Steven Swoap

Steven Swoap

Professor of Biology 413-597-3336
Bronfman Science Center Rm 166
At Williams since 1996


B.A. Trinity University (1990)
Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, Physiology and Biophysics (1994)

Areas of Expertise



Note: courses in gray are not offered this academic year.

BIOL 133

Biology of Exercise and Nutrition

BIOL 205(S)


BIOL 499

Biology Colloquium

Scholarship/Creative Work

For all publications, see Steven Swoap’s PubMed database listing.

  1. J.R. Shinkle, Steven J. Swoap, P. Simon, R.L. Jones. The cell-wall free space of Cucumis hypocotyls contains NAD and blue-light regulated peroxidase activity, Plant Physiol., 98:1336-1341, 1992.
  2. Steven J. Swoap, S.K. Sooudi, and J.R. Shinkle. Uncorrelated changes in the distribution of stem elongation, tissue extensibility and cell wall peroxidase activity alonghypocotyl axes of Cucumis seedlings exhibiting different patterns of growth, Plant Physiol. Biochem., 31(3): 361-368, 1993.
  3. Steven J. Swoap, T. Johnson, A. Bennett, R. Josephson. Temperature, muscle power output, and limitations on burst locomotor performance of the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis, J. Exp. Biol., 174:185-197, 1993. Abstract and PDF
  4. T. Johnson, Steven J. Swoap, A. Bennett, R. Josephson. Body size, muscle power output, and limitations on burst locomotor performance of the lizard Dipsosaurus dorsalis, J. Exp. Biol., 174:199-213, 1993. Abstract and PDF
  5. V.J. Caiozzo, Steven J. Swoap, M. Tao, D. Menzel, and K.M. Baldwin. Single fiber analyses of type IIa myosin heavy chain distribution in hyper- and hypothyroid soleus, Amer. J. Physiol., 265:C842-C849, 1993. Abstract and PDF
  6. Steven J. Swoap, F. Haddad, P. Bodell, and K.M. Baldwin. Effect of chronic energy deprivation on cardiac thyroid receptor and myosin isoform expression, Amer. J. Physiol. 266: E254-E260, 1994. Abstract and PDF
  7. Steven J. Swoap, F. Haddad, V.J. Caiozzo, S. McCue, and K.M. Baldwin. Interaction of thyroid hormone and functional overload on skeletal muscle isomyosin expression, J. Appl. Physiol.,77(2): 621-629, 1994. Abstract and PDF
  8. Steven J. Swoap, P. Bodell, and K.M. Baldwin. Interaction of hypertension and caloric restriction on cardiac mass and isomyosin expression, Amer. J. Physiol., 268: R33-R39, 1995. Abstract and PDF
  9. Steven J. Swoap, F. Haddad, P. Bodell, and K.M. Baldwin. Control of β myosin heavy chain expression in systemic hypertension and caloric restriction in the rat heart, Amer. J. Physiol., 269: C1025-C1033, 1995. Abstract and PDF
  10. Steven J. Swoap, C. Gastellum, P. Bodell, and K.M. Baldwin. Immunolocalization of rat cardiac β myosin heavy chain protein expression in hypertension and caloric restriction, Amer. J. Physiol., 269: C1034-1041, 1995. Abstract and PDF
  11. Steven J. Swoap, V.J. Caiozzo, and K.M. Baldwin. Optimal shortening velocities for in situ power production of rat soleus and plantaris muscles, Amer. J. Physiol., 273: C1057-C1063, 1997. Abstract and PDF
  12. Schultz, R., Steven J. Swoap, L. McDaniel, B. Zhang, E. Koon, D. Garry,K. Li, and R.S. Williams. Differential expression of mitochondrial DNA replication factors in mammalian tissues. J. Biol. Chem. 273(6): 3447-3451, 1998. Abstract and full text
  13. Steven J. Swoap In vivo analysis of the myosin heavy chain IIB promoter region. Amer. J. Physiol., 274(43): C681-C687, 1998. Abstract and full text
  14. Kell, R., H.Pierce, and Steven J. Swoap PGAM-M expression is regulated pre-translationally in hindlimb muscles and under altered loading conditions. J. Appl. Phsyiol. 86:236-242, 1999. Abstract and full text
  15. Wheeler, M.W., E.C. Snyder, M. Patterson, and Steven J. Swoap. An E-box within the MHC IIB gene is bound by MyoD and is required for gene expression in fast muscle. Amer. J. Physiol. 276:C1069-C1078, 1999. Abstract and full text
  16. Steven J. Swoap, E.J. Stevenson, R.B. Hunter, H. Mitchell-Felton, N.V. Kansagra, J.M. Lang, K.A. Esser, and S.C. Kandarian. The calcineurin-NFAT pathway and muscle fiber-type gene expression. Amer. J. Physiology: 279(4):C915-C924, 2000. Abstract and full text
  17. D.J. Seward, J.C. Haney, M.A. Rudnicki, and Steven J. Swoap. The bHLH transcription factor MyoD is required for the appropriate regulation of myosin heavy chain IIB expression. Amer. J. Physiology: 280(2):C408-C413, 2001. Abstract and full text
  18. Steven J. Swoap. Altered leptin signaling is sufficient, but not required, for the hypotension associated with caloric restriction. Amer. J. Physiology: 281(6): H2473-H2479, 2001. Abstract and full text
  19. Staib, J., Steven J. Swoap, and S. Powers. Diaphragm Contractile Dysfunction in MyoD Gene Inactivated Mice. Amer. J. Physiology.: 283: R583-R590, 2002. Abstract and full text
  20. Steven J. Swoap, and J.M. Overton. Leptin and Blood Pressure. In “Nutrition and Heart Disease: Causation and Prevention.” CRC press, 105-118, 2004.
  21. Steven J. Swoap, D. Weinshenker, R.D. Palmiter, and G. Garber. Dbh(-/-) mice are hypotensive, have altered circadian rhythms, and have abnormal responses to dieting and stress. Amer. J. Physiology: Regul Integr Comp Physiol 286(1): 108-113, 2004. Abstract and full text
  22. Steven J. Swoap, J.M. Overton, and G. Garber. Effect of ambient temperature on cardiovascular parameters in rats and mice: a comparative approach. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 287(2):R391-6, 2004. Abstract and full text
  23. Hunt, L.M., E.W. Hogeland, M.K. Henry, and Steven J. Swoap. Hypotension and bradycardia during caloric restriction in mice are independent of salt balance and do not require the ANP receptor. Amer. J. Physiol.: Heart. 287(4): H1446-51, 2004. Abstract and full text
  24. Acharyya, S., K.J. Ladner, L. L. Nelsen, J. Damrauer, P.J. Reiser, Steven J. Swoap, and D.C. Guttridge. Cancer Cachexia is Regulated by Selective Targeting of Skeletal Muscle Gene Products. J. Clin. Invest.114(3):370-8, 2004. Abstract and full text
  25. Wisløff, U., S. M. Najjar, Ø. Ellingsen, P. M., Steven J. Swoap, Q. Al-Share, M. Fernström, K. Rezaei, S. J. Lee, L.G. Koch, and S.L. Britton. Cardiovascular Risk Factors Emerge from Artificial Selection for Low Aerobic Capacity in Rats. Science 307: 418-420, 2005. Article and full text
  26. M.M. Messina, S.A. Evans, Steven J. Swoap, and J.M. Overton. Perinatal MSG treatment attenuates fasting-induced bradycardia and metabolic suppression. Physiology and Behavior, Oct 15; 86(3):324-30, 2005. Article and full text
  27. Steven J. Swoap, M.J. Gutilla, L.C. Liles, Ross.O. Smith, and D. Weinshenker. The Full Expression of Fasting-Induced Torpor Requires beta3 Adrenergic Receptor Signaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 26: 241-245, 2006. Article and full text
  28. Knight, W.D., Steven J. Swoap, A. Parsons, and J.M. Overton. Central TRH infusion opposes cardiovascular and metabolic suppression during caloric restriction. Neuroendocrinology, 83(2):69-76, 2006. Article and full text
  29. Gluck, Elizabeth F., Natalie.Stephens, and Steven J. Swoap. Ghrelin modulates torpor in mice through the Neuropeptide Y signaling pathway. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory and Integrative, 291 R1303-R1309, 2006. Abstract and full text
  30. Sowden, Gillian L., D.J. Drucker, D. Weinshenker, and Steven J. Swoap. Oxyntomodulin increases intrinsic heart rate in mice independent of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory and Integrative 292: R962-R970, 2006. Abstract and full text
  31. Swoap, Steven J., Meaghan Rathvon, Margaret Jean Gutilla.  AMP does not induce torpor.  American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory and Integrative 293: R468–R473, 2007. Abstract and full text
  32. Swoap, Steven J,Why one enters torpor: Focus on “NPY Y1 receptor antagonist prevents NPY-induced torpor-like hypothermia in cold-acclimated Siberian hamsters”. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory and Integrative 294: R234-R235, 2008 Abstract and full text
  33. Swoap, Steven J, C. Li, J. Wess, A.D. Parsons, T.D. Williams, and J.M Overton. Vagal tone dominates autonomic control of murine heart rate at thermoneutrality. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 294:H1581-8, 2008. Abstract and full text
  34. Swoap, Steven J. The pharmacology and molecular mechanisms underlying temperature regulation and torpor. Biochemical Pharmacology. 76:817-824, 2008. Abstract and full text here
  35. Mayers, J.M., B.I. Iliff, Swoap, Steven J, Resveratrol treatment in mice does not elicit the bradycardia and hypothermia associated with calorie restriction. FASEB Journal. Apr;23(4):1032-40, 2009. Abstract and full text
  36. Swoap, Steven J and D.Weinshenker. Norepinephrine Controls Both Torpor Initiation and Emergence via Distinct Mechanisms in the Mouse. PLoS One 2008. 3(12): p. e4038. Abstract and full text
  37. Nowakowski, S.G, , N. Sandstrom, Swoap, Steven J, Torpor Protects Mice Against Memory Disruption Resulting from Cold or Fasting. Physiology and Behavior. 97(1):115-20, 2009. Abstract and full text
  38. Swoap, Steven J and Margaret J. Gutilla. Cardiovascular changes during daily torpor in the laboratory mouse. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 297:R769-R774, 2009. Abstract and full text
  39. Swoap, Steven J Juggling Research and Teaching at a Small Liberal Arts College. The Physiologist 53(5):154-155, 2010 Full text
  40. Bouma, H.R., E.M. Verhaag, J.P. Otis, G. Heldmaier, Steven J. Swoap, A.M. Strijkstra, R.H. Henning, H.V. Carey.  Induction of Torpor: Mimicking Natural Metabolic Suppression for Biomedical Applications.  Journal of Cellular Physiology, Apr;227(4):1285-90, 2012. Abstract and PDF
  41. Chu, L.P. and Steven J. Swoap.  Oral bezafibrate induces daily torpor and FGF21 in mice.  Journal of Thermal Biology.  37(4): 291-296, 2012. Abstract and PDF
  42. Swoap, Steven J.  Thermoregulation: An Orphan Receptor Finds its Way in the Cold.  Current Biology 22:1 R17-R18, 2012. Abstract and PDF
  43. Swoap, Steven J., B.W. Iliff, and S. Le.  Adenosine, AMP, and Daily Torpor.  Published in “Living in a seasonal world: thermoregulatory and metabolic adaptations” – 2012.
  44. Iliff, B.W. and Steven J. Swoap, Central adenosine receptor signaling is necessary for daily torpor in mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.  303:5 R477-R484, 2012. Abstract and PDF
  45. Mukharji, A., Drucker, D.J., Charron, M.J. and Steven J. Swoap. Oxyntomodulin increases intrinsic heart rate through the glucagon receptor. Physiological Reports 1(5): e00112, 2013.  Abstract and PDF
  46. Schindler, C.E., U. Partap, B. Patchen, and Steven J. Swoap. Chronic rapamycin treatment causes diabetes in male mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 307:4 R434-R443, 2014. Abstract and PDF
  47. Tillman, E.J., D.A. Morgan, K. Rahmouni, and Steven J. Swoap. Three months of high-fructose feeding fails to induce excessive weight gain or leptin resistance in mice. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 11;9(9):e107206. Abstract and PDF
  48. Maher, R., S. Barbash, D. Lynch, and Steven J. Swoap. Group Housing and Nest Building Do Not Completely Ameliorate the Cold Stress of Typical Housing in Mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 308:12 R1070-R1079, 2015. Abstract and PDF

Undergraduate authors are underlined.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

  • National Science Foundation “Regulation of myosin heavy chain IIB expression: An integrative approach.” (July 1,1997 -June 30, 2000) $228,000
  • National Institute of Health “Txn control of the PGAM-M gene in unloaded slow muscle.” (September 15, 1999 – August 31, 2002) $96,000
  • National Science Foundation “CAREER: Mechanisms of caloric-restriction induced hypotension” (February 1, 2000 – January 31, 2005) $497,000
  • American Physiological Society – $15,000 (April 2001 – Arthur Guyton Integrative Physiology Award)
  • American College of Sports Medicine – May 2001 – New Investigator Award
  • American Physiological Society – Travel grant $4,000 (June 2003)
  • National Institutes of Health “TRH in mediating the bradycardia of caloric restriction” (July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2008) $200,786
  • National Institutes of Health “AREA: Rapamycin, Ambient Temperature, and Longevity,” (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2013) $325,304
  • National Institutes of Health “AREA: Hypothermia vs. Daily torpor: an integrative molecular / biochemical / physiological approach” $409,796 (June 2014-May 2017)

Professional Affiliations

  • University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center: Post-doctoral fellow

Research Interests

The cardiovascular state of animals is remarkably dependent on the environment. Foraging of food, consumption of food, presence of predators, procuring a mate, ambient temperature, and general activity are just a few examples of external stimuli that have a substantial impact on homeostasis of the cardiovascular system. Research in the Swoap lab examines the underlying mechanisms for cardiovascular adaptations to both changes in ambient temperature and lack of food availability. Our approach is an integrative one; combining molecular biology, thermal physiology, and cardiovascular physiology. Body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate measurements are made in genetically modified animals using a telemetry-based system. This allows for accurate physiological measurements in animals that are conscious, unrestrained, and freely moving. The use of mice with known germline mutations allows us to directly test hypotheses that relate caloric intake, ambient temperature, and metabolism with cardiovascular function.

Students Advised

  • Rachel Kell ’97
  • Emily Snyder ’98
  • Matthew Wheeler ’98
  • John Haney ’99
  • Deborah Van Allen ’99
  • Patrick Burton ’00
  • Randall Lindquist ’00
  • David Seward ’00
  • Jason Pack ’02
  • Steven Rettke ’02
  • Natalie Stephens ’03
  • Lisa Hunt ’03
  • Brigitte Teissedre ’03
  • Liz Gluck ’05
  • Ross Smith ’05
  • Candice Li ’05
  • Gillian Sowden ’06
  • Auyon Mukharji ’07
  • Jared Mayers ’07
  • Emily Seigel ’08
  • Sarah Nowakowski ’08
  • Mack Brickley ’08
  • Lisa Chu ’10
  • Ben Iliff ’10
  • Elizabeth McClure ’10
  • Eric Tillman ’10
  • Beryl Manning-Geist ’11
  • Ken Sluis ’11
  • Karyn Moss ’12
  • Bonnie Patchen ’12
  • Rachel Zipursky ’12
  • Becca Maher ’13
  • Uttara Partap ’13
  • Christine Schindler ’13
  • Shayna Barbash ’14
  • Pat Joslin ‘14
  • Becca Bell ‘15
  • Ethan Borre ‘15
  • Dianna Mejia ‘15

Current Committees

Biochemistry Program