Category: Research

Abstract accepted for poster presentation

Congratulations to our PhD Candidate, Jessica Bruning, whose abstract was selected to be presented at the Experimental Biology Convention in April. Her abstract titled, ” Microbial Derived Short Chain Fatty-Acids and Autonomic Regulation of Cardiovascular Function” will be part of the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Autonomic Control session. This abstract will also be published in an upcoming FASEB Journal.

Award Winning student

Joshua Gonzalez

Congratulations to our PhD Candidate, Joshua Gonzalez, who has been selected as a recipient of the 2020 Caroline tum Sudent/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award from the American Physiological Society!

This award is for his abstract, Acute Effects of the JUUL E-cigarette on Blood Pressure and Peripheral Sympathetic Activity in Young Non-Smokers, which was co-authored by Dr. William Cooke and Stephanie Jewel, undergraduate research assistant.

We are so proud of you all!

Acute Sleep Deprivation Study

Two researchers setting up a participant for a sleep study

More than 30 percent of the United States population is reported to be chronically sleep-deprived, where this is a known contributor to cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of one night of total sleep deprivation on blood pressure and the nervous system.

Participant eligibility requirements include:

  • Ages: 40 – 55 years old
  • Body Mass Index <35 kg/m2
  • Non-smoker and non-diabetic
  • Not on heart or blood pressure medications
  • Cannot be pregnant, breastfeeding or post-menopausal
  • Must not have clinically-diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea
  • Not using birth control medication or intrauterine device

We are looking for our FINAL male participant to wrap up this study. Monetary compensation is provided. Consider participating today. Contact Ian Greenlund for more information

Intermittent Fasting Research Study

Intermittent fastin concept - empty plate on blue background,

A research study is being conducted by the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and they are currently recruiting healthy individuals that are 18 to 40 years old. This study is looking into the effects of intermittent fasting on the cardiovascular system.

Participants will be asked to visit the lab eight times over the course of 10 weeks and fast twice weekly for six weeks. Additionally, participants will be compensated and provided information about their body composition and cardiovascular health.

If you are interested in learning more about this research study and to see if you are eligible to participate, contact Steven Stelly or provide your information for us to contact you at the following link.

Thermal Control on Sleep Quality and Blood Pressure Dipping

Older man sitting on bed with hand to head

Help us to study the effects of a thermal heating and gradual cooling feature within a mattress that may improve sleep quality. The Sleep Research Laboratory is currently recruiting participants. Please read the attached flyer for additional information regarding the screening process as well as participation.

Do you ever suspect that you may be a poor sleeper? Do you have trouble maintaining or falling asleep? A multitude of factors may be impacting your sleep.

One of the potential culprits is temperature control at night. Core body temperature dropping at night is essential for sleep efficiency, but when abnormalities in body temperature occur, it can be detrimental to your sleep.

Frost Named 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Fellow

Megan FrostDepartment Chair, Megan Frost, (KIP) was named a 2020 American Kinesiology Association (AKA) Leadership Institute Fellow. Jason Carter, Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education at Montana State University, who serves as AKA past-President and is one of the co-directors for the Leadership Institute, said, “This year’s cohort for the AKA Leadership Institute is simply outstanding. It contains eleven new or aspiring department chairs from programs across the entire United States. It is a well-respected and impactful professional development program for emerging kinesiology leaders in the field.”

The AKA defines kinesiology as the academic discipline that involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. This includes, but is not limited to, areas of study such as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports, sport and exercise psychology, fitness leadership and more. The AKA is committed to cross-disciplinary study in kinesiology as well as cross-disciplinary application of knowledge to problems in the physical activity field.

More information about the AKA Leadership Institute can be found here.

In Print

Business woman working on laptop computer at ergonomic standing desk. Female professional working at her desk with male colleague working at the back.John Durocher (BioSci), Steve Elmer (KIP) PhD student Ian Greenlund, recent graduate Piersan Suriano and Jason Carter published The paper titled “Chronic Standing Desk Use and Arterial Stiffness” in this month’s issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

The results of the study indicate that using a standing desk for more than 50% of the workday did not effectively reduce arterial stiffness. The study confirms that aerobic fitness reduces arterial stiffness, and that aging increases arterial stiffness. The authors wish to thank faculty and staff members from around campus who participated in this study.

The article can be viewed free.

Students Present at Annual Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fall Conference

KIP students from Dr. Steven Elmer’s Advanced Exercise Physiology class. From left to right, back row; Sarah LewAllen (MS), Benjamin Cockfield (MS), Andrea Serrano (Ph.D.), Isaac Wedig (Ph.D.), Nehemiah McIntyre (MS). Front row; Josh Gonzalez (Ph.D.), Jessica Pitts (MS), Jessica Bruning (Ph.D.).

On Saturday, October 12th, eight students in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (1 undergraduate, 3 Masters, 4 Ph.D.) had the opportunity to travel to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to attend the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Fall Conference. This annual conference focuses on research, education, and outreach, providing both academia and industry the opportunity to share ideas in fields related to space and NASA’s strategic interests. At this year’s conference, Michigan Tech’s unique group of KIP students were able to highlight some of the important concerns facing human systems when conducting space exploration.

“NASA’s strategic plan emphasizes the complexity of systems involved in human spaceflight, but perhaps the most complex and limiting is the human body”—PhD student Jessica Bruning during their group’s oral presentation on Saturday

Led by Dr. Steven Elmer as part of his Advanced Exercise Physiology class (KIP 5000), this multidisciplinary group of students possessing backgrounds in physiology, biomechanics, biology, and biomedical engineering, were able to present preliminary data and future directions for a class project looking into human locomotion under reduced gravity conditions.

KIP students with MSGC Fall Conference keynote speaker and NASA astronaut, Tony England (middle). From left to right, back row; Benjamin Cockfield (MS), Andrea Serrano (Ph.D.), Isaac Wedig (Ph.D.), Nehemiah McIntyre (MS). Front row; Josh Gonzalez (Ph.D.), Jana Hendrickson (undergrad), Jessica Pitts (MS), Jessica Bruning (Ph.D.).

All eight students were involved in a group oral presentation, led by Ph.D. student and MSGC fellowship recipient, Josh Gonzalez, titled “Setting foot on Mars: A Big Step and Even Greater Leap for Undergraduate and Graduate Students”. The presentation highlighted the class’s work to determine the most energetically efficient form of locomotion on Mars and its implications for successfully carrying out a human Mars mission.

The presentation emphasized the team’s diversity of educational backgrounds and how their multidisciplinary approach serves a major benefit in answering these and many other important questions when sending humans to space.

The students had the honor of meeting the keynote speaker, Dr. Tony England, a NASA astronaut who spoke about his experiences and insights during his involvement with the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. If you’ve ever seen the classic 1995 film Apollo 13, then you’ve seen England in action. He is the real-life astronaut stationed at mission control who was tasked with engineering a make-shift carbon dioxide scrubber for the Apollo space crew, ultimately saving their lives and allowing them to return safely to Earth.

Two students, Benjamin Cockfield and Jana Hendrickson, gave individual presentations in addition to the group presentation.  Benjamin Cockfield, an MS student and MSGC fellowship recipient, gave an oral presentation discussing his research on upper body aerobic exercise with blood flow restriction and its applications to human space travel, mission success, and astronaut health.

“The purpose of my research is to discover novel modes of exercise that could be used by astronauts to help mitigate the muscle and bone loss from long term space-flight and microgravity exposure.” —Benjamin Cockfield

KIP undergraduate student, Jana Hendrickson, presenting her poster about a 3D elbow model used for K-12 outreach showing how levers work in the human body.

Undergraduate student Jana Hendrickson presented a poster on K-12 student outreach that utilized a 3D elbow model to help visualize how levers work in the human body.  “It was exciting to present my educational outreach poster to a diverse audience and share the importance of inspiring the next generations of researchers, scientists, and health professionals,” Jana shares.

Invigorated by their experience, the group of students plan to continue their investigation into human locomotion and will be designing a harness system to simulate and test human movement in reduced gravity conditions. In addition to their MSGC presentation, the group has also applied for the Hands-On NASA-Oriented Experience for Students (HONES) grant, which could fund further research and a trip to the Johnson Space Center located in Houston, Texas.

“We have a strong group and I believe we submitted a competitive HONES application. Presenting at the Johnson Space Center would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”—PhD student Josh Gonzalez

The students who attended the MSGC Conference would like to thank Dr. Elmer for his guidance and research laboratory access, as well as Dr. Frost, the KIP department chair, and the MSGC for supporting this hands-on educational experience.

“The conference provided a great opportunity to meet and interact with professionals of many different fields, from astrophysics to geology, and gave us practice communicating our expertise across varying domains,” —Isaac Wedig