Huffines Institute Staff

Institute Director: Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot
PhD FACSM RCEP CES, Omar Smith Endowed Chair in Kinesiology, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot is currently the Omar Smith Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and the Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Louisiana Monroe and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He completed a research consultantship with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Kennedy Space Center in the Biomedical Laboratory and then a three-year National Institute of Health postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. Read More

Institute Associate Director: Dr. Steve Martin
PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. Steven Edward Martin is a Clinical Associate Professor of clinical and applied exercise physiology in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, and the Associate Director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine at Texas A&M University. Dr. Steven E. Martin received his B.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His work experience includes cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation as well as non-invasive cardiovascular stress testing. He completed his Masters and Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M University. He currently teaches courses in cardiovascular stress testing, electrocardiography, and clinical exercise evaluation and prescription. His primary research focus is exercise and lipid metabolism relating to cardiovascular disease risk reduction. His research interests also include cardiovascular disease risk in firefighters and law enforcement personnel. Dr. Martin resides in College Station, and is the proud parent of two boys and one daughter.

Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy: Dr. John Thornton
PhD, Executive Professor, Health and Kinesiology Department

As the inaugural Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, Dr. Thornton brings a wealth of experience as an athlete, coach, and athletic administrator to the position. After playing high school and junior college basketball in San Antonio, Thornton came to Aggieland to play for Coach Shelby Metcalf. Thornton was the 1973-1974 Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year after being the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the Aggie squad. In 1974-75, Thornton was the team captain and helped lead the Aggies to the 1975 SWC Championship title. Read More

Lead Administrative Assistant: Mr. Troy Briscoe
Troy is a senior Applied Exercise Physiology major from Coppell, TX. His work as a personal trainer has inspired him to get involved with the Huffines Institute, where he has been since the fall of 2018. Troy is now the Lead Administrative Assistant for the Institute.

Executive Producer: Ms. Lauryn Hawkins
Lauryn is a junior Kinesiology major from San Antonio, TX. Lauryn has been with the Institute since fall of 2019 and is now the executive producer of our podcasts.

Institute Volunteer: Ms. Sidney McMahon
Sidney is a senior Kinesiology major from Georgetown, Texas. She just started as a volunteer in the fall of 2020, and works on the Huffines Human Performance Minutes for TexAgs Radio.

Institute Volunteer: Ms. Macilynn Coles
Maci is a junior Kinesiology major specializing in motor behavior from Corsicana, Texas. She just started as a volunteer in the fall of 2020, and works on the Huffines Human Performance Minutes for TexAgs Radio.

Communications Specialist: Mr. Dell Billings
Mr. Billings, '95 (Agricultural Journalism), is the Communication Specialist for the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M, but his services are displayed throughout the Huffines Institute's website. Mr. Billings has a long history in local media, having worked at KBTX for 10 years and KWTX for two years before joining Texas A&M's HLKN Department.

  Ms. Brianne Breidenbach, MS 

Bri is a second-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology with interest in neuroenergetics and physical activity regulation. She completed his Bachelor's in Exercise Science from Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and her masters in Kinesiology and Sport Studies with a clinical emphasis from Eastern Illinois University. After teaching biomechanics for two years at Eastern Illinois, Bri now teaches for PEAP and hopes to combine her passions for research to pursue a post-doctoral experience upon completion of her PhD.

  Mr. Nathan Keller, BS 

Nathan is a third year doctoral student working in partnership with the Bioastronautics and Human Performance research group at the Department of Aerospace Engineering. After finishing his Bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University, Nathan went straight into the workforce. For years he ran gyms, started businesses, and eventually found his passion for teaching.  As a high school science teacher, Mr. Keller taught Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physics for five years and considers his time in that role to be his highest honor thus far. Parlaying his life’s experience and education into his love for all things space, his doctoral work focuses on the role of artificial gravity as a countermeasure to muscle atrophy during human spaceflight.

  Mr. Troy La

Troy is a junior Kinesiology major/Biology and Public Health minor from Sugar Land, Texas. His interest in exercise and the science behind it motivated him to pursue kinesiology research. He joined the Lightfoot Lab in Fall 2019.

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