This growing network of researchers and the partnerships with other well-established research institutes greatly increase the breadth, sophistication and impact of research performed by the CHLVH, and presents a number of excellent training opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows within the Centre.
The 1,600-sq.-ft. space for the Cerebrovascular Physiology Laboratory includes a dedicated research space, offices and meeting room space for the graduate students.
The equipment used in the laboratory is state-of-the-art and provides the ability to make sophisticated and accurate measures of integrative cerebrovascular function in humans.
Both noninvasive and invasive approaches are utilized, including: various high-resolution ultrasound systems [transcranial (Spencer), vascular (P50) and cardiac (Vivid Q)]; end-tidal gas control systems (RespirAct & AirForce) and related arterial blood gases analysis; beat-to-beat blood pressure recording systems (Finometer and intra-arterial); applanation tonometers for the measurements of local and regional arterial stiffness; state-of-the-art lower body negative pressure chamber that is able to induce controlled orthostatic challenges, etc; and an environmental chamber that is able to simulate a wide variety of altitude and temperature conditions.
The Sensorimotor Physiology and Integrative Neuromechanics (SPIN) Laboratory, located in Rooms 118 and 119 of the Arts building on UBC Okanagan campus, and has dedicated research spaces as well as a separate office area for trainees.
The SPIN laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment to address multiple aspects of sensorimotor function during standing balance and voluntary contractions. Laboratory equipment include electrical stimulators to evaluate the responsiveness of motor and sensory nerves with a particular focus on vestibular function.
The SPIN Laboratory Is also equipped with systems to assess surface and intramuscular electrical activity (EMEG) of muscles as well as intraneural electrical activity of motor and sensory nerves; force sensors and force plates to measure muscle force and evaluate standing balance, respectively; eye tracking software to evaluate vestibular-ocular interactions; and motion analysis systems to characterize whole-body movements during functional tasks such as standing.
The iCCP is located in the Reichwald Health Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The 1,100-sq.-ft. research facility was designed for two specific purposes. Firstly, the laboratory is set up as a clinical physiology laboratory and has all the necessary equipment for measuring the following: lung mechanics, pulmonary function (spirometry, diffusion capacity, plethysmography), cardiac function (echocardiography [including cardiac mechanics], open circuit acetylene), vascular function (arterial stiffness, FMD, carotid IMTs), blood gas analysis, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (ECG, metabolic measurements). Secondly, the lab also includes a small clinical training facility, which includes a variety of exercise training ergometers (cycle ergometers, treadmills, arm ergometers) as well as resistance training equipment and free weights, specifically for the purpose of performing exercise-training interventions for clinical and aging populations.
The CPLEAP is a state-of-the-art 850-sq.-ft. laboratory dedicated to the study of human cardiopulmonary physiology. The laboratory space includes both research and office space for graduate students.
The lab houses equipment necessary for the precise measurement of pulmonary, cardiovascular, and autonomic nervous systems during physiological stresses and includes: whole-body plethysmograph—pulmonary function testing, pulmonary diffusion capacity, and lung volumes; end-tidal gas control systems (AirForce) and arterial blood gas analysis system; non-invasive and invasive blood pressure monitoring (beat-by-beat and 24-hour ambulatory monitoring); vascular (peripheral and trans cranial) and cardiac Imaging (2D and 3D); pulmonary pressure monitoring (mouth, esophageal, and gastric pressures); sleep monitoring (level 1 through 4 polysomnography systems); neuroamplifiers for direct sympathetic nerve recordings; and gas analysis and metabolics.
Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes continue to increase in Canada and throughout the world. In addition to metabolic impairments, these conditions are associated with a state of chronic low-grade inflammation that is hypothesized to drive systemic pathology.
Research in the Exercise Metabolism and Inflammation Laboratory (EMIL) is focused on: 1) Understanding the mechanisms contributing to chronic low-grade inflammation; and 2) Determining how different exercise and nutritional strategies impact metabolic control and inflammatory status in individuals with, and at risk for, type 2 diabetes. We utilize a translational approach, where in vivo studies in humans with type 2 diabetes guide cell culture experiments designed to understand molecular mechanisms, and vice versa.
In our human exercise physiology laboratory located in the Arts Building we have a metabolic cart, treadmill, cycle ergometers, elliptical trainer, resistance training equipment, and a medical procedures area which enable us to conduct studies ranging from acute exercise manipulations to clinical exercise trials with metabolic measurements. In our cellular and molecular laboratory located in the adjacent Arts and Science Building, we have a full cell culture suite, Miltenyi MACSQuant(R) flow cytometer, MagPIX(R) multiplex reader, real-time PCR machine, multi-function plate reader, and western blot equipment. Key experimental techniques utilized include continuous glucose monitoring, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) isolation/culture, and multi-colour flow cytometry.
Under the guidance of Prof Ali McManus, PERL is pursuing the following areas of research: creating a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms by which cardiopulmonary and vascular adaptations to exercise occur in the child and adolescent; generating a detailed appreciation of the impact prolonged sitting has upon cardiopulmonary and vascular function in childhood; developing novel intervention strategies for the prevention and treatment of sitting-induced cardiopulmonary and vascular dysfunction in childhood.
The 850-sq.-ft. Integrative Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory, located in Room 120 of the Arts Building, has two dedicated research spaces as well as a separate office area for trainees.
The CFI-funded laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment to address multiple aspects of neuromuscular function and plasticity. Equipment includes: magnetic and electric stimulators to assess the responsiveness of the nervous system at the level of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve, as well as intrinsic contractile properties of muscles; systems to record surface or intramuscular electrical activity (EMG) of muscles; isometric myographs to measure static muscle force or torque; and a multi-joint isokinetic dynamometer to determine the strength and power of virtually every major muscle group.
The Translational Integrative Physiology Laboratory aims to understand the neural (sympathetic) circuitry controlling cardiovascular function. We subsequently seek to apply this understanding to develop treatments for cardiovascular and autonomic dysfunction in clinical conditions—with a specific focus on spinal cord injury.
Our lab conducts research across the translational spectrum including in rodent and large animal models of spinal cord injury, the clinical spinal cord injury population and elite athletes with spinal cord injury. Our lab is primarily based at the RHS building on the UBC-Okanagan campus, and we have a small animal surgical suite located in the Arts and Sciences building. We also have dedicated space on the UBC-Vancouver campus for our large animal work.
Our lab is interested in in vivo approaches to measure cardiovascular and autonomic function in a translational manner across species. Examples of techniques we utilize in our animal physiology laboratory include multi-bed sympathetic nerve recordings, direct left- and right-ventricular catheterization, echocardiography, tethered perivascular flow probes, and state of the art telemetric devices for measuring pressure-flow relationships across the cardiovascular system. In the clinical setting, we utilize echocardiography, spirometry, exercise testing, and head-up tilt testing. We are also particularly interested in the notion of translational research and how to effectively develop animal models that enable bi-directional translation.