Clinical Research Laboratory

The Clinical Research Laboratory, directed by Dr. Joon Young Kim, is located at the Women’s Building Room #303, for the major purpose of human research in obesity, metabolism, and type 2 diabetes. This lab is divided into two separate rooms as: (1) Exam room for physical and metabolic testing, and (2) Specimen processing & data collection room for the analysis of metabolic (blood) samples. The Clinical Research Laboratory allows faculty and students to study: (1) pathophysiology of and/or risk factors for chronic disease (i.e., metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes), and (2) effects of lifestyle intervention (i.e., physical activity, exercise, diet, etc.) on biomarkers of cardio-metabolic disease risk in youth and adults.

Major Equipment and Measures Performed

  • YSI 2500 Biochemistry Analyzer – assessment of glucose and lactate. This is the next generation product of the YSI 2300 STAT PLUS analyzer, with the same measurement technology. The 2500 system supports fully automated sampling protocols, in addition to stat and syringe sampling.
  • Luminex MAGPIX – assessment of biomarker expression. This is a compact fluorescent-based detection system suitable for medium-throughput multiplex immunoassays. It allows up to 50 analytes per sample, with reproducibility similar to that of ELISAs and western blotting.
  • InBody770 – assessment of body composition and body water, with further analysis of visceral fat (in both youth and adults), an important determinant of insulin resistance and metabolic health.
  • Labconco Biosafety – Logic+ Class II biosafety cabinet.
  • Bench equipment including pipettes, water bath sonicator, Eppendorf 5702R refrigerated centrifuge, vortex mixer, plate shakers, flake ice maker, and balance scale.
  • Patient screening facilities including clinical care recliner in conjunction with IV pole for the metabolic testing (i.e., oral glucose tolerance test), TV/video screening, sink, and phlebotomy chair.

Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory

The Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, directed by Dr. Keith C. DeRuisseau, is located in the Center for Science and Technology and houses resources that enable the performance of histological and tissue biochemical measurements. The laboratory specializes in the study of skeletal muscle and also has capabilities to assess rodent skeletal muscle contractility.

Major Equipment and Measures Performed

  • Western blot equipment including an Invitrogen iBLOT gel transfer system for assessment of protein expression.
  • Bench equipment including pH meters, pipettes, water bath, analytical scales, Eppendorf 5415R refrigerated centrifuge, and vortex mixers.
  • BioTek Powerwave HT absorbance microplate reader for biochemical assays.
  • Homogenizers to process tissue samples.
  • Grass electrical stimulators, DMT 820MS Muscle Strip Myograph System, and Aurora Scientific 806D, 300C, and 305B-LR systems for the study of rodent in vitro and in situ skeletal muscle contractile function.
  • Thermo Scientific Shandon Cryotome E Cryostat for making tissue sections.
  • Zeiss AxioImager wide-field fluorescence microscope with CCD camera for acquiring tissue section images.
  • Rodent treadmills to study exercise training.

Human Performance Laboratory

The Human Performance Laboratory allows faculty and students to study the physiologic response to acute exercise and exercise training in health and disease. The primary focus of the laboratory is on the cardiovascular alterations that occur with exercise training (both aerobic and resistance) particularly those in diseased populations.

Equipment and Measures Performed

  • Hokanson Strain Gauge Plethysmography System – assessment of resistance vessel endothelial function and venous capacitance.
  • Finometer and Portapres Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure – assessment of blood pressure variability, baroreflex sensitivity and Modelflow derivation of cardiac output, stroke volume, total peripheral resistance, arterial compliance and arterial impedance.
  • BioPac MP100 Data Collection System with ECG and digital volume pulse attachments (2) – assessment of heart rate variability, heart rate complexity, QT interval, and microvascular endothelial function.
  • 24-hour BP monitors (2) – for the assessment of 24-hour blood pressure variability and ambulatory arterial stiffness index.
  • Sphygmocor and Complior– pulse wave analysis for measures of aortic BP and wave reflection; pulse wave velocity for measures of aortic and regional arterial stiffness.
  • Aloka Alpha7 echo/ultrasound and Sonosite Portable Ultrasound – for assessment of cardiac function (tissue Doppler imaging, speckle tracking) and vascular function (flow mediated dilation of the brachial artery, carotid compliance/stiffness/elastic modulus, wave intensity analysis).
  • Handheld Doppler flow probes (2) – assessment of blood velocity, used for ABI
  • Tilt table – for orthostatic challenges
  • Lower body negative pressure chamber – for sympathetic challenges
  • Bioelectrical impedance – RJL system which uses an electrical current to estimate fat based on its reactance and resistance properties.
  • BodPod – air displacement plethysmograpy for the assessment of body composition
  • Exercise equipment – treadmills (2), cycle ergometers (2), elliptical machine (1), leg extension (1), bench press (1)

Kinesmetrics Laboratory

The goal of the Kinesmetrics Lab is to advance the knowledge of physical behavior’s (i.e., sleep, sedentary behavior, and physical activity) consequences on health. Dr. Tiago Barreira is an expert in the objective measurement of human physical behavior, more specifically in the use of pedometers and accelerometers. The research related to the measurement of human physical behavior’s in the Kinesmetrics Lab seeks to:

  1. establish the validity and reliability of evidence for human physical behavior’s measurement tools (i.e., questionnaires, pedometers, accelerometers),
  2. determine how to use these tools to obtain reliable and accurate information on behavior patterns,
  3. the use of these tools as a motivation to promote improvements,
  4. investigate the relationship between human physical behavior’s and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

In addition, the Kinesmetrics Lab has a number of instruments to measure body composition and dimensions including a full-body 3D scanner.

Some of the current research in the Kinesmetrics Lab includes validation of an automated algorithm to detect sleep with a waist-worn accelerometer, validation of the Adapted Physical Education Assessment Scale (APEAS II) validation of sleep measures by Fitbit devices, validation of the Cosmed K5 portable metabolic unit, investigation of physiological response of students undergoing teaching simulation, measurement of physical behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder.