky was a post-doctoral fellow in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch of NIDDK in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), before which she completed her doctorate in Nutrition and Health Science from Emory University. Dr. Sylvetsky's research focuses broadly on obesity and diabetes. Her primary research interests are in studying the consumption and health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and low-calorie (artificial) sweeteners. She also studies the role of early life dietary exposures on future weight and health, as well as the role of dietary patterns in the prevention and management of obesity and diabetes in youth.