Researcher: Arturo Figueroa, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Professor of Exercise Physiology
Laboratory: Room 122, Vascular Health Laboratory
Dr. Figueroa has 22 years of experience conducting applied exercise physiology studies in humans. He has been an independent investigator since 2004 and will direct the Vascular Health Laboratory. His background includes the study of arterial function and muscle fitness (mass, strength, and performance) in middle-aged and older adults with obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Figueroa has been funded by the National Watermelon Promotional Board (2008-2009 and 2010-2011), Nutrisystem Inc. (2010-2011), U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (2011-2013), U.S. California Strawberry Commission (2013-2015), Cherry Research Committee (2014-2016), and U.S. Apple Association (2014-2016). The relative risk for obesity, hypertension, and sarcopenia (major factors for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic abnormalities) is higher in women. Therefore, his past and current research has focused on the impact of strength training and nutritional supplementation on the age- and obesity-related cardiovascular and metabolic disturbances in women.
Application of Expertise to Health Disparity Research
Recent evidence suggests that greater arterial dysfunction and metabolic disturbances in Hispanics and African-Americans may explain the increased cardiovascular risk in these minority groups compared to Whites. Dr. Figueroa will extend his research to examine arterial function and muscular fitness in Hispanics, especially in women, with high risk for developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Figueroa's research on the vascular and body composition benefits of strength training and nutritional supplementations will fit well in the proposed Ph.D. program focused on health disparities. He plans to develop collaborations with researchers in the department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, Nutritional Sciences, and the TTU Health Sciences to investigate effective exercise and dietary interventions for improving vascular function and muscular fitness in clinical populations of interest.
Laboratory Skills and Capabilities
• Pulse wave analysis using SphygmoCor:
o measures central (aortic) blood pressures
o measures of pressure wave reflection
• Arterial stiffness and pressure wave reflection using arterial tonometry:
o Measures of central (aortic) pulse wave velocity.
o Measures of peripheral pulse wave velocity (arm and leg).
o Measures of central (carotid) blood pressures and wave reflections.
• Cardiac autonomic regulation using finometer:
o Measures of heart rate variability
o Measures of stroke volume and peripheral vascular resistance
o Measures of cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity (sequence method)
• Measurements of cardiovascular function during laboratory tests that increase sympathetic activation:
o Post-exercise muscle ischemia (metaboreflex)
o Cold pressor
o Assessment of endothelial-dependent vasodilatory capacity by measuring arterial flow-mediated dilation using Doppler ultrasound.
o Measurements of muscle blood flow at rest and during/after exercise using Doppler ultrasound
o Assessment of peripheral microvascular function and skeletal muscle oxygenation using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) at rest and during exercise.
o Assessment of lean mass and fat mass using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) and Bioelectrical Impedance Analyses (BIA)
Laboratory Equipment (planned for my first year)
• SphygmoCor XCEL Pulse Wave Analysis System (AtCor Medical)
• Complior Analyse PWV and central (carotid) pressure analysis (Alam Medical)
• Finometer MIDI beat-by-beat blood pressure and hemodynamics system (Finapress Medical Systems)
• Doppler Ultrasound (Aloka, ProSound)
• Brachial and Carotid Artery Analyzer (Medical Imaging Applications)
• Near Infrared Spectroscopy Device (Artinis, PortaMon MkII)
• Rapid Cuff Inflation Pump (Hokanson E
Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management
AddressBox 43011, Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX 79409