Texas Tech University

Vascular Aging Laboratory

vascular aging lab

Director:     Joaquin U. Gonzales, Ph.D.

Location:     Kinesiology & Sport Management Building, room 119

Laboratory Focus

Nearly half of U.S. adults have some form of cardiovascular disease.  Many modifiable lifestyle factors have a strong impact on cardiovascular health.  Our laboratory focuses on the multidirectional relation between sleep, physical activity, and vascular function in order to determine optimal behaviors to lower the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and promote healthy aging.  


The Vascular Aging Laboratory at Texas Tech University has been active in human research since 2011.  During this time, the laboratory has been funded by various funding sources.

Source: Scholarship Catalyst Award, Office of Research and Innovation, Texas Tech University
Title: Effect of stable sleep patterns on peripheral vascular function following sleep deprivation 
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates: 2024
Amount: $7,000

Source: American Heart Association, Innovative Project Award
Title: Effect of Pulsatile Pressure & Long Sleep Duration on Cerebral Vascular Function
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates: 2019-2021
Amount: $197,451

Source: American Heart Association, Southwest Affiliate, Beginning Grant-in-Aid
Title: Impact of Reduced Arterial Stiffness on Peripheral Vascular Function 
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates: 2015-2017
Amount: $136,076

Source: Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health, Seed Grant
Title: Age and the Effect of Preclinical Cognitive Decline on Mobility
Role: Co-Principal Investigator (50%)
Dates:  2015-2016
Amount: $10,300         

Student Research

Students that are actively conducting reserach or have successfully completed a graduate thesis project in this laboratory include:

  • Jacob Dellinger, 2021-2023, title of thesis “Impact of sleep regularity on skeletal muscle oxygenation changes during cycling exercise”;

jdellinger   Graduated in 2023. Plans after graduation TBD.

  • Cayla Clark, 2019-2021, title of thesis "Effect of fractionized exercise on nighttime central blood pressure, cognitive function, and cerebral tissue oxygenation under conditions of normal and long sleep durations";

cclark   Graduated in 2021. Currently a PhD student at Texas Women's University.

  • John Ashley, 2016-2017, title of thesis "Effects of L-citrulline supplementation on the energetic cost of walking";

jashley  Graduated in 2017. Currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas.

  • Andrea Raymond, 2015-2017, title of thesis "Effect of L-citrulline on gait performance in older adults";

araymond  Graduated in 2017. Works as a registered nurse at Texas Health Resources in the Dallas-FortWorth metroplex.

  • Melissa Inigo-Vollmer, 2010-2012, title of thesis "Influence of menstrual cycle phases on exercise-induced bronchospasm and its effect on endurance performance".

minigo  Graduated in 2012. Currently a Research Scientist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.


Recent Research Findings


Chronotype influences brain activation.  Our laboratory recently demonstrated that cerebral oxygenation during a cognitive test performed in the morning is strongly associated with chronotype.  Individuals that had a greater propensity for an earlier bed and wake times (i.e., early chronotypes) exhibited higher cerebral oxygenation than individuals that preferred later bed and wake times (i.e., late chronotypes) despite no differences in cognitive performance between individuals.  The link between chronotype and cerebral activity remained even when late chronotypes were asked to change their sleep timing to earlier bed times.  This study demonstrates that a person's circadian rhythm greatly impacts brain activation which may have significant implications for timing of interventions like cognitive training or exercise.  You can read more about this research study in the journal Scientific Reports at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-45238-5.

Other research publications from this laboratory can be viewed on Dr. Gonzales' Faculty Research page.


Interested in Participating in Research?

We are currently recruiting adults between the ages of 25-64y for a study examining the impact of stable sleep patterns on vascular function.  Click here to learn more Study Flyer


Interested in Getting Involved?

Students interested in getting involved with research in this laboratory should contact Joaquin U. Gonzales, Ph.D.

Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management

  • Address

    Box 43011, Texas Tech University, 2500 Broadway, Lubbock, TX 79409
  • Phone