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: 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-present, title of thesis “Impact of sleep regularity on skeletal muscle oxygenation changes during cycling exercise”;

jdellinger   Current graduate student in Texas Tech's Master of Science in Kinesiology degree program.

  • 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 postdoctoral scientist in the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

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

araymond  Graduated in 2017. Works as an exercise physiologist at The Heart Hospital Baylor in Denton, TX.

  • Melissa Mae R. Inigo, 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 postdoctoral scientist in the Center for Human Nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center.


Recent Research Findings


Do long sleep durations alter vascular function in the brain?  Our laboratory demonstrated that oxygenation of the cerebral blood vessels in the brain may be increased after one week of long sleep.  While this change was not associated with improved cognitive function, it may indicate altered neural activity following sleep extension.  This work is published in the Journal of Sleep Research and can be viewed at  https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.13582 


Does extra time trying to sleep improve vascular function?  We recently showed that increasing sleep duration from about 7 hours to 9 hours or more can improve vasodilatory capacity of skeletal muscle microvasculature.  However, the increase in time in bed may increase time awake during the night which may diminish the positive impact of the extra time asleep.  This work is published in the journal Sleep Medicine and can be read at  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2022.01.021 

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

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