Applied Physiology Laboratory

Applied Physiology Laboratory

The brand new Applied Physiology Laboratory of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall is rapidly expanding with the goal of becoming one of the premiere Applied Physiology laboratories in the United States. With over 3,000 square feet of space available, the AP Lab is home to a biochemistry laboratory, anthropometric suite, teaching area, research area, and a controlled environmental room (installation set for Summer 2011).

The teaching area of the laboratory is divided into three "Teaching Pods," each capable of serving as a fully-functionally laboratory. Each pod is equipped with a clinical treadmill, an electronically-braked cycle ergometer, a friction-braked cycle ergometer, a wireless electrocardiogram system, a metabolic measurement cart, patient bed, two computers, and a data acquisition system through which all variables can be measured and easily viewed. All of the computers are connected to a large-screen monitor that can be used to compare data from one pod to another across the room. Further capabilities of the teaching pods include measuring cardiac output, pulmonary function, and resting metabolic rate.

The research area of the AP Lab is used by Dr. Scott L. Davis to investigate autonomic function and thermoregulation in healthy and clinical populations. With top-of-the-line equipment, he is able to measure heart rate, blood pressure, arterial pressure, sweat rate, skin blood flow, and neural activity. Dr. Davis is interested in the physiological responses to temperature stresses placed on the body, both due to changes in body core temperature and changes in local temperature.

The research area also includes a biomechanics section with force plates capable of measuring over-ground forces during acceleration, deceleration, sprinting, jumping, and direction-changes.

Current research:

  • Neural control of skin blood flow and sweating in Multiple Sclerosis
  • Baroreflex modulation of sympathetic nerve activity in Multiple Sclerosis patients
  • Modeling the pathophysiology of Uthoff's phenomenon in Multiple Sclerosis.