Mark Sarzynski
Better understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying healthy aging trajectories will allow for a personalized medicine approach across the lifespan.

Science & Medicine Pioneer

Mark Sarzynski

Exercise Science, University of South Carolina

Mark Sarzynski,  Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA, is an Associate Professor of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina and Director of the HERITAGE Family Study.


Dr. Sarzynski’s research focuses on the effects of lifestyle—particularly exercise—on cardiometabolic health and disease and identifying the molecular transducers underlying individual differences in response to lifestyle interventions. The goal is to better predict which individuals are most likely to benefit from lifestyle therapies in the management of cardiometabolic disease and to identify the molecular factors contributing to the cardioprotective benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 

He has contributed to some of the most impactful papers in the exercise genomics and exercise omics fields, including the first-ever genome-wide association study (GWAS) on exercise response. Some of Dr. Sarzynski’s early work identified genomic predictors of the responsiveness of cardiorespiratory fitness to regular exercise, while his more recent work has focused on metabolomic and proteomic signatures of cardiometabolic responses to exercise. This work serves to not only better understand the biological mechanisms underlying the health benefits of exercise, but also identify molecular biomarkers and signatures of exercise response that can be used in future studies of personalized approaches to exercise and lifestyle interventions.

Dr. Sarzynski serves as the Director of the HERITAGE (HEalth, RIsk factors, exercise Training And GEnetics) Study, a study designed to investigate the genetics of exercise response, and one the largest exercise training studies, particularly that includes participants of African descent, contributing to over 235 publications to date. He is a fellow of both the American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine and was a recipient of the Scott Grundy Fellowship Award for Excellence in Metabolism Research.