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Applied Biomechanics Research Laboratory

Dr. Saki Oyama, Director

SRL 1.136

Ph: 210.819.5885

Located on the West campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), This lab conducts research that leads to prevention and rehabilitation of upper extremity pain and injury in variety of populations.  Typically, we work with overhead athletes (pitchers, swimmers, weightlifters), patients with chronic diseases, manual wheelchair users, and desk and manual- repetition workers. A great deal of the work done in biomechanics is in the repair of injuries to the musculoskeletal system.  Research in biomechanics is often conducted through the use of computer simulation and human dummies that can stand in for real people during an impact test. The approximately 350 square feet lab space is equipped with Vicon 8-camera motion capture system, electromyography system, handheld dynamometer, and digital inclinometer.

Lab Website: health_and_kinesiology/applied_biomechanics/

Cardiovascular Research Laboratory

Dr. John Zhang, Director

Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering Building 3.408

Ph: 210.458.6229

My primary research interest has been focused on myocardial remodeling following infarction. After myocardium infarction (MI), the heart undergoes extensive myocardial remodeling by accumulating fibrous tissue in both infarcted and noninfarcted myocardium, which distorts tissue structure, increases tissue stiffness, and accounts for ventricular diastolic dysfunction.

My second area of research is to study the effect of exercise on lipid metabolism. It has been hypothesized that postprandial lipoprotein metabolism may play an essential role in cardiovascular disease. We have established fat loading and exercise model to study the effect of exercise on postprandial hypertriglyceridemia and blood lipoprotein metabolism. The pathway of exercise-induced lipoprotein lipase activity still remains unknown. Due to the complexity of in vivo study of lipoprotein lipase, we intend to develop a new model to study lipoprotein lipase by using cultured cells.

Lab Website: health_and_kinesiology/cardiovascular_research/

Laboratory of Community Health & Nutrition Research 

Dr. Erica Sosa, Co-Director 

Ph: 210.458.5053

Dr. Sarah Ullevig, Co-Director 

Ph: 210.458.5998

The Laboratory of Community Health & Nutrition Research engages in collaborative research with community partners. The laboratory's focus is to actively engage and empower communities to identify health-related issues impacting their community and to increase community capacity to address those issues in meaningful and sustainable ways. Because diabetes, obesity and other nutrition-related diseases disproportionately burden south Texas, our laboratory focuses primarily on these health issues and macro-level nutrition initiatives that can aid in prevention of disease. Our research aims to (1) examine structural, cultural, and psychosocial contributors to the onset of diabetes and obesity among minority populations; (2) investigate cultural factors influencing Mexican Americans' perceptions of nutrition and health programs; (3) assess environmental correlates of physical activity and dietary behaviors among underserved communities; and (4) improve measurement of dietary behaviors, data analysis and psychometrics used in Health Promotion research.

Lab Website:  health_and_kinesiology/community_health_lab/

Developmental Motor Cognition Laboratory

Dr. Alberto Cordova, Director

Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory

Dr. Masataka Umeda, Director


The primary aim of the Exercise and Health Psychology Lab is to advance our knowledge regarding the relationship between physical activity and health. In particular, Dr. Umeda has been conducting research examining pain inhibitory processing within the central nervous system, and the influence of physical activity on central pain inhibitory processing in a variety of populations (e.g., chronic pain patients, racial/ethnic minority individuals, physically active and inactive individuals). In addition, Dr. Umeda studies food insecurity and mental health among college students. Dr. Umeda’s research is often conducted using psychophysiological approaches, where pain sensitivity is examined in conjunction with physiological (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate variability) and psychological (e.g., personality, mental health) variables.

 Lab Website:  health_and_kinesiology/exercise_and_health_psychology_lab/

Human Nutrition Laboratory

Dr. Meize He, Director

PE 2.01.09E

Ph: 210.458.7408

The primary focus of this laboratory is the study of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases (e.g. cancer, diabetes). Specifically this laboratory focuses on primary prevention behaviors (i.e. nutrition and physical activity) to maintain a healthy body weight, improve overall health, and increase quality of life. Research is primarily conducted in both the laboratory and community settings, including school and worksite. Community research focuses on providing programing to underserved populations in order to reduce obesity-related health disparities. Laboratory research is focused on the effects of resistance training on weight loss maintenance and the effects of soy supplementation on abdominal adiposity on overweight peri-menopausal women.


 Lab Website:  health_and_kinesiology/human_nutrition_laboratory/

Human Performance Laboratory

Dr. William Land, Director

SRL 1.104

Ph: 210.458.7855

The aim of the Human Performance Laboratory is to investigate the interaction between cognition and human action. Research from this lab is geared towards facilitating sports performance, enhancing motor skill acquisition, illuminating the psychological antecedents of action, and motor rehabilitation. 

Lab Website: health_and_kinesiology/human_performance_laboratory/

Mobile Health Laboratory

Dr. Zenong Yin, Director

Main Building 0.412

Ph: 210.458.5650

The Mobile Health Laboratory is a 38-foot customized mobile home equipped with the most advanced technology used for comprehensive health assessments and used as a facility for community-based interventions in inner-city and rural areas.  UTSA is committed to develop cost-effective obesity and diabetes prevention programs for at-risk populations in Texas.  The mobile health lab allows UTSA researchers to conduct research in these tow vital areas while service the community as well.

Lab Website: health_and_kinesiology/mobile_health_lab1/

Molecular Exercise Physiology Lab

PI: Eunhee Chung, Ph.D.

Lab Website:  /molecular_exercise_physiology_lab/

Motor Learning/Control Study Laboratory

Dr. Wan X. Yao, Director

Main Building 0.412

Ph: 210.458.6230

The broad purpose of the Motor Control and Learning Research Lab is to better understand principles of motor control and motor learning and how the brain contributes to effective movement, with a long-range goal to impact remediation, rehabilitation, and therapeutic practices:

Research Interests

  • The effect of feedback and practice schedules on the acquisition of motor skills
  • Neuromechanisms underlying muscle contractions and force/motor skill transfer.

Lab Website:  health_and_kinesiology/motor_learning_control_study/



Substance Misuse Antecedents, Consequences and Treatment (SMACT) Lab

Dr. Tim Grigsby, Director

Main Building 3.408
Ph: 210-458-6719

The recently established SMACT lab seeks to advance the conceptualization, measurement, and identification of substance misuse among disparate populations with varying profiles of substance use involvement. We are interested in the continuum of substance misuse as described by substance use quantity, frequency, and negative outcomes associated with substance use behavior. Additionally, we investigate the best practices for interventions and the utilization of Internet and mobile-based strategies for secondary prevention efforts.

Lab Website:  health_and_kinesiology/substance_misuse_antecendents_consequences_and_treatment_smact_laboratory/

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