Cardiovascular Lab

The focus of the Cardiovascular Research Lab is to examine blood pressure regulation and autonomic nervous system function in humans.


PI: William Farquhar, PhD
Professor, Department Chair

Kathy Masso, BS, RDMS
Lab Coordinator

Evan Matthews, MS
PhD Candidate
Applied Physiology

Mike Brian, MS
PhD student
Applied Physiology

Dana Coyle
Exercise Science

Lab Introduction

Current Projects

The Cardiovascular Research Laboratory has several research projects under two broad themes:

Vascular Function and Diet

  • Exploring the effects of dietary salt on vascular endothelial function. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Dave Edwards and the Vascular Physiology Lab.

Neural Control of the cardiovascular system in health and disease

  • Examining blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system regulation during exercise in healthy aging and in cardiovascular disease, including hypertension
  • Examining mechanisms underlying reflex-mediated increases in blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activity during exercise, including alterations in sensory fiber function in different populations (hypertensive adults; salt-resistant and salt-sensitive adults)
  • Examining the influence of acute manipulations in plasma osmolality on the control of sympathetic outflow in clinical populations

Funding for these projects comes from various sources:

  • ACSM Foundation Research Grant, PI Greaney
  • AHA Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, PI Greaney;
  • 1 R01 HL104106-01A1 Farquhar and Edwards, fully funded
  • 1 R21 HL113613-01 Farquhar and Fadel, pending

If you are interested in participating in one of our studies, please contact Katherine Masso (302-831-3181 or

Collaborative Work with Other Research Programs

The Cardiovascular Research Lab also interacts with other research programs on campus. For example, we collaborate with our colleagues from Physical Therapy (Binder-Macleod, Reisman) to examine the metabolic cost of walking in patients that have sustained a stroke and have walking impairments. We also collaborate with our colleagues from Medical Technology (Maser) and Nursing (Prettyman, Schell). Collaborations extend outside of the University as well, including Christiana Care (Stillabower, Weintraub, Kolm), Penn State-Hershey (Ray) and the University of Missouri (Fadel).

Representative Publications
  1. Farquhar WB, Paul EE, Prettyman AV, Stillabower ME. Hemodynamic Responses to an Acute Sodium Load in Humans. J Appl Physiol 99: 1545-1551, 2005.
  2. Wenner MM, Prettyman AV, Maser RE, Farquhar WB. Preserved Autonomic Function in Amenorrheic Athletes. J Appl Physiol, 101 (2): 590-7, 2006.
  3. Farquhar WB, Wenner MM, Delaney EP, Prettyman AV, Stillabower ME. Sympathetic Neural Responses to Increased Osmolality in Humans. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 291(5): H2181-6, 2006.
  4. Young CN, Stillabower ME, DeSabatino A, Farquhar WB. Venous Smooth Muscle Tone and Responsiveness in Older Adults. J Appl Physiol, 101(5):1362-7, 2006.=
  5. Wenner MM, Delaney EP, Rose WC, Stillabower ME, Farquhar WB. The Influence of Plasma Osmolality on Baroreflex Control of Sympathetic Activity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, Oct; 293(4): H2319-9, 2007.
  6. Delaney EP, Young CN, DiSabatino A, Stillabower ME, Farquhar WB. Limb venous tone and responsiveness in hypertensive humans. J Appl Physiol, Sep; 105(3): 894-901, 2008. PMCID: PMC2536820
  7. Sausen MT, Delaney EP, Stillabower ME, Farquhar WB. Enhanced metaboreflex sensitivity in hypertensive humans. Eur J Appl Physiol, Feb;105(3):351-6, 2009.
  8. Greaney JL, Ray CA, Prettyman AV, Edwards DG, Farquhar WB. Influence of increased plasma osmolality on sympathetic outflow during apnea. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, Oct; 299(4): R1091-6. Epub 2010 Jul 21.
  9. Delaney EP, Greaney JL, Edwards DG, Rose WC, Fadel PJ, and Farquhar WB. Exaggerated sympathetic and pressor responses to handgrip exercise in older hypertensive humans: role of the muscle metaboreflex. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, Nov;299(5):H1318-27, 2010. Epub 2010 Aug 27.
  10. Greaney JL, Farquhar WB. Why do veins stiffen with advancing age? J Appl Physiol. 2011 Jan;110(1):11-2. Epub 2010 Nov 4.
  11. Wenner MM, Edwards DG, Ray CA, Rose WC, Gardner TJ, Stillabower M, Farquhar WB. Celecoxib does not alter cardiovascular and renal function during dietary salt loading. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2011 Jul; 38: 543-549. Epub 2011 Jun 1.
  12. Greaney JL, DuPont JJ, Lennon-Edwards SL, Sanders PW, Edwards DG, Farquhar WB. Dietary sodium loading impairs microvascular function independent of blood pressure in humans: role of oxidative stress. J Physiol. 2012 Nov 1;590(Pt 21):5519-28. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.236992. Epub 2012 Aug 20.
  13. Greaney JL, Farquhar WB. Skeletal muscle contraction triggers rapid onset pressor responses in cardiovascular disease. J Physiol. 2012 Dec 1;590(Pt 23):5933-4. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.247155. No abstract available.
  14. Dupont JJ, Greaney JL, Wenner MM, Lennon-Edwards SL, Sanders PW, Farquhar WB, Edwards DG. High dietary sodium intake impairs endothelium-dependent dilation in healthy salt-resistant humans. J Hypertens. 2012 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]