David W. McMillan, Ph.D.

Physiology, Climate Health, Science Communication, & Participatory Research

Biography

I am a "full-stack" academician at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine where I serve as Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, and the Director of Education and Outreach at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. I conduct research by, with, and for people who have paralysis due to spinal cord injury (SCI). I consider myself a domain-general researcher specializing in a topic not an approach.

Along with my specific work on the neurological control of metabolism, at a systems level I am committed to cultivating reciprocity throughout SCI research. I practice this participatory research in some of my studies, and help others to do so in theirs. To do so I co-founded and co-chair a "SCI Council" where council members with SCI provide researchers with advise on their studies at any point in the research cycle.

Outside of academia I am a daily bicycle commuter, a keen purveyor of many forms of adaptive outdoor recreation, a scuba diver and adaptive dive buddy, and a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Therapeutic Scuba Institute, Inc.

Affiliation

Education

M.A. in Journalism, ongoing (proj. 2023)
University of Miami

1° Mentor(s): Mr. Samuel A. Terilli, Esq.
2° Mentor(s):
Mr. Trevor Green

Main Project: My project has yet to be determined, but tentatively will pertain to the development of a "science communication" curriculum for a course, and eventually (🤞) a degree track, to be taught through UM's School of Communication.

Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology, 2020
University of Miami

1° Mentor(s): Dr. Kevin A. Jacobs & Dr. Mark S. Nash
2° Mentor(s): Dr. James L.J. Bilzon

Main Project: My three-part doctoral dissertation began with inquiries into the effect of exercise on postabsorptive and then postprandial macronutrient handling/utilization, and concluded with a study examining the effect of neurological damage on the absorption and transport of dietary lipids.

M.S. in Exercise Science, 2015
California State University, Los Angeles

1° Mentor(s): Dr. Christine J. Dy
2° Mentor(s): Dr.
Ray De Leon

Main Project: My master's thesis was on the topic of "interappendicular neurological coupling", determining the role of arm-swinging during locomotor rehabilitation on patterns of muscle activity from paralyzed legs during assisted walking.

B.S. in Exercise Science, 2013
California State University, San Marcos

1° Mentor(s): Dr. Todd A. Astorino
2° Mentor(s): Dr. Jeff A. Nessler

Main Project: My bachelor's thesis pertained to the effect of rest interval on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption after resistance exercise, and then I instigated a study determining the effect of self-pacing on peak physiological response to cycling exercise.

Scientific Interests & Project

Metabolism

Neurological control of the transport, utilization, and storage of macronutrients

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Experiments

  • Effect of SCI on dietary fat metabolism with and without pre-meal exercise (Registered Clinical Trial NCT03691532) (Conference: 1, 2; Article: 1)

  • Impact of exercise mode and intensity on dietary metabolism in persons with paraplegia (Registered Clinical Trial NCT03545867) (Conference: 1, 2 ; Article: 1, 2, 3)

  • Metabolism during recovery from circuit resistance exercise in persons with SCI (Conference: 1, 2, 3; Article: 1)

  • Metabolic economy of functional electrical stimulation (FES) cycling in persons with SCI (Conference: 1, 2)

  • Cardiopulmonary physiology during self-paced maximal exercise in college men (Conference: 1; Article: 1)

  • Metabolic adaptations to periodized high intensity interval training (HIIT) in sedentary women (Article: 1, 2, 3)

Thoughts

  • Pending

Diagnosis and management of cardiometabolic disease in people with spinal cord injury

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Experiments

  • Spinal Cord Injury Exercise and Nutrition Conceptual Engagement (SCIENCE) (Registered Clinical Trial NCT03495986)

Thoughts

Physiology

Understanding and augmenting sensorimotor function in people with spinal cord injury

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Experiments

  • The Up-LIFT Study of Non-Invasive ARC Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury (Registered Clinical Trial NCT04697472)

  • Interappendicular neuromuscular coupling during body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) in persons with SCI (Conference: 1; Article: 1)

  • Synchronization of gait during side-by-side treadmill walking in college men and women (Article: 1)

Thoughts

  • Pending

Understanding and diagnosing autonomic function after spinal cord injury

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Experiments

  • Using galvonic skin conductance to determine the sympathetic level of injury in persons with SCI (Conference: 1)

  • Ishial skin blood flow during and after a bout of functional electrical stimulation (FES) cycling in persons with SCI (Conference: 1)

Thoughts

  • Pending

Skeletal pathology within and beyond spinal cord injury

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Experiments

  • Bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) for bone health in persons with SCI (Conference: 1)

  • Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) bone working group (Conference: 1; Article: 1)

Thoughts

Climate Health

Resource-knowledge and preparedness-practices of people with spinal cord injury during subtropical coastal climate emergencies

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Experiments

  • Pending

Thoughts

  • Pending

Grants

Ongoing Extramural Funding

Postprandial fat metabolism following an acute exercise bout in persons with spinal cord injuries
Funder: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation (CNF) Spinal Cord Injury on the Translational Spectrum (SCIRTS)
Role: Sub-Investigator

Ongoing Intramural Funding

Using community-engaged research to launch climate change resilience from an inclusive design beachhead starting with Southeastern Floridians living with spinal cord injury (SCI)
Funder: U-LINK Resilience Challenge
Role: Principal Investigator

Concluded Funding

Sally Casanova Scholar
Funder: California Pre-Doctoral Program
Role: Fellow

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Papers

Stein PK, Buzkova P, Fink HA, Robbins JA, Mukamal KJ, Cauley JA, Carbone L, Elam R, McMillan DW, Valderrabano R, Barzilay JI. Cardiovascular autonomic nervous system function and hip fracture risk: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Arch Osteoporos. 2021 Oct 31;16(1):163. doi: 10.1007/s11657-021-01028-y.

Farkas GJ, Sneij A, McMillan DW, Tiozzo E, Nash MS, Gater DG. Energy Expenditure and Nutrient Intake after Spinal Cord Injury: A Comprehensive Review and Practical Recommendations. Br J Nutr. 2021 (online ahead of print). doi: 10.1017/s0007114521003822

McMillan DW, Correa MA, Astorino TA, Nash MS, Gater DR. Virtual strategies for the broad delivery of high intensity exercise in persons with spinal cord injury. Front Act Daily Living. 2021, e-pub ahead of print, 703816. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2021.703816

Jacobs KA, McMillan DW, Maher JL, Bilzon JLJ, Nash MS. Neither postabsorptive resting nor postprandial fat oxidation are related to peak fat oxidation in men with chronic paraplegia. Front Nutr. 2021, e-pub ahead of print, 703652. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.703652

McMillan DW, Kressler J, Jacobs KA, Nash MS. Substrate metabolism during recovery from circuit resistance exercise in persons with spinal cord injury. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2021,121,1631-40. doi: 10.1007/s00421-021-04629-0

McMillan DW, Maher JL, Jacobs KJ, Nash MS, Gater DR. Exercise interventions targeting obesity in persons with spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2021,27(1),109-20. doi: 10.46292/sci20-00058

McMillan DW, Nash MS, Gater DR, Valderrábano RJ. Neurogenic obesity and skeletal pathology in spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2021,27(1),57-67. doi: 10.46292/sci20-00035

McMillan DW, Maher JL, Jacobs KA, Mendez AJ, Nash MS, Bilzon JLJ, Effects of exercise mode on postprandial metabolism in humans with chronic paraplegia. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2021,53(7);1495-504. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002593

McMillan D, de Leon R, Guertin PA, Dy C. The Utility of Interappendicular Connections in Bipedal Locomotion. Curr Pharm Des. 2017,23(12),1734-1740. doi: 10.2174/1381612822666161216115947

Maher JL, McMillan DW, Nash MS. Exercise and Health-Related Risks of Physical Deconditioning After Spinal Cord Injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2017,23(3),175-187. doi: 10.1310/sci2303-175

Astorino TA, Schubert MM, Palumbo E, Stirling D, McMillan DW, Gallant R, Dewoskin R. Perceptual Changes in Response to Two Regimens of Interval Training in Sedentary Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2016,30(4),1067-76. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001175

Astorino TA, McMillan DW, Edmunds RM, Sanchez E. Increased cardiac output elicits higher V̇O2max in response to self-paced exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015,40(3),223-9. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0305

Astorino TA, Schubert MM, Palumbo E, Stirling D, McMillan DW. Effect of two doses of interval training on maximal fat oxidation in sedentary women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013,45(10),1878-86. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182936261

Astorino TA, Schubert MM, Palumbo E, Stirling D, McMillan DW, Cooper C, Godinez J, Martinez D, Gallant R. Magnitude and time course of changes in maximal oxygen uptake in response to distinct regimens of chronic interval training in sedentary women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013,113(9),2361-9. doi: 10.1007/s00421-013-2672-1

Nessler JA, McMillan D, Schoulten M, Shallow T, Stewart B, De Leone C. Side by side treadmill walking with intentionally desynchronized gait. Ann Biomed Eng. 2013,41(8),1680-91. doi: 10.1007/s10439-012-0657-6

Text Book Chapters

Maher JL, McMillan DW, Nash MS. The Cardiometabolic Syndrome in SCI: the Role of Physical Deconditioning and Evidence-based Countermeasures. In: The Physiology of Exercise in Spinal Cord Injury. 1 ed. Taylor J, editor. New York, NY: Springer Nature; 2017. Chapter 10; p.199-216.

By Lines

Coming soon 😁

Tweets

Science Media Production & Organizing

American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Early Career Webinar Series

Tag: A bench to bedside view of the landscape of spinal cord injury research and medicine, through the eyes of early career professionals.

Description: The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)'s Early Career Clinician and/or Researcher (ECRC) Webinar Series is "a bench to bedside view of the landscape of spinal cord injury research and medicine, through the eyes of early career professionals." This multi-part series features episodes focusing a single topic relevant to SCI research and medicine. In each episode, a dyad of presenters will grant us a "parallax perspective" on their SCI topic of expertise: ideally one perspective being more lab-focused and one being more clinic-focused. Each presentation will be 20 min with a following 10 min Q&A. Beyond sharing the emerging work of young professionals in the SCI space, we will also: (1) identify and archive the rising stars in this space, and (2) create a community for networking together these people based on a common mission. This series was founded and is organized/produced by Anne E. Palermo, Rahul Sachdeva, and me... in part with ASIA's Early Career Committee.

American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) SCI Science Perspectives Podcast

Tag: A dialogue from two perspectives on emerging scientific literature spanning the full spectrum of spinal cord injury research, from discovery to clinical application.

Description: The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)'s SCI Science Perspectives podcast disseminates the latest-and-greatest scientific work in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) via a conversation with researchers that approaches their work from two perspectives: the “scholarly” perspective and the “community” perspective. First, ASIA’s Committees identify new and influential scientific papers relevant to the committee’s interests. Then the podcast host(s) interview the author(s) of the papers, approaching their project from each perspective. Then, the conversation from perspective is published as its own episode type. This podcast was founded and is produced by Suzanne L. Groah, Marla A. Petriello, and me... in part with ASIA's Communication Committee.

2022 Miami Spinal Cord Injury Summit

Description: This two and a half day conference will provide clinicians, researchers, and persons with spinal cord injury with the latest updates on research and clinical advances across a variety of topics related to spinal cord injury. Thursday and Friday will offer educational lectures/discussion approved for CME and CEU credits, on topics from advances in cell-based therapies for neural repair to recreational therapy for improved quality of life. A ½ day morning expo will be held on Saturday for those with spinal cord injury to try out adaptive recreational activities, learn about spinal cord injury community resources, and tour the new Christine Lynn Rehabilitation Center for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at UHealth/Jackson. CMEs and CEUs will be available to professionals who register and attend this conference.

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.- Kenneth E. Boulding, oft re-quoted by Sir David Attenborough
Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard.- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Parable of the Madman
The forms of rebellion that will end up changing anything meaningfully here will be very quiet and very individual and probably not all that interesting to look at from the outside.- David Foster Wallace, 2003 interview with ZDF
The true biologist deals with life, with teeming boisterous life, and learns something from it, learns that the first rule of life is living.- John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez