Research Area: Human health and performance

Todd Gillis

Work in the Gillis lab is focused on the vertebrate heart and the mechanisms that regulate it’s function and ability to remodel in response to a physiological stressor. Current projects include characterizing the capacity of the hagfish heart to work in anoxia (no oxygen), examining developmental plasticity in the alligator heart, and determining the influence of bitumen (crude oil) exposure on cardiac histology and function in salmonid fish.

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Stephen Brown

Our research is dedicated to understanding mechanisms that dictate healthy function of the human spine, and ultimately the causes and consequences of low back injury and pain. To do this we study the mechanics and physiology of the lumbar spine and its musculature. We use both human and animal models to understand different aspects of how spine movement is achieved and what ‘normal’ movement looks like, the role of muscle in producing this movement and stabilizing the spine, and how the spine and muscle both adapt to injury and how they can be rehabilitated from injury.

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Philip Millar

My human research program has three primary areas of interest.
First, we are using single-unit muscle sympathetic nerve recordings to understand the organization and regulation of the sympathetic nervous system in response to a stress. We have shown (PMID: 30388036) the capacity for differential control of postganlionic sympathetic single units directed towards skeletal muscle.
Second, we are determining the mechanisms responsible for inter-individual variability in blood pressure responses to exercise. We have made key contributions to determining the role of genetic variants and muscle strength in this area (PMID: 30206938; 29135658).
Third, we study the clinical utility of exercise rehabilitation and are currently conducting a exercise training study in patients with Parkinson's.

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