Alumni Spotlight

Cam McCarthy

Cam McCarthy, PhD
Assistant Professor - University of South Carolina School of Medicine
MS - Exercise & Sport Science '11

Why did you choose the University of Memphis?

Knowing that I wanted to transition from a Physical Education (K-12) BS degree to an Exercise Science MS degree, I spoke with professors in the exercise science program from my undergrad institution to help me identify reputable programs. Memphis was one of three master's programs I applied to. I remember visiting the CRML [Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Laboratory] and interviewing with Dr. Rick Bloomer and just feeling very welcome, despite my non-exercise science background and lack of research experience. He helped make my transition seem manageable.

Why did you choose your major?

I really loved the exercise science courses I was required to take as a Physical Education (K-12) major.

What was your experience like in the College of Health Sciences?

My training at the University of Memphis, and in particular the Cardiorespiratory/Metabolic Laboratory (CRML), could not have set me up better for success in my subsequent research career. My understanding of the scientific method in the academic research setting helped me immensely once I started my PhD, and the number of publications I have from my time with the CRML continue to help me standout against other scientists of similar age and career status.

Was there any particular faculty or staff member from our college that made an impact on you and how/why?

Dr. Bloomer. His dedication to work and life was inspirational and the opportunities he gave me to conduct research were career defining.

What were your favorite classes and/or activities?

Unfortunately, I can’t remember the official titles nowadays, but Dr. Bloomer’s master's level metabolism and cardiovascular courses had essential information that I still use in my day-to-day research now.

How did our college prepare you for your career?

Dedication and productivity have been consistent themes in my research career since my days in the CRML.

What is a day in the life of your career like?

Right now I am in the process of transitioning from post-doctoral fellow to assistant professor. My time is very much split between working at the bench and performing experiments, writing papers and grants, and service activities such as committees and reviewing for journals.

What’s your favorite memory from the UofM and/or the College of Health Sciences?

The very early mornings conducting research in the CRML with good colleagues and life-long friends.

What advice would you give current or incoming students?

Seriously consider all professional opportunities during your training phase, no matter how hard or daunting they may seem.

Why would you recommend the College of Health Sciences?

Excellent research training environment that can set you up for future success.

If you could go back, what would you do differently?

From my time at UofM, I wouldn’t change anything. If I could go back to my undergrad I would may be take exercise science, biology, chemistry from that start. This probably would have led to a lot less catching up of undergrad basic science classes while at the UofM.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for the opportunity to highlight the College of Health Sciences. My training and experiences in the CRML with Dr. Bloomer really put me on the path for success during my PhD and beyond, and I cannot be more grateful. Additionally, if there are any budding scientists in the college that would like advice or to explore potential opportunities studying cardiovascular physiology and metabolism, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My future lab would love well-trained and enthusiastic scientists from the UofM.