Vascular Physiology Research Laboratory

Current Research Projects

Contact us at for kidney disease studies or Liza Walker to learn more about participating in a research study

Mitochondria Function in Chronic Kidney Disease

There is some evidence the mitochondria do not function properly in chronic kidney disease and this may contribute to reduced exercise capacity and increased cardiovascular risk. We are examining whether mitochondrial reactive oxygen species contribute to these changes.

Vascular Effects of Dietary Salt in Humans with Salt-Resistant BP: Dietary Counseling Study

In collaboration with Dr. William Farquhar’s lab, we have previously demonstrated that high dietary salt impairs blood vessel function independent of changes in blood pressure. We are now investigating the effect of a dietary counseling intervention to reduce dietary salt on blood vessel function and the pulsatile load on the heart.

The Effect of Acute Exercise on Pulsatile Load in Healthy Aging​ – PI: Joe Stock, Applied Physiology PhD Student

Depending on the type of exercise performed wave reflection may either increase or decrease. Additionally, aging is associated with an increase in arterial stiffness that may alter the acute response to exercise. Therefore, we are conducting this study to determine the effects of lower body dynamic exercise and handgrip exercise on forward and reflected wave amplitude in young and older adults.

Cardiovascular Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training and Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training – PI: Bryce Muth, Applied Physiology PhD Student

High-intensity interval training has gained in popularity as a way to achieve the benefits of aerobic exercise training using shorter duration exercise bouts. We are conducting this study to compare the effects of HIIT on measures of blood pressure and vascular function to continuous training.

The Effect of Shear Stress and Urea on Endothelial Cationic Amino Acid Transporter-1 (CAT-1) and Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) – Sophie Guderian, Applied Physiology PhD Student

Extracellular L-arginine is necessary for endothelial cells to synthesize nitric oxide. There is evidence that chronic kidney disease is associated with decreased transport of L-arginine into endothelial cells which may be due to urea and other uremic toxins. Shear stress on the other hand has been shown to increase L-arginine uptake. We are investigating the effects of shear stress in the presence of urea on L-arginine uptake.