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Paige C. Geiger, Ph.D.

Paige Geiger portrait
Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Professional Background

Paige Geiger received her BA in Chemistry and English Literature from the University of Kansas, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and from the Kansas Honors Program. After graduating from KU, Paige obtained a PhD in Physiology from Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, MN. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue her research training at the University of Florence in Italy for one year, prior to completing her postdoctoral training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She began her faculty career at KUMC as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology in 2005

Education and Training
  • BA, Chemistry and English, University of Kansas
  • PhD, Phsiology, Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN, Rochester, MN
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Muscle Biophysics, University of Florence, Florence, Italy , Florence, Italy
  • Post Doctoral Fellowship, Muscle Metabolism, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, St. Louis , Missouri
Professional Affiliations
  • American Physiological Society, Environmental and Exercise Physiology (EEP) Section of the APS , Councilor, 2017 - 2020
  • American Physiological Society, Environmental and Exercise Physiology (EEP) Section of the APS Steering Committee, Secretary, 2017 - 2020
  • American Physiological Society, Physiology 2016, a joint meeting of the APS and The Physiological Society, Dublin, Ireland, Chair, 2016 - 2016
  • American Diabetes Association, Member, 2010 - Present
  • American Physiological Society, APS Integrative Biology of Exercise 2012 Conference Organizing Committee , Member, 2010 - 2012
  • American Physiological Society, APS Conference Committee, Member, 2007 - 2011
  • American College of Sports Medicine, Member, 2004 - Present



Our research group is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie chronic disease like obesity, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a highly conserved family of proteins best identified for their role as molecular chaperones. They play a critical role in maintaining cellular function via regulation of protein folding and degradation, and changes in their expression profile and cellular location have been linked to numerous disease states. Our laboratory has demonstrated the ability of HSPs to mediate glucose homeostasis and insulin action in muscle, liver and adipose tissue. Our more recent work examines the role of HSPs in regulating proteostasis and improving neuronal health in Alzheimer’s Disease models. We are examining the possibility that exercise and heat therapy (hot water immersion in a hot tub) may benefit the brain by facilitating the delivery of molecular mediators within extracellular vesicles (EVs; exosomes and microvesicles). EVs are bilayer-phospholipid enclosed vesicles released by cells that can carry cellular proteins and microRNA within bodily fluids, including blood and cerebral spinal fluid. We hypothesize that EVs provide a novel intercellular signaling mechanism to deliver HSPs and associated cargo from skeletal muscle to brain neuronal cells that has not been thoroughly evaluated in the context of the etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease. Finally, we are interested in translating our mechanistic research findings from animal and cell models into novel therapeutic approaches for prevention of metabolic and neurodegenerative disease via heat therapy.

  • Von Schulze, A., T, Deng, F, Fuller KNZ, Franczak, E, Miller, J, Allen, J, McCoin, C., S, Shankar, K, Ding, W., X, Thyfault, J., P, Geiger, P., C. 2021. Heat Treatment Improves Hepatic Mitochondrial Respiratory Efficiency via Mitochondrial Remodeling.. Function (Oxford, England), 2 (2), zqab001
  • Von Schulze, Alex., T, Deng, Fengyan, Morris, Jill ., K, Geiger, Paige ., C. . 2020. Heat therapy: possible benefits for cognitive function and the aging brain. Journal of Applied Physiology
  • Rogers, R., S, Beaudoin, M., S, Wheatley, J., L, Wright, D., C, Geiger, Paige., Christine. 2015. Heat shock proteins: in vivo heat treatments reveal adipose tissue depot-specific effects.. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 118 (1), 98-106
  • Gupte, A., A, Bomhoff, G., L, Swerdlow, Russell., Howard, Geiger, Paige., Christine. 2009. Heat treatment improves glucose tolerance and prevents skeletal muscle insulin resistance in rats fed a high-fat diet.. Diabetes, 58 (3), 567-78