We perform translational research in cardiovascular physiology. Our work focuses on conditions associated with increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease including aging, obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms responsible for cardiovascular dysfunction and to develop human interventions to restore cardiovascular function and improve quality of life. Exercise training is a recognized strategy for reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease but the optimum exercise regimen is unknown. Our laboratory is currently examining the feasibility and efficacy of high intensity interval training in older healthy adults and patients with type 2 diabetes. We are focused on understanding the molecular adaptations to exercise training in an effort to optimize exercise prescription. Our ultimate goal is to promote the role of exercise for disease prevention and treatment within the current model of personalized medicine.

PI: Demetra Christou, Ph.D.

Research Highlights:
  • Performing clinical interventions using an integrative approach.
  • Investigating human vascular and cardiac function (i.e., ultrasonography and tonometry) in combination with cellular/molecular approaches (i.e., protein levels in freshly biopsied endothelial cells, mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, circulating blood markers and in vitro studies).
  • Conducting cardiac structure and function measures using transthoracic echocardiography in animal models of aging, chronic heart failure, and cancer through collaborations.
  • Collaborating with investigators in the UF College of Medicine (Hypertension, Cardiology, and Endocrinology) and Applied Physiology and Kinesiology.
  • Funding from NIH.