Exercise Physiology

Assistant professor Audrey Stone works with students in a lab

Photo of Hirofumi Tanaka

Program Director
Hirofumi Tanaka

Exercise Physiology is the study of how our bodily systems respond and adapt to stimuli of acute and chronic exercises and how these changes are related to health, disease, physical function, and performance. Our Exercise Physiology program offers students the opportunity to explore practical areas of study that prepare them for a career promoting healthy lifestyles.

Additionally, graduate students can focus on a research-intensive route that benefits from the vast amount of resources and knowledge provided by the university and faculty.

Students are assigned to an advisor who will guide them through their degree to ensure that they are completing the most optimal coursework in preparation for their future career.

Exercise Physiology provides several options for graduate degrees. We offer a practical M.Ed. graduate program that aims to prepare students to work in clinical rehabilitation, sport science and nutrition fields.

Our research-driven degrees include M.S. and Ph.D. programs that pair students with a faculty mentor. These programs carry out research in various topics studying acute and chronic exercise responses and adaptations related to metabolic and cardiovascular health in people who are physically inactive, aged or diseased. 

Students pursuing research-driven degrees are strongly encouraged to contact the professor conducting research that matches their research interests.


Photo of Edward Coyle

Edward Coyle


Investigates the metabolic consequences of inactivity and the effectiveness of spring interval training for maintaining health and performance. 

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Michelle Harrison

Research Assistant Professor

Research focuses on biomarkers underlying lifestyle behaviors, metabolic health, and chronic disease in at-risk populations.

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Jasdeep Kaur

Assistant Professor

Interests include racial disparities in vascular function and blood pressure responses during exercise in health and disease.

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Harold W Kohl

Research Professor

Specializes in public health, epidemiology and the study and promotion of physical activity for health.

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Sophie Lalande

Assistant Professor

Studies the limiting factors to exercise capacity in healthy individuals and clinical populations.

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Philip Stanforth

Clinical Associate Professor

As the Executive Director of the Fitness Institute of Texas, trains students on the techniques of fitness assessment.

Photo of Audrey Stone

Audrey Stone

Assistant Professor

Studies the control of circulation during exercise, especially in those affected by diabetes.

Photo of Hirofumi Tanaka

Hirofumi Tanaka


Studies the effects of vascular dysfunction due to aging, and the lifestyle habits that can prevent or reverse dysfunction.

Labs and Research Areas

Autonomic Control of Circulation Laboratory

Investigates the effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the neural control of circulation during exercise.

Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory

Investigates the influence of aging and lifestyle modifications on vascular function and disease risks.

Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Examines the cardiovascular limitations to exercise capacity in healthy individuals and clinical populations.

Fitness Institute of Texas

Provides clinical research services for health/fitness research and conducts the popular “Get FIT” program. Outcome measures include body composition, bone density, and cardio-respiratory and musculoskeletal health assessments.

Health and Integrative Physiology Laboratory

Investigates the mechanisms underlying the link between lifestyle behaviors, metabolic health, and chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in at-risk populations.

Human Performance Laboratory

Investigating the types of physical activity and exercise that keep people healthy and allow them to achieve their physical potential.

Neural Cardiovascular Control Laboratory

Investigates the underlying mechanisms for attenuated vascular function and heightened sympathetic activation in at-risk populations such as African Americans and in clinical populations.

Physical Activity and Core Laboratory

Supports investigators conducting research related to physical activity and exercise interventions.