Dr. Anna Thalacker-Mercer graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Biological Science. She did her graduate training at Purdue University where she received a Ph.D. through the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program in the Department of Nutrition Science (formerly Foods and Nutrition). During her graduate research training she developed a strong background in geriatric nutrition, nutritional genomics, protein metabolism, and the mechanisms of aging skeletal muscle. While analyzing and interpreting the influence of dietary intake on the skeletal muscle transcriptome, she recognized that exercise is necessary for successful health and appreciated the need for training in exercise physiology. Additionally, she developed a keen interest in molecular changes occurring in the skeletal muscle with age, particularly inflammatory and stress responses, which may influence age-related skeletal muscle atrophy (i.e. sarcopenia) and metabolic dysfunction leading to increased adiposity and metabolic disease in older adults.