Andrew Koutnik, PhD is a Research Scientist studying the influence of lifestyle and metabolism on health, disease, and performance. He originally began his research path at Florida State University (FSU) in Exercise Science. During his time at FSU, Andrew was trained in the Human Sciences Cardiovascular Laboratory studying the influence of nutrition, exercise, supplementation, and environmental extremes on health-based outcomes in normal and clinical populations across cardiovascular, autonomic, and skeletal muscle tissue systems. Andrew then transitioned to help assist and lead synergistic research efforts at FSU’s Human Sciences Cognitive Cardiology Laboratory and FSU’s College of Medicine Cardiac Biomedical Laboratory exploring the bi-directional impact of cognitive, mental, and prior brain injury status on tissue systems, risk factor modulation, and stress tolerance across pre-clinical and human subjects, including patients with prior cerebrovascular injury. While at FSU, Andrew received the Bess Ward Honor Thesis, Honors Medallion, and ACC Meeting of the Mind awards, and served as a Research Ambassador and Student Mentor for the Honors College and FSU’s Student Council for Research and Creativity.
Andrew was awarded the Presidential Fellowship to attend The University of South Florida where he received his doctorate in Biomedical Sciences with the Metabolic Medicine Lab in the Morsani College of Medicine (USF COM). At USF COM, Andrew’s research focused on studying metabolism and metabolic therapies for health, disease, and performance outcomes. Specifically, Andrew explored how nutritionally induced (endogenous) and exogenous ketone body production (ketogenesis), utilization (ketolysis), and signaling modulated systemic metabolism and disease models of skeletal muscle atrophy, cancer, seizures, neurological disorders, among others. A central focus of this work surrounded the elucidation of systemic biomarkers and tissue-specific pathological signaling of nutritional ketosis using synthetic ketone bodies in the context of multifactorial acute and chronic oxidative and inflammatory insults. Andrew also extended efforts to test the biologic and performance impact of novel exogenous ketone formulations in high-level athletes. These efforts have expanded into highly trained operators as Andrew has organized multiple research projects on NASA NEEMO 22 & 23 studying the maladaptation response to extreme environments (hyperbaric) to uncover mitigative strategies to augment operator health and performance. While at USF COM, Andrew was the three-time recipient of USF’s Research Award.
Beyond his primary efforts, Andrew Koutnik was invited to give a TEDx talk on his personal journey using lifestyle and metabolic factors to manage Type-1 Diabetes for over 14 years. Andrew’s journey with Type-1 Diabetes has given, and continues to give, an incredible in-depth perspective into the world of our metabolism, how it works, how day-to-day life (sometimes moment-by-moment choice) influences it, and how these changes on metabolism can have far-reaching effects over other aspects of our physiology. Andrew’s unique experience as a metabolic researcher and Type-1 Diabetic created a strong appreciation for the role lifestyle and metabolism can play into health modulation, disease prevention, and disease management. Andrew currently is involved in advocacy, education, and research to improve health outcomes across populations. Most importantly, Andrew is married to his best friend of 11 years and is a proud father to his 16-month-old son.