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About the REACH Lab

KU's Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health lab explores cardiovascular physiology, brain aging and stroke recovery.

The Research in Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (REACH) laboratory is comprised of dedicated students, researchers and volunteers from the community who work together to answer important questions about chronic disease and disability.

We focus on research integrating three areas of study: cardiovascular physiology, brain aging and stroke recovery by looking at the heart, lungs, brain and vascular system. Using non-invasive methods such as exercise interventions, we can maximize heart and brain health in people with and without disease.

Lab Team

Lab Director
Sandra Billinger, Ph.D., PT

Current and former students

  • Back Row (L-R): Mohammed Alwatban, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, Katherine Nguyen, DPT student; Jake Buchanan, DPT student; Sandra Billinger, Ph.D., PT, lab director;
  • Middle Row: Carolyn Kaufman, M.D.-Ph.D. student, Megan Lockwood, DPT student, Alicen Whitaker, DPT, Ph.D. student
  • Front Row: Jaimie Ward, senior research coordinator, Allegra Morton, DPT student, Andrew Geise, research assistant; Drew White, research assistant
  • Not pictured: Andrea Freemyer, postdoctoral fellow, and Madison Henry, DPT student.

Students in our lab are typically pursuing either a clinical doctorate degree in physical therapy or a Ph.D. If you're interested in internship opportunities in the REACH lab, please contact Dr. Billinger directly.

Our Collaborators

The REACH Lab currently has affiliate relationships with the following organizations:

Lab Facilities and Equipment

The REACH lab consists of state-of-the-art equipment that allows us to assess various aspects of cardiovascular fitness and exercise-training capabilities.

Cardiovascular Function

  • Space is temperature and humidity-controlled for accurate vascular assessments.
  • Siemens Acuson Sequoia 512 standard-resolution ultrasound for standard echocardiography, tissue Doppler imaging, and vessel imaging (e.g. endothelial function, carotid IMT)
  • GE Logiq P5
  • SphygmaCor for pulse-wave analyses, measurement of arterial stiffness, and central blood pressure
  • Finometer Pro, a non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure monitor for acquisition of hemodynamic variables
  • Two Hokanson Rapid Cuff Inflation systems for determining resistance vessel vasodilatory capacity
  • Metlab Data Acquisition system with multichannel interface
  • Vascular research tools: automated software to analyze vascular ultrasound images for measures of endothelial function (e.g. flow-mediated dilation)

Cerebrovascular Function

  • Multigon trans-cranial Doppler ultrasound with robotic headband to detect blood flow patterns in the large arteries of the brain at rest and during exercise
  • Transfer function analysis

Exercise Testing and Training

  • Parvo Medics True One 2400 oxygen uptake unit and 12-lead ECG unit
  • Oxycon portable oxygen uptake unit
  • Trackmaster motorized treadmill and Lode Excalibur Sport Cycle Ergometer
  • Actigraph physical activity monitors
  • Three NuSteps, two T5XR treadmills, elliptical trainer, and cycle ergometers
  • Full circuit of resistance equipment
  • Biodex dynamometer

Additional Capabilities

  • Space for blood draws
  • Space for function testing by trained personnel
  • Six-minute walk test
  • Balance tests
  • Small conference room for meetings
KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Neurology
Mailstop 2012
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-6970
Fax: 913-588-6965