The newly renovated Human Performance Lab (HPL) is housed in the first floor and basement level of the Multidisciplinary Science Building on Rose Street and includes over 3700 square feet of shared space, overseen by the Colleges of Health Sciences and Education, and directed by Dr. Brian Noehren (Health Sciences). It contains equipment capable of assessing physical function, strength, motion, and gait, as well as for exercise training; computers with all software necessary for data collection and analysis are also onsite. A full list of equipment housed in the HPL can be found here. The HPL enables investigators of various backgrounds to conduct more extensive and sophisticated 3D motion analysis, exercise interventions, and treatment programs. In addition to lab space, there are multiple examination and treatment rooms adjacent to the basement laboratory that are utilized for the UK Running Clinic.
The Laryngeal & Speech Dynamics Lab (LSD), located in Wethington 106, is a multipurpose research facility designed to study the physiological and behavioral aspects of speech and voice production. The LSD research group couples basic and clinical research, allowing for an integrated approach to the study of normal and disordered human communication. The lab is primarily designed to study sensorimotor aspects of vocal tract systems, but the equipment setup and stimulus protocols can be adapted with minimal effort to support conceptually similar research studies in both hand and limb systems. This flexibility allows for expanded research and training opportunities for other areas with related interests in the sensorimotor dynamics of skilled human behavior (i.e., Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Kinesiology). Through affiliations with the Departments of Behavioral Science and Physiology, research using functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans with voice disorders and studies of muscle biology of the laryngeal system in the rodent model is also ongoing.
The Musculoskeletal Laboratory (MSL) is approximately 1300 square-feet and is located in the Charles T. Wethington building. It is a facility dedicated to scholarly research and hands-on instructional education, and also serves the Center for Muscle Biology as a core laboratory. The main lab includes equipment and expertise for 1) Assessment of the sensorimotor system as it relates to musculoskeletal injuries, 2) Assessment of force production and neuromuscular control, and 3) Evaluating the outcomes of interventions with the use of patient self-reported outcomes, functional tests, 3 D kinematic analysis of every day motions, sensorimotor tests such as balance, strength, endurance, power, and muscular recruitment changes. Satellite labs have equipment for both aerobic and resistance exercise intervention studies. The MSL works intimately with the BioMotion Lab (part of the Human Performance Labs) in the Multi-Disciplinary Science (MDS) building.
Eight research laboratories, located on the 4th floor of the Wethington building, encompass approximately 7000 square feet. Labs include all the state-of-the-art equipment required for biochemical, molecular and cellular analyses, including water purification systems, real time PCR and tissue culture equipment. Labs are supported by common use facilities including equipment rooms, sterilization and dishwashing facilities, liquid nitrogen storage and an imaging facility that encompass an additional 1000 square feet. The wet labs are home to the Center for Muscle Biology's Muscle Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Imaging Core. The imaging facility contains four Zeiss microscopes: two fluorescent microscopes, the AxioImager MI upright and the AxioObserver D1 inverted, each with Axiocam HRC (color) and Mrm (black and white) digital cameras and AxioVision automated image analysis software; and two upright bright field microscopes, one with dual eyepieces for teaching purposes.
This laboratory focuses on the mechanical and physiological properties of muscle tissue during in-vivo ambulation and exercise in a number of models. We collect direct, real time measurements of mechanical properties and performance of skeletal muscle during modified use, and measure the cellular responses thereafter. Although it is known that muscle adapts following various modes of exercise, the mechanisms that govern these adaptive processes remain unknown at the cellular level and appear to be related to the mechanical micro-environment of individual fibers within the matrix of skeletal muscle. The additional contributions of altered muscle function to bone and joint health is of great clinical interest, and we have devised new methodologies to further our understanding of the impact of abnormal muscle function on bone, cartilage, and ligament health during exercise.