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Office of the Vice President for Research


USC Professor Russell Pate Honored with 2014 Governor’s Awards for Science

USC exercise science professor Russell Pate was recently honored with two 2014 Governor's Awards for Science. Dr. Pate will accept the 2014 Excellence in Scientific Research and Excellence in Scientific Awareness awards.

Dr. Pate, an exercise physiologist whose research focuses on promoting physical activity and physical fitness in children, and understanding the health implications of physical activity, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the University of South Carolina. Since joining the faculty in 1974, Dr. Pate has held numerous faculty and administrative positions, and made major contributions to the university's academic and research communities. He was the founding chair of the Department of Exercise Science, a unit that has been ranked first among academic departments of its kind in the United States. In his administrative roles, he successfully worked to coordinate the activities of USC's five health science colleges with particular focus on enhanced research productivity.

Dr. Pate's outstanding scientific contributions to the field of exercise science exemplify the very highest level of scientific activity in South Carolina and the nation, and reflect the goals of this award. —Prakash Nagarkatti

But, Dr. Pate's contributions to scientific excellence in his field are not limited to the university campus, or even the state of South Carolina. In addition to his investments in his professional home institution and state, Dr. Pate has served as a national leader in the field of physical activity and public health, leading the development of the National Physical Activity Plan and serving today as president of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. Rounding out his national-level credentials, Dr. Pate has also served on the U.S. Dietary and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committees, chaired the Institute of Medicine and held the office of president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity.

Today, Dr. Pate is focused on his prestigious Children's Physical Activity Research Group (CPARG), where he leads an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in examining how low levels of physical activity contribute to obesity and developing programs to increase children's physical activity. Dr. Pate and his research team have been extremely successful in earning external grant funding to support their hard work Cumulatively he and his team have generated over $25 million in research grant funding, much of that coming from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past 15 years, CPARG has grown into a national leader in children's physical activity research, thanks in no small part to Dr. Pate's vision and leadership.

University of South Carolina Vice President for Research, Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, has high praise for Dr. Russell Pate, who this year was the first USC Governor's Award for Science nominee to be chosen through an internal selection process. In the official nomination package, Dr. Nagarkatti wrote, "Dr. Pate's outstanding scientific contributions to the field of exercise science exemplify the very highest level of scientific activity in South Carolina and the nation, and reflect the goals of this award."