Texas Tech University

Danielle E. Levitt, PhD, CSCS,*D

Danielle LevittResearcher: Danielle E. Levitt, PhD, CSCS,*D

Title: Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology

Laboratory: Metabolic Health & Muscle Physiology Laboratory (KSM 109E)


Personal Statement

Dr. Levitt earned her PhD in Biology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship with appointments in the Department of Physiology and the Comprehensive Alcohol-HIV/AIDS Research Center at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans. Her long-term research goal is to understand the mechanisms by which lifestyle factors, particularly alcohol and substance use, contribute to metabolic dysfunction and to identify therapeutic strategies to improve metabolic outcomes in affected individuals. Her work has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH/NIAAA), National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation (NSCAF), and the American College of Sports Medicine-Texas Chapter (TACSM).

Research Overview

Approximately one-third of US adults report at-risk alcohol use, increasing risk for adverse health outcomes including metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Skeletal muscle is a primary insulin-responsive glucose utilization site and a major regulator of whole-body metabolism; thus, decreased muscle mass and function and impaired regenerative capacity have strong potential to contribute to alcohol-mediated metabolic pathophysiology. Therefore, the Metabolic Health & Muscle Physiology Laboratory uses cellular and molecular techniques alongside clinical studies to achieve several inter-related aims: 1) elucidate mechanisms by which alcohol impairs skeletal muscle bioenergetic function and resulting impacts on muscle regenerative capacity and whole-body metabolic health; 2) determine alcohol-mediated changes in inter-organ crosstalk, particularly between the skeletal muscle and endocrine pancreas; and 3) evaluate exercise and nutraceutical interventions to improve metabolic health, particularly among those with at-risk alcohol use.

Google Scholar


Laboratory skills & capabilities 

*List includes techniques that rely on shared equipment

  •  Cellular and molecular skills & capabilities
    • Cell culture
    • Cellular electrical stimulation
    • Protein analysis (western blotting, ELISA)
    • Gene expression analysis (mRNA and miRNA using PCR)
    • Extracellular flux analysis
    • Extracellular vesicle isolation and analysis
    • Immunohistochemistry
    • Flow cytometry
  • Clinical capabilities
    • Exercise testing and intervention
    • Phlebotomy
    • Muscle biopsy

Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management

  • Address

    Box 43011, Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX 79409
  • Phone