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Human Performance Laboratories

Cardiovascular Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory

Location: building 41, room 301
Telephone: 4107
Contact person: Greg Peoples and Peter McLennan

Research facilities:

  • Human ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and heart rate monitoring, holter ECG monitoring and heart rate variability. Non-invasive arterial compliance assessment
  • Small animal physiology:
    • isolated working heart preparation for measuring cardiac function, oxygen consumption and metabolism
    • direct catheterised or indirect (tail cuff) blood pressure monitoring
    • electrocardiography
    • integrated evaluation of skeletal muscle function and metabolism in autoperfused hind limb
  • Computerised data acquisition and analysis
  • General biochemistry and laboratory facilities
    • centrifugation (ultra-, high-speed, benchtop, micro- and haematocrit)
    • glucose/lactate analysis, portable blood gas electrolyte analysis
    • gas chromatography analysis of fatty acids in food, and human and animal tissues
  • Animal models for:
    • diabetes
    • heart failure
    • myocardial infarction, arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death
    • skeletal muscle fatigue

Research projects:

This Laboratory conducts a wide range of basic research projects in nutritional physiology and pharmacology, with a particular focus on the physiological and pharmacological consequences of altering cell membrane composition through dietary fats. These projects fall within the following general categories.

  • Cardiovascular protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Incorporating fatty acids into heart muscle membrane
  • Establishing surrogate markers of human heart composition
  • Prevention of sudden heart-attack death by inhibiting fatal heart rhythm disturbances
  • Mechanisms of action of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in the diet
  • Using animal models to evaluate nutritional prevention and treatment of heart failure associated with chronic hypertension and diabetes and muscle fatigue associated with cardiac disorders and ageing

Exercise and Applied Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory

Location: building 41, room 326
Telephone: 4139
Contact: Herb GroellerMarc BrownGreg Peoples

Research facilities:
  • Electronic ergometers and treadmills
  • Cardiac output: impedance cardiography
  • Heart rate: portable monitors and electrocardiogram
  • Skin blood flow: laser-Doppler flowmetry, venous-occlusion plethysmography
  • Surface and intramuscular electromyography
  • Lower-body negative pressure
  • Respiratory gas analysis systems
  • Respiratory mechanics measurements
  • Psychophysical and cognitive function tests

Research projects:

This Laboratory conducts a wide range of basic and applied human physiology research projects, and these fall within the following general categories.

  • Neuromuscular adaptation
  • The role of fatigue in adaptation to resistance training
  • The effect of detraining on the expression of muscle strength and power
  • Muscular and cardiopulmonary changes to positive and negative work
  • Ageing in sedentary and habitually active adults: cardiopulmonary and neuromuscular functions
  • Cardiovascular rehabilitation
  • Respiratory mechanics during exercise and work
  • Development of physical employment standards for workers in physically demanding trades
  • Physiological, physical and nutritional assessments of workers and the working environment
  • Optimisation of the worker-environment interface: analysis and the provision of design specifications
  • Clinical or field-based physical fitness assessment

Thermal Physiology Laboratory

Location: building 41, room 303B
Telephone: 5914
Contact person: to be advised

Research facilities:

  • Climate chamber: -10oC to +50oC
  • Immersion tank: 0oC to 50oC
  • Water-perfusion garments
  • Sweat capsule systems: sweat rate and expulsion frequency
  • Skin blood flow: laser-Doppler flowmetry, venous-occlusion plethysmography
  • Cardiac output: impedance cardiography, CO2 rebreathing
  • Heart rate: portable monitors and electrocardiogram
  • Body-fluid measurements: Evans blue and isotope dilution
  • Respiratory gas analysis
  • Thermometry: core, skin, subcutaneous, intramuscular
  • Psychophysical and cognitive function tests
  • Electronic ergometers (dry and immersible), treadmills

Research projects:

The Thermal Physiology Laboratory conducts a wide range of basic and applied physiology research projects. These projects fall within the following general categories:

  • Human temperature regulation in hot and cold environments during work and exercise
  • Neural and pharmacological control of human sweating
  • Thermal adaptation: heat and cold
  • The interaction of hydration state on physiological and cognitive function
  • Regional variations in thermosensitivity, sweating, skin blood flow and thermal comfort
  • Evaluation of clothing and personal protective equipment
  • Auxiliary and post-exercise cooling for emergency service and military personnel
  • Physical employment standards for workers in stressful environments
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