Expanding Our Understanding of Human Physiology at the Intersection of Sex, Race and Physical Activity
The Human Integrative Physiology Laboratory is housed within the SPH Department of Kinesiology and serves to expand our understanding of human physiology at the intersection of sex, race and the benefits of physical activity, with a focus on the vascular system (arteries). Ongoing research investigates the influence of inflammation, fitness and hormones on physiological differences within the vascular system between men and women of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, in line with our research vision, we plan to address the role of exercise in chronic disease prevention, with emphasis on postmenopausal women.
Lauren Eagan, MPH
Lauren is a doctoral candidate in the Human Integrative Physiology Laboratory. Lauren has a heavy interest in researching the roles of race and sex hormones on inflammation and vascular function. Her research passion is to expand the currently limited understanding of the physiological mechanisms contributing to increased risk for hypertension among underrepresented populations. In her free time, Lauren likes to knit hats and sweaters for her nieces.
Grants and Awards:
- Endocrinology and Metabolism Section Research Recognition Award, American Physiological Society, Experimental Biology Annual Conference. May, 2021.
- Gebhardt Graduate Research Initiative Project Award, University of Maryland. May, 2020.
- David H. Clark Graduate Award, University of Maryland. October, 2018
- Dean's Fellowship Award, University of Maryland. August 2018.
Sara Mascone, MA
Sara is a PhD student here at the Human Integrative Physiology Laboratory. She currently leads studies investigating the impact of low oxygen breathing on the cardiovascular system in young, healthy individuals of different sexes and races and the effects of aerobic exercise training on the cardiovascular system in older individuals with and without a predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease. A fun fact about her is that she loves training service dogs for a local nonprofit organization!
Grants and Fellowships
- UMD Flagship Fellowship Recipient, Graduate School- University of Maryland. August 2021-May 2025
- Racial Differences in Vascular Function Following Acute Intermittent Hypoxia. Grant recipient for the Graduate Research Initiative Project (GRIP). Department of Kinesiology- University of Maryland. September, 2020.
Honors and Awards
- Dr. Jack Wilmore Legacy Travel Award Winner. ACSM National Conference. June, 2022.
- Master’s Student Investigator Award. MARC ACSM Regional Conference. November, 2021.
Cynthia is a second-year Masters student, and she currently leads the High Fat Meal Study here at the HIPL. The goal of this study is to determine differences in vascular responses to acute inflammation caused by a high fat meal. Her favorite aspect of research is that it requires you to challenge yourself every day and to think outside the box. In her free-time, she enjoys taking her dog on local hikes and pretending to cook food.
Grants and Fellowships
- Graduate Research Initiative Project (GRIP)- February 2021
Honors and Awards
-2022 GSSI-ACSM Young Scholar Professional Development Award - March 2022
-School of Public Health 2022 Dean's Scholar Award - March 2022
-American Kinesiology Association (AKA)- MA Scholar Award- March 2022
Emily Blake, MPH
Emily is a PhD student here at the HIPL, and her research focuses on the role of sex hormones and reproductive aging in the relationship between inflammation and vascular function. She loves research because it allows you to actively take steps to understand or solve a problem that you're passionate about. When she is not in the lab, she is probably trying out a new restaurant, on top of a mountain, or on her couch in the middle of a long Netflix binge.
2020 - UMD Graduate School Dean’s Fellowship
2021 - UMD Graduate School Faculty Student Research Award
Ellion is a recent UMD Graduate who now works as a lab technician for the HIPL lab. He enjoys helping out with studies and plays a role in study recruitment and other logistics that the lab may need. On his free time he loves to dance and spend quality time with his friends.
Kelley Roark, RMA
Kelley Roark is an undergraduate who comes to the lab with 10 years of prior clinical experience as a Registered Medical Assistant in Pain Management PM&R, Orthopedic Spine Surgery and Rheumatology. Her research interests broadly encompass aging mechanisms of chronic disease, stress, and immunity. Kelley is working to complete her Bachelor’s degree in ‘23 and hopes to enter into a Kinesiology graduate program immediately following. Kelley is also a classically trained operatic vocalist and enjoys hiking, biking, and running for exercise.
Arya Bhargav is an undergraduate student in the Human Integrative Physiology Lab who assists with research studies. Her favorite aspect of research is that it allows her to dive deeply into a specific topic and work as a team to find solutions. In her free-time, she loves to play with her dog, dance, and do yoga.
Franco Ortuno is an undergraduate student in the Human Integrative Physiology Lab who assists with research studies. He majors in Kinesiology and his areas of interest include using physical activity to fight disease, how physical activity can improve mental health, and sleep disorders related to physical exercise. He is interested in research because he believes that we have only tapped on the surface between the link of physical exercise and longevity. His favorite hobby at the moment is Calisthenics, and a fun fact about him is that he can speak 3 languages, English, Spanish and French.
Lindsay Lotter is a third-year undergraduate student who is working towards a B.S. in Public Health Science, while also minoring in global poverty. She plans to continue her education at UMD through the accelerated 4+1 Master’s in Public Health program with a concentration in health equity. Outside of academics, Lindsay enjoys watching true crime documentaries with her roommates, making Spotify playlists, and crocheting.
- Eagan, L. E., Chesney, C. A., Mascone, S. E., Shenouda, N., & Ranadive, S. M. (2021). Interleukin-6 is higher in naturally menstruating women compared with oral contraceptive pill users during the low-hormone phase. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 131(2), 544–552. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00921.2020
- Ranadive, S. M., Lofrano-Porto, A., Soares, E., Eagan, L., Porto, L., & Smith, D. L. (2021). Low testosterone and cardiometabolic risks in a real-world study of US male firefighters. Scientific reports, 11(1), 14189. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93603-z
- Sapp, R. M., Chesney, C. A., Eagan, L. E., Evans, W. S., Zietowski, E. M., Prior, S. J., Hagberg, J. M., & Ranadive, S. M. (2020). Changes in circulating microRNA and arterial stiffness following high-intensity interval and moderate intensity continuous exercise. Physiological reports, 8(9), e14431. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14431
- Sapp, R. M., Evans, W. S., Eagan, L. E., Chesney, C. A., Zietowski, E. M., Prior, S. J., Ranadive, S. M., & Hagberg, J. M. (2019). The effects of moderate and high-intensity exercise on circulating markers of endothelial integrity and activation in young, healthy men. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 127(5), 1245–1256. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00477.2019
- Jacob, D. W., & Mascone, S. E. (2020). Intermittent hypoxia and sympathetic activation: To constrict or not to constrict, that is the question. The Journal of physiology, 598(6), 1125–1126. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP279534
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Intermittent Hypoxia Study
Due to known cardiovascular disparities in Black and White individuals, the Intermittent Hypoxia study aims to investigate blood vessel responses to short term low oxygen breathing in Black and White individuals. A secondary aim of the study is to investigate blood vessel responses to short term low oxygen breathing in premenopausal women and age-matched men, as there are also known sex differences in cardiovascular disease prevalence. Please fill out the google form below if you are interested in participating!
High Fat Meal Study
There are existing racial disparities in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), with black individuals exhibiting higher prevalence of CVD compared to white individuals. In addition, social determinants of health, which take a holistic view on health, affect cardiovascular disease risk. Therefore the goal of the High Fat Meal Study is to compare vascular responses to inflammation induced by a high fat meal (a milkshake) between black individuals and white individuals and to determine if/how the social determinants of health may influence this vascular response. Please fill out the google form below if you are interested in participating in this study!