Welcome to the Renal and Cardiovascular Disease Research Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. The National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) has ranked the University of Illinois’ kinesiology doctoral program the highest in the nation from 52 programs participating in their Doctoral Program Review.
A progressive disorder, chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects the entire body and increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, and other disorders. These lead to extremely low physical function in this growing population. Diabetes is a key contributor to causing CKD, therefore the number of people diagnosed with CKD has also grown and is projected to continue increasing. For many people, this leads to multi-hour long dialysis treatments several times a week.
Current pharmacological therapies have failed to significantly improve the health and quality of life of this patient population, therefore investigating the efficacy of alternative or supplemental therapies is needed. Our research will provide information regarding the effects of novel and easy to administer lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise modifications on clinical outcomes and the quality of life of dialysis patients.
To gain a complete understanding, the lab conducts human clinical research to decipher the molecular and cellular mechanisms that may be responsible for the beneficial effects of these modifications. The research questions and projects in our lab are often multi-disciplinary in nature, so we frequently collaborate with other laboratories in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health as well as other departments across the University of Illinois campus and at local clinics and hospitals.
- Multifactorial intervention to optimize cardiovascular health and physical activity
- Gut microbiota-mediated effects of inulin supplementation on mineral metabolism in maintenance hemodialysis patients
- Validation of commercially available activity trackers in hemodialysis patients
- Observational study on hydration status of maintenance hemodialysis patients
- Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (NaMRI) assessment of tissue sodium stores in hemodialysis patients
- Acute effects of exercise on cardiovascular response during dialysis
- IntraHemodialytic Oral Protein and Exercise (IHOPE)
- Cross-sectional analysis of gut microbiome and clinical risk factors in maintenance hemodialysis patients (COSMIC)
- Acute effects of nutrition supplementation on treatment efficiency and hemodynamics during dialysis (Nepro)