Skip to main

Excellence in Research Research Laboratories

Our research laboratories specialize in a diverse range of areas within Health and Exercise Science.

Aging and Chronic Disease

Our objectives include identifying approaches to maintain stress resistance across tissues, with the goal of improving healthspan. Special areas of focus include mechanisms of stress resistance and resilience, proteostatic maintenance, and mitochondrial function. Projects include strategies encompassing nutrition, pharmacology, and exercise for the purpose of extending human healthspan.

The Health Span Biology Lab studies the biology of “healthspan” (the period of life during which we are healthy and productive).  We want to know what goes on at the biological level as we age, and how it affects our overall health across the entire lifespan.

Our laboratory looks at extracellular vesicles, or EVs, and how these small particles that originate in the cells help cells communicate with other cells, tissues, and organs. Our ultimate goal is to use our research to identify therapies that will help fight or prevent chronic and debilitating diseases through their links to EV communication.

Behavior and Lifestyle Modification

We design and conduct research to assess physical activity and health outcomes, identify determinants of health/risk behavior, and promote physical activity and healthy/safe lifestyles.

The goal of the PATP Lab is to determine the best ways to get people active in order to prevent chronic disease, and help people recover from chronic diseases.

Functional Performance

Our mission is to reduce injury and improve performance through the investigation into the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Target populations fill the spectrum from young athletes to older frail adults.

We are currently keeping ourselves busy and out of prison by addressing broad research areas of human physiological function.

Our aim is understanding the role of sleep and circadian regulation in metabolic homeostasis. Specifically, our team studies how sleep and circadian disruption impair metabolic tissues and whether improving timing of behaviors such as sleep and eating can improve metabolic health.

The mission of the Neuromuscular Function Lab is to study how aging impacts how the nervous system controls the muscular systems of the body.

Neurological Function and Dysfunction

Our research strives to understand the neural mechanisms underlying impaired movement control and the impact of impaired movement control on everyday function including bimanual coordination, over-ground walking, and driving. We also aim to develop rehabilitation interventions for improving function in individuals with stroke and transient ischemic attack.

We strive to understand how the healthy brain integrates sensorimotor information to control movement and how this control changes with advancing age. We seek to know the interplay of cognitive and motor function underlying neuromotor control deficits in individuals with sensorimotor dysfunction. And aim to develop intervention strategies that promote neuroplasticity and functional motor recovery subsequent to aging and/or neural disease, with a specific emphasis on multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease.

Our research evaluates adolescents and adults with sports-related concussion and more severe forms of traumatic brain injury using behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques. The overarching goals are to better understand the neural physiology of brain injury and other neurological conditions, create innovative behavioral measures for return-to-play evaluations, and partner with rehabilitation interventionists to facilitate successful and safe return to meaningful occupations, like sports, work, and school.