Importance of Regular Sleep

UD’s Hoopes and collaborators show consistent sleep relates to preserved cardiovascular function

It may seem like a good idea at the time — staying up late or pulling an all-nighter to study, celebrate or get to your destination faster — but it is probably not the health-savvy choice.

And those “recovery” days — the days you try to get more sleep to make up for those lost nights? Not as helpful as you might think.

A new study by a team of researchers in the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences suggests that consistently sleeping the same amount every night is associated with better cardiovascular health. Irregular sleep may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even in otherwise healthy, young adults. Read More >>

Benefits of Potassium

CHS researchers look to see if high-potassium diets protect blood vessel function in salt-resistant adults

Dietary guidelines recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day in their diet — about a teaspoon’s worth. The reality is that most people in the United States are eating far more sodium than that — an average of 3,400 milligrams a day — and putting themselves at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Increasing potassium intake has been credited with reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Bananas are well-known as a source of potassium, but the mineral also can be found in leafy greens, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, citrus fruits and fruit that comes from a vine, like grapes.

Shannon Lennon, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware, is researching whether a diet high in potassium also has a protective effect on blood vessel function in salt-resistant adults. People with salt resistance do not experience an increase in blood pressure after eating a high-salt meal. Read More >>>

Call for COBRE Pilot Projects

We anticipate that announcing a call for COBRE pilot research grants to expand and enhance the scientific goal of the center, around March 1, 2021. The COBRE pilot projects will provide funding for a one-year period that will allow investigators to develop more substantial external NIH support from individual or multi-investigator proposals.

We will fund 2 projects this year. Projects will be awarded for 1 year, with a budget of $50,000 in direct costs.

Estrogen levels and heart disease

Estrogen levels and heart diseaseDELAWARE PUBLIC MEDIA — As women age, their risk for cardiovascular disease becomes higher than men. According to, it kills one in three women each year and affects over 44 million women in the United States. University of Delaware Physiologist Megan Wenner wants to understand the role changes in estrogen play in leading to this higher risk of heart disease. Read more >>

Deciphering hormones

Deciphering hormonesHormones are the chemical envoys for our bodies. They communicate with our brains, heart, bones, muscles and, yes, reproductive organs. University of Delaware physiologist Megan Wenner is working to understand how sex hormones influence vascular function. She’s focused specifically on comparing estrogen effects in young and postmenopausal women. What happens after menopause when hormone levels drop dramatically? Are therapy interventions safe or not? Read more >>

UD lands multi-year Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death for both men and women across the United States. The state of Delaware is in the bottom half of states for coronary heart disease death rates.

To help tackle this problem, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Delaware a five-year, $11.6 million grant to support a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in cardiovascular health.

Dave Edwards, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, is the principal investigator.  Read more >>

Research provides new insights into bone biology

Rhonda Prisby is conducting research on bone biology.

Bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside long bones, produces new blood cells and helps the lymphatic system work properly.  But it may also turn out to be a progressively hostile microenvironment that induces vascular dysfunction and ossification, or hardening, of blood vessels. Read more >>