Director of the NextGen Precision Health building
Professor of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology and Medicine
Associate Dean for Basic Sciences and Research Infrastructure, School of Medicine
Interim Director, Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center
Research Health Scientist, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
NextGen Focus Area: Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders
Scott Rector is committed to growing and leading federally funded research through the NextGen Precision Health initiative, the MU School of Medicine and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital.
He was appointed associate director of the NextGen building in 2021. His active, federally funded research program focuses on prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Dr. Rector’s lab takes a translational approach to examine these conditions, employing strategies in cell culture systems, small and large animal models and intervention studies in humans. He is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in exercise and hepatic metabolism and has authored or co-authored more than 135 peer-reviewed articles in his research fields.
Dr. Rector received his doctorate in exercise physiology from MU in 2007. He has co-appointments in the departments of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Medicine-Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the School of Medicine and also is a research health scientist at the Truman VA Hospital.
A native of Arkansas, Dr. Rector earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise science from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Precision Health Impact:
- Preventing and treating chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
- Investigating the development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Moore MP, Cunningham RP, Meers GM, Johnson SA, Wheeler AA, Ganga RR, et al. Compromised hepatic mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and reduced markers of mitochondrial turnover in human NAFLD. Hepatology. 2022 Nov;76(5):1452–65.
- Cunningham RP, Moore MP, Dashek RJ, Meers GM, Takahashi T, Sheldon RD, et al. Critical Role for Hepatocyte-Specific eNOS in NAFLD and NASH. Diabetes. 2021 Nov;70(11):2476–91.
- Thyfault JP, Rector RS. Exercise Combats Hepatic Steatosis: Potential Mechanisms and Clinical Implications. Diabetes. 2020 Apr;69(4):517–24.
- Cunningham RP, Moore MP, Dashek RJ, Meers GM, Jepkemoi V, Takahashi T, et al. Hepatocyte-specific eNOS deletion impairs exercise-induced adaptations in hepatic mitochondrial function and autophagy. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2022 May;30(5):1066–78.
- Yang M, Qi X, Li N, Kaifi JT, Chen S, Wheeler AA, et al. Western diet contributes to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in male mice via remodeling gut microbiota and increasing production of 2-oleoylglycerol. Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 16;14(1):228.