Skip to main content
Explore Health and Human Development
Contact
Search
Search

Lacy Alexander, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor

lma191@psu.edu

Departments of Kinesiology and Physiology

The focus of my research is on the neurovascular control of the microcirculation. She utilizes in vivo and in vitro approaches to examine mechanisms underlying microvascular dysfunction in human clinical populations including essential hypertension, psoriasis, and atherosclerosis.

Orfeu Buxton, Ph.D., Associate Professor

orfeu@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

The focus of my research is to determine the modifiable causes of chronic sleep deficiency in the workplace, home, and society, and the health consequences of chronic sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes

Sonia Angele Cavigelli, Ph.D., Associate Professor

s-cavigelli@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

My research is focused on the causes and consequences of individual differences in fear- and stress-related behavior and physiology, with a focus on health- and aging-related outcomes.

John H. Challis, Ph.D., Professor

jhc10@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

My research is focused on understanding how muscle properties dictate human movement.

Anne-Marie Chang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

amchang@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

The focus of my research is to examine the effects of genes and environment on sleep. More specifically I am studying 1) the influence of genetic variants on sleep and cardio-metabolic function across the lifespan; and 2) the impact of light on sleep, circadian rhythms, and cognitive function.

Mary Jane De Souza, Ph.D., Professor

mjd34@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research focus is on the interactions of energy balance, reproductive function and skeletal health. We are also investigating the effects of varying routes of hormonal contraceptive therapies on skeletal health.

Christopher Engeland, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

cge2@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health/College of Nursing

The primary focus of my research is how stress, age, gender, and hormones affect immunity, inflammation, and health (e.g., wound healing) in humans and mice. Also the feasibility of biomarkers (e.g., from blood, saliva) for predicting health outcomes.

Nicole Etter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

nme2@psu.edu

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The primary focus of my research is on ways humans process and use auditory and somatosensory information from the lips and tongue for the purposes of speech production and feeding. We want to better understand how sensorimotor control for speech behaviors changes as a feature of age, sex, smoking history or musical training. We are especially interested in changes that may occur after neurologic injury (stroke, brain injury, etc) where a speech disorder is present.

Alison Gernand, PhD, MPH, RD, Assistant Professor

adg14@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

The primary focus of my research is the effect of maternal micronutrient status before and during pregnancy on placental development, fetal growth, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Penny Kris Etherton, Ph.D., Professor

pmk3@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

My research is focused on understanding the role of nutrients, bioactive compounds, foods and dietary patterns on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In collaboration with other researchers, my research is designed to understand the underlying mechanisms by which nutrition affects the initiation, progression and reversal of atherosclerosis and accompanying risk factors.

Jody Greaney, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

jlg52@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

My research focus involves understanding the mechanisms underlying impaired neurovascular function in human hypertension. To this end, we are examining alterations in the central control of sympathetic outflow and the peripheral regulation of vascular function, especially in response in stress, in this clinical population. Direct recordings of efferent sympathetic nervous system activity are measured using peroneal microneurography; intradermal microdialysis is used to assess specific cellular mechanisms contributing to altered peripheral regulation of vascular function.

Michael H. Green, Ph.D., Professor

mhg@psu.edu

Department of Nutrition Science and Physiology

Helen Kamens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

hmk123@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

My research focus is on the identification of genetic mechanisms that contribute to complex behaviors with a special emphasis on alcohol and tobacco use.

W. Larry Kenney, Ph.D., Professor

w7k@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research focuses on human thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses to extreme environments (heat and cold stresses) and the impact of aging and disease states on these responses.

Laura Klein, Ph.D., Professor

lxk18@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

The focus of my research is on the biobehavioral effects of stress on drug abuse in humans and animals; sex differences in neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses; nicotine regulation of stress reactivity.

Donna Korzick, Ph.D., Professor

dhk102@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research is focused on aging, post-menopausal women, and associated cardiovascular disease risk using animal models. We are particularly interested in the effects of estrogen deficiency on mitochondrial regulation of cell survival during myocardial infarction in aged female rats; a model of chronic ethanol ingestion has also recently been introduced. A specific focus on cardioprotective signaling mediated through mitochondrial estrogen receptor and PKC-dependent mechanisms in relation to oxidant stress are emphasized.

Matam Vijay Kumar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

mvk13@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences & Medicine

My research area is focused on the interplay between microbiota, host immunity and chronic inflammation in metabolic diseases.

Stephanie Lanza, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor

SLanza@psu.edu

The Methodology Center

My research focuses on advancing statistical methods to improve public health, with a focus on drug use and related behaviors.

Lynn Martire, Ph.D., Associate Professor

lmm51@psu.edu

Department of Human Development and Family Studies The primary focus of my research is to determine how close relationships affect, and are affected by, chronic illness in adulthood. One line of current research is examining the effects of patient pain expression on spouses’ self-regulation as indicated by changes in their heart rate variability.

Peter C.M. Molenaar, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor

pxm21@psu.edu

Department of Human Development and Family Studies

My research area is focused on neuroimaging and quantitative genetic research.

Gustavo Nader, Ph.D., Associate Professor

gan11@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

The main goal of my lab is to understand skeletal and cardiac muscle hypertrophy. We study the synthesis of ribosomes in response to various cues such as activity/inactivity, nutrition, and growth factor signaling. Specifically, we wish to define the transcriptional (i.e. tissue specific transcription factors) and epigenetic (i.e. chromatin remodeling) mechanisms modulating ribosomal DNA genes.

Kristina A. Neely, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

kan17@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

My research is focused on the neural control of reaching and grasping movements in healthy young adults and young adults with ADHD.

Jim Pawelczyk, Ph.D., Associate Professor

piazza@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

My research focuses on the development of computational tools for investigation of joint mechanics; computer simulation applied to the study of normal and pathological human gait; mechanical effects of surgical procedures intended to alter joint and muscle function; mechanics of total joint replacements.

Steve Piazza, Ph.D., Professor

jap18@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research focus is on autonomic regulation of blood flow and blood pressure in health and disease, with a special focus on disuse and inactivity.

David N. Proctor, Ph.D., Professor

dnp3@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research focuses on vascular changes with advancing age (e.g., arterial stiffening, endothelial dysfunction, and altered muscle blood flow control) and the effects of non-pharmacological interventions (dietary nitrate supplementation, exercise training) on vascular health and exercise tolerance in older women and men.

Connie J. Rogers, Assistant Professor

cjr102@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

The focus of my research is on the role of dietary factors and exercise on immune function and how this relates to cancer risk and progression.

A. Catharine Ross, Professor and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair

acr6@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

My research is focused on vitamin A metabolism and the functions of vitamin A in the immune system and lung development.

Jonas Rubensonn, Ph.D., Associate Professor

jonas@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

The focus of my research is on integrating experimental and modeling approaches to study gait and skeletal muscle function during locomotion in both health and disease/impairment. In particular, the relationship between in vivo muscle mechanics and metabolic energetics and mechanisms underlying locomotor adaptation and optimization.

Bob Sainburg, Ph.D., Professor

rls45@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology

My research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms that mediate control of arm movements, with specific focus on the functional anatomy and neural organization that gives rise to motor lateralization. By characterizing the effects of unilateral hemispheric lesions in stroke patients, we try to differentiate the role of each hemisphere in controlling each arm, and by differentially comparing focal lesions in each hemisphere, we try to differentiate the role of different neural systems to motor lateralization. We record arm movements, muscle activity, and calculate inverse dynamics during various tasks, as well as using computational approaches to test our hypotheses.

Chaleece W. Sandberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

cws18@psu.edu

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The primary focus of my research is to characterize neuroplasticity related to successful treatment in persons with acquired language disorders. I am also interested in exploring different ways of promoting neuroplasticity in the rehabilitation of adult language disorders.

Idan Shalev, Assistant Professor

ius14@psu.du

Department of Biobehavioral Health

The focus of my research is to identify mechanisms underpinning the biological embedding of stress and its effect on biological aging. Specifically, to test the effects of stress from early childhood on change in telomere length and other biomarkers of aging across the life course, and the consequences of change in these biomarkers for physical and mental health problems.

Ann C. Skulas-Ray, Research Fellow

aus164@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

The primary focus of my research is clinical studies of interventions (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids) to improve inflammation, lipids, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

Greg Shearer, Ph.D., Associate Professor

gcs13@psu.edu

Department of Nutritional Sciences

My research is focused on lipid mediators, their transport by lipoproteins, and associated risk for cardiovascular disease.

Cynthia A. Stifter, Ph.D., Professor

tvr@psu.edu

Departments of Human Development and Psychology

My research is focused on the role of infant and child temperament on mental and physical outcomes. As temperament is constitutionally-based, I have measured the physiological (autonomic nervous system) and genetic (dopamine genes) mechanisms underlying approach/withdrawal motivation.

Kimberly S. Van Haitsma PhD, Associate Professor

ksv110@psu.edu

College of Nursing

My research is focused on biomarkers in frail older adults.

Sheila West, Ph.D., Professor

sgw2@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

My research is focused on identifying foods, nutrients, and dietary patterns that reduce blood pressure response to stress and vascular endothelial function.

Nancy I. Williams, Sc.D., Professor

niw1@psu.edu

Department of Kinesiology and Physiology

My research focus is on energy balance and reproductive function.

David Vandenbergh, Ph.D., Associate Professor

djv4@psu.edu

Department of Biobehavioral Health

The primary focus of my research is a neurobiological approach to the genetics of addiction, particularly nicotine addiction.