LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — A West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) faculty member was recently named to the ‘Young Guns’ 2024 list.

Out of ten West Virginia professionals that are named to West Virginia Executive magazine’s “Young Guns” list for 2024, one of them is Christopher Pankey, Ph.D., who is an assistant professor of physiology in the WVSOM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Pankey received recognition from the “Young Guns’ magazine at a reception on November 14, 2023, at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia. The Young Guns program recognizes people 43 years old or younger that make a difference in communities and the business world in the Mountain State.

Pankey, who joined WVSOM in 2019, played an active role in getting national recognition for the school through the American College of Sports Medicine and American Medical Association’s Exercise is Medicine program that helps make a campus culture of wellness with physical activity. In 2022, Pankey and two students led WVSOM to receive a silver designation, and in 2023, the WVSOM received a gold designation, which is the highest rank of the program.

Dr. Pankey is one of our impressive young faculty members who is good at everything. He’s an excellent teacher, and students feel comfortable going to him with questions. Dr. Pankey always includes students in his research so that they have opportunities to learn the research process and earn publications or presentations from their work. He also serves on key committees and has been instrumental in the group that developed our new curriculum.

Linda Boyd, D.O. | WVSOM Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean and Chief Academic Officer

In 2022, Pankey received the President’s Outstanding Faculty Award from the school, and also in 2022 he became a certified medical exercise specialist. That certification lets health care professionals to prescribe exercise to patients that have chronic diseases like osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease.

However, Pankey has also done other things with WVSOM including participating in their annual Day of Service, where students give manual labor and services to local organizations that need volunteer work, and assisting with WVSOM’s 2023 Just Say KNOW to Lifestyle Medicine camp that brought high school students to the WVSOM campus to learn about how things such as nutrition and exercise can affect health.

My greatest successes are the moments I share with students. I have had the honor of mentoring wonderful students who are incredibly hard workers. Many of them work 10, 12 or more hours a day, almost every day, for the first two years of medical school. Over and over, they make sacrifices. But amidst their struggles, they have unique stories of the motivations that keep them true to their mission and passion. They consistently seek out more work, more opportunities and more ways to be productive.

Christopher Pankey, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor of Physiology in the WVSOM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences

There is much more that Pankey has done, including being a researcher for multiple publications and presentations to his credit, which includes 11 since he has joined WVSOM, and over 30 abstracts with student authors. A lot of Pankey’s recent research centers around the roles of nutrition and physical activity, and how a person’s lifestyle can affect them and their future children.