Kevin Heffernan

Graduate Director
Associate Professor

Professor Heffernan is the director of the Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) which is fully equipped to probe numerous aspects of systemic vascular structure and function in vivo. The lab is currently funded by the Dairy Research Institute, The Center for Aging and Policy Studies and the National Institutes of Health.


Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Tufts Medical Center, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute

Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology

M.S. Columbia University, Applied Physiology and Nutrition

B.S. University of Scranton, Exercise Science

Research Focus

Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology

Kevin Heffernan’s research examines the interaction of diet, nutritional supplementation and exercise (with an emphasis on resistance exercise) on vascular function in health, disease and disability throughout the human lifespan. He has published extensively on the role of exercise in modulating vascular function. Past research has been funded by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. He received the New Investigator Award from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2010 and the North American Artery Society in 2013. Professor Heffernan serves as an external grant reviewer for the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.


EXE 295 Introduction to Exercise Science

EXE 514 Exercise and Aging

EXE 518 Cardiac Rehabilitation

EXE 685 Systemic Physiology and Exercise

EXE 753 Advanced Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology

Recent Publications

  • Babcock MC, Lefferts WK, Hughes W, Leyer B, Fitzgerald K, Redmond JG, Kevin Heffernan. Acute effects of high intensity cycling exercise on carotid artery hemodynamic pulsatility, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(5): 1037-1045, 2015.
  • Kevin S. Heffernan, Jacqueline A. Augustine, Wesley K. Lefferts, Nicole L. Spartano, William E. Hughes, Randall Steven Jorgensen, Brooks B. Gump. “Arterial stiffness and cerebral hemodynamic pulsatility during cognitive engagement in younger and older adults.” Jan 1 2018, Experimental Gerontology. 101, p. 54-62 9 p.
  • Kim, Y, Men S.S., Liang C., Receno C.N., Tom D. Brutsaert, Korol D.L., Kevin S. Heffernan, Keith C. DeRuisseau. (2018). “Effects of long-term exposures to low iron and ranched-chain amino acid containing diets on aging skeletal muscle of F344BN rats” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 43(2):165-173. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0272. Epub 2017 Oct 12.
  • Columna, L., Dillon, S., Michael Norris ,Toole, K., C., Tiago Barreira, Kevin Heffernan. (2016). Physical activity experiences among families of children with visual impairment and blindness. Presented at the National Federation of Adapted Physical Activity Alberta, Canada.
  • Columna, L., Dillon, S., Michael Norris,Russo, N., Beth Myers, Christine Ashby, Tiago Barreira, Kevin Heffernan. (2016). The Role of Interdisciplinary Interventions for Children with Disabilities: Physical Activity Programs for Children with Autism. Presented at the National Federation of Adapted Physical Activity, Alberta, Canada.