Centre Laboratories

Cerebrovascular Physiology Laboratory (CPL)

CPL LabPrincipal investigator: Dr. Phil Ainslie

The 1,600-sq.-ft. space for the Cerebrovascular Physiology Laboratory includes a dedicated research space and office 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.

Here is a brief overview of our research capabilities:

  • 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;
  • Environmental chamber that is able to simulate a wide variety of altitude and temperature conditions.

Sensorimotor Physiology and Integrative Neuromechanics Lab (SPIN)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Brian Dalton

The Sensorimotor Physiology and Integrative Neuromechanics (SPIN) Laboratory, located in Rooms 118 and 119 of the Arts building, 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.

Dr. Dalton and his team investigate the adaptability of the brain, nerves and muscles in response to acute and chronic stressors (e.g., healthy adult aging, sleep deprivation, hypoxia, and neuromuscular fatigue). General research themes of interest include:

  • Understanding sensorimotor control and neuromuscular function across the lifespan;
  • Investigating how the brain and sensory systems manage standing balance;
  • Examining how fatigue affects our ability to control muscle responses.

The integrative Clinical Cardiopulmonary PhysiologyLaboratory (iCCP)

iCCP LabPrincipal Investigator: Dr. Neil Eves

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).

The laboratory 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.

Cardiopulmonary Laboratory for Experimental and Applied Physiology (CPLEAP)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Glen Foster

The CPLEAP is a state-of-the-art 850-sq.-ft. laboratory dedicated to the study of human integrated cardiopulmonary physiology. The laboratory contains office space for graduate students and equipment necessary for the precise measurement of pulmonary, cardiovascular, and autonomic nervous systems during physiological stresses.

Equipment includes:

  • Whole-body plethysmograph—pulmonary function testing, pulmonary diffusion capacity, and lung volumes;
  • End-tidal gas control and arterial blood gas analysis systems;
  • 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);
  • Venous occlusion strain gauge plethysmography;
  • 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.

    Exercise Metabolism and Inflammation Laboratory (EMIL)

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Jonathan Little

    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.

    The Pediatric Exercise Research Lab (PERL)

    Principal Investigator: Dr Ali McManus

    The Pediatric Inactivity & Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory (PERL) is an 850 sq ft Canadian Foundation for Innovation funded laboratory in the ARTS building (ART183). This is a unique pediatric testing facility at UBC-O, that has been planned first and foremost to be a child friendly environment, has a comfortable area for children and parents to wait before and during tests, that can also be used for prolonged sitting experimentation and three individual testing rooms. There are also shared data processing and work spaces for trainees. The equipment used in the laboratory is state-of-the-art and allows sophisticated non-invasive integrative assessment of the oxygen uptake transport cascade, importantly using equipment that is tailored to the child including:

    • Cycle erometer: LODE Excalibur cycle ergometer with power at the foot and crank length adaptations used with children ≥130cm and a LODE Pediatric Corival for children <130cm in stature
    • Respiratory gas analyses via breath-by-breath gas analysis and a prospective gas targeting system with pediatric masks and mouthpieces
    • High-resolution Duplex ultrasound
    • Transcranial Doppler with pediatric and adult sized headgear for probe placement
    • Integrated beat-by-beat cardiovascular and blood pressure measurement system
    • Exercise blood pressure, pulse oximetry, heart rate telemetry
    • Wireless near infrared spectroscopy system for muscle oxygen extraction
    • Leg-worn accelerometer-inclinometers and wrist-worn accelerometers for assessment of sedentary behavior and free-living movement patterns
    • Dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and bioelectrical impedance for body composition


    Integrative Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory (INPL)

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris McNeil INPL
    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.