Hypertension spans across all the socioeconomic classes and ethnicities. Presenting with vague or no symptoms but associated with profound morbidity and mortality it is rightly termed the silent killer. Hypertension for several decades has been the most prevalent cardiovascular disease and the leader in all cause mortality. While the prevalence rate of hypertension is increasing, the awareness and control rate have been suboptimal and by the sixth decade of life hypertension is not only more prevalent but also less well controlled and more severe in women.
The Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratory is directed by Dr. Scott Collier. The primary research of this lab investigates how exercise lowers blood pressure and how treatments such as antioxidant supplementation and chronic exercise can sustain the positive benefits. Combining the expertise of several faculty within the university the synergistic effect is shown by diverse research topics.
The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment to study the human vasculature, beat-to-beat blood pressure control and even how the brain modulates our heart rate. The research focus allows the community to participate in these important trials as the researchers focus on diseases such as hypertension, cancer and atherosclerosis. While exercise is a main prevention and treatment, this lab also investigates how sleep is affected by exercise and blood pressure changes.
While cutting edge research is completed in this lab, it also is an education facility that serves as a teaching facility for both graduate and undergraduate students. This facility is home to one of the Exercise Science Undergraduate Cardiovascular Research Team that has already had one Nationally recognized American Physiological Society Research Fellow and another internally funded scholar. Students continue to be an important part of this laboratory and will complete senior capstone and Masters Theses here.