Featured Lab: Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP)

DengelD-2005_opt.jpegThe Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), directed by Associate Professor Don Dengel, is located in Mariucci Arena on the U of MN’s East Bank. The focus of the LIHP is to examine the effects of various diseases (cancer, obesity, etc.) and treatments (aerobic exercise, weight loss, medication, etc.) on peripheral, cardiac and cerebral vascular systems in an integrative approach. To measure the human body in an integrative approach, the lab uses many state of the art techniques–some of which were developed or adapted in house. The LIHP works closely with the University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Human Performance Core and Densitometry Services, which is also directed by Dengel.
The lab currently has six active grants, including a nearly $100,000 NFL Charities Medical Research Grant to support the project, “Effects of Multiple Sports-Related Concussions on Neurocognition and Cerebral Vascular Function.”
Dengel is one of the pioneers in determining vascular function via ultrasound imaging of the brachial and carotid arteries as well as the abdominal aorta in children and cancer survivors. The LIHP works with a variety of researchers in the United States and Europe on improving and advancing vascular imaging to analyze cardiovascular health.
Working with collaborators from the University of Minnesota Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and the University of Toronto Hospital, Dengel has begun to measure cerebral vascular function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This new MRI technique has allowed the LIHP to conduct a series of studies examining the effects of obesity, multiple concussions and chemotherapy on cerebral vascular function and neurocognition in a variety of populations.
The lab is also working with GE Healthcare and the Green Bay Packers to determine the effects of body composition and abdominal fat, as measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, on athletic performance and overall health. The LIHP also houses metabolic gas analyzers that measure oxygen uptake. The analyzers are involved in a number of studies examining standing desks, and exercise equipment for the disabled on cardiorespiratory system. The LIHP collaborates with a number of researchers at the University of Minnesota in departments such as Pediatrics, Epidemiology, Preventive Cardiology, Oncology, as well as researchers in the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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