Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Logo
Apply to SIUE

School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education

Dr. Erik Kirk


( e-mail)

Post Doctorate, 2008, Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine.
PhD, 2004, University of Kansas     
MSED, 2001, University of Kansas
BA, 1999, Drury University

Weight management, metabolic disease, and learning in adults and children through physical activity and diet. 


Vadalabene Center Suite 2613

About Dr. Kirk

Dr. Kirk has research and clinical experience in the areas of exercise, metabolism, and obesity. He is the director and founder of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Weight Management Clinic ( Dr. Kirk has over 30 national peer reviewed publications in obesity related journals and has presented over the past 15 years at national conferences that include The Obesity Society (TOS), American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Dr. Kirk is a Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist® (CES) through the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists and Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Dr. Kirk teaches courses in Advanced Exercise Physiology, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology, Biology of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, and Pathophysiology and Treatment of Obesity.

Research Profile

Dr. Kirk’s research interest involves evaluating how obesity contributes to metabolic disease. His work focuses on understanding the normal adipose tissue physiology, the alterations in fat metabolism associated with obesity and diabetes, and how weight loss improves the metabolic problems caused by obesity. He is also involved in conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of obesity therapies such as physical activity and nutrition. Dr. Kirk also researches the effects of physical activity and diet on learning in preschool children. He studies how incorporating physical activity into academic lessons and altering dietary intake can reduce obesity and improve early learning skills in preschool children.


Kirk, S.M. and Kirk, E.P. Sixty minutes of physical activity per day included within preschool academic lessons improves early literacy. Journal of School Health, In Press.

Kirk, S.M., Vizcarra, C.R., Looney, E.C., Kirk, E.P. Using physical activity to teach academic lessons: A study of the effects of literacy in head start preschools. Early Childhood Educ J, 2014, 42(3):181–189.

Herrick, J.E., Kirk, E.P., Sharp, B.S. Truncal fat mass increases breathlessness during moderate intensity cycle ergometry in physically active obese adult females. Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio Per Science Medicine, 2014, Nov, 172(1): 1-10.

Kirk, S.M., Fuchs, W., Kirk, E.P. Integrating physical activity into preschool classroom academic lessons promotes daily physical activity and improves literacy.  NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field, 2013, 16(3): 45-63.

Sullivan, S., Kirk, E.P., Mittendorfer, B., Paterson, B., and Klein, S. Effect of physical activity on intrahepatic triglyceride content and VLDL kinetics in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Hepatology, 2012, Jun;55(6):1738-45.

facebookoff twitteroff vineoff linkedinoff flickeroff instagramoff googleplusoff tumblroff socialoff