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.
How our researchers are advancing the science of human physiology.
“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
“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
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
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
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.
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.