Stephen Sayers

Stephen Sayers


Associate Professor

Research at a glance

Research Topics

Research Summary

Dr. Sayers’ research focuses on muscle performance and function in older adults.

Educational background

  • Doctor of Philosophy: Exercise Science, Sept 2001
  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Amherst, MA
  • Master of Science: Exercise Science, September 1996
  • Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT
  • Bachelor of Arts: Philosophy, May 1988
  • Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Content expertise/teaching responsibility

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Human Physiology
  • Aging

Research interests

  • Age-related changes in muscle performance
  • Power training in older adults

Membership in professional organizations

  • Gerontological Society of America (September, 2007 – present)
  • American College of Sports Medicine Central States Chapter (October, 2005 – present) Past President of • Central States Chapter (2007-2010)
  • American College of Rheumatology (May, 2004 – present)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (May, 1994 – present)

Awards and honors

  • Excellence in Discovery Award (2015)
  • Active Living Partnership (Columbia, MO) – 2008 Active Living Award Recipient – for promoting and encouraging active living in Columbia (November, 2008)
  • School of Health Professions Research Award (2007)
  • Arthritis Foundation New Investigator Award (March, 2005)
  • American College of Rheumatology New Investigator Award (November, 2004)


Dr. Sayers received his PhD in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts in 2001. He continued his training on a 2-year National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) post-doctoral fellowship at Boston University before joining the faculty of the University of Missouri in 2003.

Dr. Sayers’ research focuses on muscle performance and function in older adults (and with rheumatic disease), with an emphasis on human models of rehabilitation exercise. Research accomplishments include the exploration of the mechanical environment of the arthritic knee and its contribution to physical function as well as the exploration of high-speed power training on muscle performance and function in older adults, and older adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Dr. Sayers has served as President of the Central States Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is a member of the National Chapter of the ACSM, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals through the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Sayers has been funded by the National Institute of Aging, Arthritis Foundation, American College of Rheumatology, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and HealthSouth Corporation.

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