Labs & Programs
Our core labs feature state-of-the-art facilities and equipment dedicated to the support of research and instruction in a broad range of areas, including biomechanics, bone health, cardiovascular physiology, clinical exercise physiology, gait analysis, motor control, motor development, motor unit function, neuromuscular function, and sports medicine. The following highlights the work of our research groups, with more detailed information on personnel, projects, and facilities available on each lab’s individual web page.
The Anatomy Lab is used to teach clinical gross anatomy in a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. Through hands-on evaluation of the human body, students broaden their understanding of how our multiple body systems work together to achieve our wide range of dynamic activities. State of the art equipment allows for a wide range of teaching techniques, including computers for students to do online research while examining body regions. Dissections can also be captured in real time for distance learning.
The BADER Treadmill Lab pushes people and technologies to the brink in a controlled and safe environment. Using what we learn at the brink is what moves the technology forward to advance orthopaedic rehabilitation research in orthotics and prosthetics for Wounded Warriors. Getting past the brink allows individuals with limb difference and limb loss to reach optimal function. Built on existing collaborations, strengths, and partnerships, researchers from exercise science, applied physiology, biomechanics, engineering, and physical therapy come together to develop orthopaedic rehabilitation devices and novel treatment strategies.
Biomarkers are biological indicators that signal a changed physiological state due to disease or a therapeutic intervention. In inflammatory diseases for example, typical biomarkers might include cytokines/chemokines (e.g., TNF-alpha, IL-8), matrix metalloproteinases (e.g. MMP-1 and MMP-7) and small molecule mediators (e.g., prostaglandins). Our lab provides functional protein analysis on a variety of human and animal samples (serum, plasma, saliva, cell lysates) principally through immunoassays. We work collaboratively with investigators assisting in all aspects of study design including guidance in proper sample collection, volume required and storage requirements. We can also provide a detailed cost analysis for grant proposals.
In addition, the Biomarker Core Laboratory can train undergraduate, graduate students and junior investigators the laboratory techniques required to run their own assays. We provide services at an affordable cost for all UD investigators as well as other area research and health centers. Past and current studies we have assisted with include examining BDNF levels during exercise and learning, gut peptides in relation to infant obesity, salivary biomarkers of stress in recovering cancer patients and inflammatory markers in prostate cancer patients during treatment. Our capabilities include ELISA, MAP (Luminex), RIA, cell culture and immunocytochemistry techniques.
The Biomarker Core Lab at the University of Delaware is located in the Health Sciences Complex room 130GG on the STAR Campus. The lab is under the direction of Ken Kirschner M.S., Research Associate IV.
Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, heart failure, and stroke affect Delawareans at a rate significantly above the national average. In the Cardiovascular Physiology Core Lab, our faculty and graduate students are studying the mechanisms and consequences of declining cardiovascular function as well as interventions to improve cardiovascular health. Current areas of research include vascular function, neural control of blood pressure, and microcirculation and bone. The close proximity of the lab to the Nurse Managed Health Center at the STAR Campus facilitates this clinically based research.
The Kinesiology & Applied Physiology Teaching Labs provide exercise science and athletic training students with interactive, hands-on instructional experiences in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor control. Anatomical models and simulation software enable students to learn concepts of human anatomy and physiology in a dedicated teaching space that features state-of-the-art equipment. Many of our students go on to physical therapy, physician assistant, occupational therapy, and other graduate and professional programs.
The Neurophysiology Lab uses newly developed neuroscience technology to better understand how the brain works. Investigators use transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to measure levels of brain activity in people while they are performing certain activities like walking or reaching. TMS and another tool known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can also be used to temporarily change activity levels in certain brain areas. These techniques help investigators develop and test interventions to improve recovery of movement and function in people who have experienced a devastating brain injury like as a stroke.
The Physical Therapy Teaching Lab has new “Hi Lo” electric treatment tables that allow teaching of examination and intervention skills with appropriate body mechanics using best-practice philosophies. The Physical Therapy Flex Lab contains convertible space for didactic and laboratory instruction, while furniture design encourages group interactions and collaborations. The open configuration allows practice of gait, wheelchair, and rehabilitation skills. State-of-the-art technology connects the classrooms with the clinic and anatomy lab, promotes multi-sensory learning, and enables more intimate viewing of manual techniques and lab activities.