Applied Physiology Laboratory

The Applied Physiology Lab is part of the Osness Human Performance Laboratories housed in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences.

Mission & Vision

The research direction at the Applied Physiology Laboratory has two major concentrations: one on skeletal muscle physiology and the other on the effects of stress on immune function. Conditions such as aging and many diseases elicit significant muscle loss. Thus, it is our goal to investigate the underlying mechanisms and etiology of muscle atrophy and hypertrophy with the long-term intent of developing a successful countermeasure strategy to muscle wasting. Furthermore concurrent physical and mental challenges precipitate an exaggerated endocrine response that potentially increases susceptibility to opportunistic infections through suppression of innate immunity. By gaining a better understanding of factors contributing to disease and infection susceptibility we will help in the design of future wellness interventions and strategies to help formulate future health care policies.





The University of Kansas Applied Physiology Laboratory is a freestanding facility with 4,500 square feet of research and office space. The Applied Physiology Laboratory houses a biochemistry area, a molecular biology area, a blood draw and muscle biopsy procedures room, an exercise testing area, a histochemical area, and various areas for exercise/metabolic testing.

Current Projects

Currently, the Applied Physiology Laboratory is conducting several different research studies:

  1. Examining the role that heat-shock proteins play in preventing muscle damage and atrophy.
  2. The interaction of nutraceuticals and exercise on intracellular signaling pathways in skeletal muscle.
  3. Effects of exercise and inactivity on cytokine responses in skeletal muscle and blood.
  4. Examining the role that apoptosis and the ubiquitin proteosome pathway has on aging skeletal muscle and other forms of muscle atrophy.

Current Funding

  1. Translating neuromuscular effects of targeted isometric strength training, National Institute of Health / National Institute of General Medical Sciences K-INBRE Partnerships for Translational Research Training Award – P20 GM103418, ($20,000). 05/01/14 – 04/30/15.
  2. Establishing Optimal Training Intervals for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) For Improvement in Physical Performance and Warrior Mindset. Office of Naval Research, ($711,519). 03/01/14 – 02-28/17.

Selected Publications & Presentations

  1. Gallagher, P, C Touchberry, K Teson, E McCabe, M Tehel, M Wacker. (2013). Effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on fiber-type specific GLUT4 and IGF-1R expression. Appl Physiol Nutri Metab, 38:581-86. PMID: 23668768.
  2. Gallagher, P. (2013). Stress sensors of skeletal muscle: Heat shock induced cytokine expression. Focus on "Skeletal muscle interleukin-6 regulation in hyperthermia". Am J Physiol: Cell Physiol, 305:C375-C376. PMID: 23784546.
  3. Vardiman, J, L Jefferies, C Touchberry, P Gallagher. (2013). Intramuscular heating through fluidotherapy and heat shock protein response. J Athl Training, 48:353-61. PMID: 23675795.
  4. Touchberry, C, A Gupte, G Bomhoff, Z Graham, P Geiger, P Gallagher. (2012). Acute heat stress alters skeletal muscle signaling responses following downhill running. Cell Stress Chaperones, 17:693-705. PMID: 22589083.
  5. Richmond, S, C Touchberry, P Gallagher. (2009). Forskolin attenuates the action of insulin on the Akt/mTOR pathway in human skeletal muscle. Appl Physiol Nutri Metab, 34:916-25. PMID: 19935854.
  6. Wacker, M, M Tehel, P Gallagher. (2008). Technique for quantitative RT-PCR analysis directly from single muscle fibers. J Appl Physiol, 105:308-15. PMID: 18467545.


Applied Physiology Laboratory Faculty and Staff


Philip Gallagher, Laboratory Director

Trent Herda

Andrew Fry

Joseph Weir

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