Research lab groups in the School of Health Professions
Collaboration and commitment unite the scientists in these lab research groups within the University of Kansas School of Health Professions.
Faculty are leading teams of research scientists to improve health conditions for specific populations. These research lab groups can involve graduate and undergraduate students, community partners and alliances with other universities.
Accessible Leisure Laboratory
Led by KU occupational therapy faculty member Lisa Mische Lawson, Ph.D., this lab's major goal is to promote the health of individuals with disability and chronic illness through leisure and physical activity.
Dave Burnett, Ph.D., RRT, the school's associate dean for faculty practice and community partnership, is director of this lab dedicated to helping improve the health of individuals living with chronic respiratory conditions. Its research is currently funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration and American Association for Respiratory Care.
Christifano Research Laboratory
This lab's work aims to incorporate diet and lifestyle interventions to impact maternal and infant autonomic nervous system function and development. It collaborates with neurocognitive scientists to answer questions regarding the impact of dietary interventions on infant health and cognition.
Clinical Orthopedic Rehabilitation and Research (CORR) Laboratory
Lab director Neena Sharma, Ph.D., and her team are studying the biomechanical factors contributing to musculoskeletal injury with a goal to advance clinical research in orthopedic rehabilitation.
Diabetes Research Laboratory
Led by Irina V. Smirnova, Ph.D., the Diabetes Research Laboratory aims to uncover the biochemical and molecular mechanisms that benefit cardiac muscle in people with diabetes.
Health Exercise and Aging Laboratory (HEAL)
Part of the Georgia Holland Research Laboratory, the major goal of ongoing research in this lab is to improve the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disabilities.
Hull Body Composition Laboratory
Led by director Holly Hull, Ph.D., this lab conducts innovative research in nutritional sciences, including the investigation of factors affecting body composition in all stages of life.
Laboratory for Advanced Rehabilitation Research in Simulation (LARRS)
The major goal of this research group is to investigate the use of virtual reality to improve rehabilitation outcomes in neurological conditions. Focus areas include driving simulation, virtual reality postural and gait training, eye tracking, cognitive workload, and motor cognition.
Maternal and Child Nutrition and Development Laboratory
World-renowned experts in their fields, Susan Carlson, Ph.D., John Colombo, Ph.D., and Kathleen Gustafson, Ph.D., lead this highly interdisciplinary collaboration looking at docosahexaenoic acid intake during pregnancy and infancy, as well as the effect of DHA on cognitive and visual acuity development in young children.
Research by Robin Maser, Ph.D., revolves around the pathogenesis and treatment of polycystic kidney disease. In particular, the lab has focused on the structure-function relationships of polycystin-1 (PC-1), the protein product of the PKD1 gene, and the contribution of reduced antioxidant protection to the pathogenetic mechanism of PKD.
Mobility and Falls Laboratory
Led by Jacob Sosnoff, Ph.D., the school's associate dean for research, this lab is dedicated to helping improve the health and well-being of individuals living with mobility impairment. Its research is currently funded by the National Institute of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Institute of Disability Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.
Neuromuscular Research Laboratory
Through the study of posture and gait disorders in post-stroke individuals, as well as those suffering from Parkinson's disease, these scientists are developing novel approaches and technologies in neuro-rehabilitation.
Nutrition Education and Literacy Laboratory
Heather Gibbs, Ph.D., is conducting research that focuses on the challenges of nutrition literacy, or the capacity to understand and act upon nutrition information, and its impact on research and health care.
Reading, Language, and Learning Laboratory
Led by Mindy Bridges, Ph.D., this lab group conducts research related to reading and language development and disorders in children.
Sleep, Health, and Wellness (SleepWell) Laboratory
By examining factors that influence motor skill learning such as aging, injury and sleep, researchers seek to better understand how individuals with brain damage recover motor function and the underlying mechanisms that promote recovery.
Sullivan Nutrition Assessment Laboratory
Research in this lab is focused on prevention of obesity in children as well as weight management in adults and is currently exploring how dietary intake influences the aging brain.
Taylor Nutrition and Brain Health Laboratory
Research in this lab focuses on how nutrition may be used to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. It is also researching the influence of nutrition on the gut microbiome and brain health.
Visual Neuroscience Laboratory
Jeff Radel, Ph.D., is investigating how anatomic relations and functional capacities of the visual system are altered after perturbations during development or through disease. His work includes the study of brain injuries from sports, diabetic autonomic neuropathy, and the effect of DHA during pregnancy on the developing child.
Zhu Diabetes Research Group Laboratory
Current projects in this lab led by Hao Zhu, Ph.D., include the study of how Ncb5or, or NADH-cytochrome b5 oxidoreductase, functions in cells, in tissues and in the whole organism. Focusing on fatty acid desaturation, triglyceride synthesis and utilization, glucose metabolism, and pancreatic beta-cell function, scientists aim to define the impact of the overall signaling process on energy balance.