Research

Our faculty are involved in cutting-edge, biomedical research that covers the spectrum from benchtop basic science to bedside clinical research and application to sport and human performance. All our faculty work closely with many undergraduate students who are seeking hands-on research experiences.  

We investigate the impact of maternal diet and health on offspring, human adaptation to environmental extremes, the therapeutic effects of heat stress, sport injury prediction and prevention, ways that nutritional intervention can suppress muscles during surgery, age-associated changes in blood vessels, and much more.


$3M
Value of annual research grants
83%
of tenure-track faculty with nationally recognized research awards
8
Faculty affiliated with the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact
46
Peer-reviewed research articles published in 2021

Our Research


Faculty Excellence

How our researchers are advancing the science of human physiology.

Andrew Lovering

“The human heart is a marvel of biological engineering that keeps us healthy and alive, but it’s not without its imperfections. One third of the population has a little-known, minor heart condition: A tiny hole known as a patent foramen ovale or PFO. Over the last 15 years, I've been studying how this feature influences human physiology in extreme environments. My research occasionally takes me and my subjects to mountaintops or even underwater."

—Andrew Lovering, Professor in Department of Human Physiology


Ashley Walker

“The search for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease has been fraught with failures. While most drugs developed for Alzheimer’s disease target plaques in the brain, we now realize that other features of the aging brain contribute to the disease. In my lab, I study how unhealthy or damaged blood vessels cause brain diseases. In collaboration with OHSU, my research team uses genetically engineered mice and MRI technology to study the impact of artery stiffness on bloodflow in the brain.”

—Ashley Walker, Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Physiology

 


student monitoring other student's vitals

Opportunities for Interdisciplinary Work

Studying human physiology creates natural bridges to medicine, engineering, product development and testing, and sport and wellness that give rise to exciting interdisciplinary projects at UO.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities 


portrait of Isaac Gomez

Understanding Human Movement

“What is the difference between thinking about reaching for your coffee mug, and actually doing it? Here, in the Action Control Lab, I use transcranial magnetic stimulation to measure the excitability of the motor output pathway during various task conditions, like reaching, in order to improve our understanding of human movement.”

–Isaac N. Gomez, Human Physiology doctoral candidate, '22


EEG cap on person's head

Recent Publications

Our faculty are actively publishing their work in areas such as the connection between brain waveform shape and Parkinson’s disease, the benefits of amino acid supplements when recovering from knee replacement, and the effects of maternal obesity on newborn offspring.

Recent Publications


person lying on exam table with equipment on knee, with other people monitoring

Participate in a Research Study

The department offers many opportunities to volunteer for research studies, most with compensation. Play a part in discovering the next breakthrough in human physiology. 

Participate in a Research Study


News

May 15, 2024
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY - While not a miracle cure, there might indeed be some health benefits to the trend of cold plunging, new research from the University of Oregon suggests. A study led by Chris Minson, the Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor in Human Physiology at the UO.The study was published in the December 2023 edition of the Journal of Thermal Biology.
March 6, 2024
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY - Working with some of the world’s top marathon runners at Nike, human physiologist Brad Wilkins led the charge to break the 2-hour marathon barrier—an attempt that led to the National Geographic documentary Breaking2. Now head of the new Oregon Performance Research Laboratory, he’s using science to help athletes push past their perceived limitations and achieve new heights.
November 8, 2023
GEOGRAPHY, HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE - Three current UO students have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, the oldest international fellowship award in the world.