Vascular Biology & Autonomic Studies Lab


Hypertension spans across all the socioeconomic classes and ethnicities. Presenting with vague or no symptoms but associated with profound morbidity and mortality it is rightly termed the silent killer. Hypertension for several decades has been the most prevalent cardiovascular disease and the leader in all cause mortality. While the prevalence rate of hypertension is increasing, the awareness and control rate have been suboptimal and by the sixth decade of life hypertension is not only more prevalent but also less well controlled and more severe in women.  Currently, Dr. Collier is investigating how sleep disturbances in firefighters and police officers make deleterious changes within the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems following nocturnal shift scheduling. Sleep disturbances have been found to increase the incidence of hypertension and cancer within these populations.   

About the Lab

The Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratories (VBASL) are located in Leon Levine Hall (LLHS 118C and 118D). The primary research of these labs investigates how exercise lowers blood pressure and how treatments such as antioxidant supplementation and chronic exercise can sustain the positive benefits. Combining the expertise of several faculty within the university, the synergistic effect is shown by diverse research topics.

The laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment to study the human vasculature, beat-to-beat blood pressure control and even how the brain modulates our heart rate. The research focus allows the community to participate in these important trials as the researchers focus on diseases such as hypertension, cancer, and atherosclerosis. While exercise is a main prevention and treatment, these labs also investigate how sleep is affected by exercise and blood pressure changes.

While cutting edge research is completed in these labs, they also serve as teaching facilities for both graduate and undergraduate students. These facilities are home to the Exercise Science Undergraduate Cardiovascular Research Team that has already had one Nationally recognized American Physiological Society Research Fellow and another internally funded scholar that are working on a project that investigates the effects of anti-oxidant supplementation on blood pressure following exercise. Students continue to be an important part of these laboratories and will complete senior capstone and Masters Theses here.

Contact Information

Scott R. Collier, PhD, FACSM

Director; Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratories

Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences 432 D

Phone: (828) 262-7145


Current Research


50. *Sarean Harmoni A. Gaynor-Metzinger, N. Travis Triplett, Marco Meucci, Kimberly S. Fasczewski, *Damon H. Flinchum, Scott R. Collier. Central Arterial Stiffness, Wave Reflection, and Heart Rate Variability Following 4-Week High-Intensity Resistance Training Intervention in Young Active Women. IJAP. 2022

49. Meucci M, Nandagiri V, Kavirayuni VS, Whang A, Collier SR. Correlation Between Heart Rate at Maximal Fat Oxidation and Aerobic Threshold in Healthy Adolescent Boys and Girls. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2021 May 6:15. doi: 10.1123/pes.2020-0210. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33958504.

48. *Tocci ND, Collier SR, Meucci M. Measures of ejection duration and subendocardial viability ratio in normal weight and overweight adolescent children. Physiol Rep. 2021 May;9(9):e14852. doi:10.14814/phy2.14852. PMID: 33991440; PMCID: PMC8123553.

47. *Payseur DK, *Belhumeur JR, Curtin LA, Moody AM, Collier SR. The effect of acute alcohol ingestion on systemic hemodynamics and sleep architecture in young, healthy men. J Am Coll Health. 2020 May 5:1-8. doi:10.1080/07448481.2020.1756826. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32369424.

46. Collier SR, *McCraw C, *Campany M, *Lubkeman A, *StClair P, Ji H, Sandberg K, Morgan JW, Smith CJ. Withings Body Cardio versus Gold Standards of Pulse-Wave Velocity and Body Composition. J Pers Med. 2020 Mar 11;10(1):17. doi: 10.3390/jpm10010017. PMID: 32168728; PMCID: PMC7151625.

45. *Landram M, McAnulty S, Utter A, Baldari C, Guidetti L, Collier S. Effects of Continuous vs Discontinuous Aerobic Training on Cardiac Autonomic Remodeling. Int J Sports Med. 2019 Mar;40(3):180-185. doi: 10.1055/s-0044-100921. Epub 2019 Jan 10. PMID: 30630193.

44. *Landram MJ, Utter AC, Baldari C, Guidetti L, McAnulty SR, Collier SR. Differential Effects of Continuous Versus Discontinuous Aerobic Training on Blood Pressure and Hemodynamics. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):97-104. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001661. PMID: 27676274.

43. *Meucci M, Baldari C, Guidetti L, *Alley JR, Cook C, Collier SR. Metabolomic Shifts Following Play-Based Activity in Overweight Preadolescents. Curr Pediatr Rev. 2017;13(2):144-151. doi:10.2174/1573396313666170113145553. PMID: 28088898.

42. Tibana RA, Almeida LM, DE Sousa Neto IV, DE Sousa NMF, DE Almeida JA, DE Salles BF, Bentes CM, Prestes J, Collier SR, Voltarelli FA. Extreme Conditioning Program Induced Acute Hypotensive Effects are Independent of the Exercise Session Intensity. Int J Exerc Sci. 2017 Dec 1;10(8):1165-1173. PMID: 29399246; PMCID: PMC5786200.

41. Caldwell KL, Bergman SM, Collier SR, Triplett NT, Quin R, Bergquist J, Pieper CF. Effects of tai chi chuan on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults: lessons from a randomized controlled feasibility study. Nat Sci Sleep. 2016 Nov 14;8:305-314. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S117392. PMID: 27895522; PMCID: PMC5118018.

40. Wright SP, Hall Brown TS, Collier SR, Sandberg K. How consumer physical activity monitors could transform human physiology research. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2017 Mar 1;312(3):R358-R367. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00349.2016. PMID: 28052867;

39. Tibana RA, Nascimento Dda C, de Sousa NM, de Almeida JA, Moraes MR, Durigan JL, Collier SR, Prestes J. Similar hypotensive effects of combined aerobic and resistance exercise with 1 set versus 3 sets in women with metabolic syndrome. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2015 Nov;35(6):443-50. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12182. Epub 2014 Aug 15. PMID: 25123256.

38. S McAnulty, L McAnulty, S Collier, TP Souza-Junior, J McBride. Tai Chi and Kung- Fupractice maintains physical performance but not vascular health in young versus old participants. The Physician and Sportsmedicine 2016 44 (2), 184-189

37. *Meucci M, Cook C, Prestes J, Collier SR. Cardiac Autonomic Modulation in Children Following 4 and 8 Weeks of Supervised Summer Activity. Journal of Childhood Obesity. 2015.

36. Morris DM, *Huot JR, *Jetton AM, Collier SR, Utter AC. Acute Sodium Ingestion BeforeExercise Increases Voluntary Water Consumption Resulting in Pre-Exercise Hyperhydrationand Improvement in Exercise Performance in the Heat Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 47(2):250-6

35.*Jessica R. Alley, *John W. Mazzochi, Caroline J. Smith, David M. Morris, and Scott R. Collier. Effects of Resistance Exercise Timing on Sleep Architecture and Nocturnal Blood Pressure. J Strength Cond Res. 201529(5):1378-85

34. *Kimberly Fairbrother, *Ben Cartner, *Jessica R. Alley, *Chelsea D. Curry, David Dickinson, David M. Morris, Scott R. Collier. Effects of exercise timing on sleep architecture and nocturnalblood pressure in prehypertensives. Vascular Health and Risk Management. 2014 12;10:691-8.

33. Sang Ouk Wee, Kenneth H. Pitetti, Styliani Goulopoulou, Scott R. Collier, Miriam Guerraand Tracy Baynard. Impact of Obesity and Down Syndrome on Peak Heart Rate and AerobicCapacity in Youth and Adults. Res Dev Disabil. 2014 36C:198-206

32. *Kanokwan Bunsawat, Goulopoulou, Stella, Scott R. Collier, Arturo Figueroa- Galvez, KenPitetti, Tracy Baynard. Normal Heart Rate with Tilt, Yet Autonomic Dysfunction in Persons with Down Syndrome. Med Sci Sports Exercise 2014 47(2):250- 6

31. McAnulty LS, Collier SR, *Landram MJ, *Whittaker DS, *Isaacs SE, *Klemka JM, *Cheek SL, *Arms JC, McAnulty SR. Six weeks daily ingestion of whole blueberry powder increases natural killer cell counts and reduces arterial stiffness in sedentary males and females. Nutr Res. 2014 Jul;34(7):577-84. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Jul 8. PMID: 25150116.

30. Dos Santos ES, Asano RY, Filho IG, Lopes NL, Panelli P, Nascimento Dda C, Collier SR,Prestes J. Acute and chronic cardiovascular response to 16 weeks of combined eccentric or traditional resistance and aerobic training in elderly hypertensive women: a randomized controlled trial. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 28(11):3073-84

29. Tibana RA, Nascimento DD, de Sousa NM, de Almeida JA, Moraes MR, Durigan JL, CollierSR, Prestes J. Similar hypotensive effects of combined aerobic and resistance exercise with 1 setversus 3 sets in women with metabolic syndrome. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. 2014 35(6):443-50

28. Scott R. Collier, Kathryn Sandberg, *Ann Moody, Vincent Frechette, *Chelsea Curry, HongJi, *Rashmi Hottigoudar,* Debanik Chaudhuri, and *Marco Meucci. Reduction of plasma aldosterone and arterial stiffness in obese pre- and stage1 hypertensive subjects after aerobic exercise. Journal of Human Hypertension; 2014 (1):53-5

27. Martin M Root, Scott R Collier, Kevin A. Zwetsloot, *Katrina L West and *Megan C McGinn. A randomized trial of fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on arterial health, inflammation, andmetabolic syndrome in a young healthy population. Nutrition Journal; 2013 8;12(1):40

26. *Jetton A, *Meucci M, *Haines T, Collier SR, Utter AC. Dehydration and acute weight gainin mixed martial arts fighters before competition; JSCR; 2013 27(5):1322-6

25. *Marco Meucci, *Chelsea D Curry, Carlo Baldari, Laura Guidetti, Carol Cook, Scott R Collier. Effect of play-based summer break exercise on cardiovascular function in adolescents. Acta Pediologica; 2013;102(1):24-8

24. *M Meucci, C Cook, *CD Curry, L Guidetti, C Baldari, Collier SR. Effects of supervised exercise program on metabolic function in overweight adolescents. World Journal of Pediatrics;2013 (4):307-11

23. Collier SR, *Landram MJ. Treatment of prehypertension: lifestyle and/or medication. Vascular Health and Risk Management; 2012; (8):613-9

22. Collier SR, Frechette V, Sandberg, K, *Schafer P, Ji H., Smulyan H., Fernhall B. Sex Differences in resting hemodynamics and vascular stiffness following 4 weeks of exercisetraining. Biol Sex Differ. 2011; 2(1):9.

21. *Kappus RM, *Curry CD, McAnulty SM, *Welsh J, Nieman DC, Collier SR. The effects of amultiflavanoid supplement on central blood pressure and arterial stiffness following acute exercise. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2011; 2 (1):0798.

20. Collier SR, *Diggle, MM, *Heffernan KS, *Kelly EE, *Tobin MM, Fernhall B. Changes inArterial Distensibility and Flow Mediated Dilation Following Acute Resistance vs. AerobicExercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010; 24(10):2846- 52

19. Agiovlasitis S, Collier SR, Baynard T, Echols GH, Goulopoulou S, Figueroa A, Beets MW,Pitetti KH, Fernhall B. Autonomic response to upright tilt in people with and without Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 2010; 31(3):857-63

18. *Heffernan KS, Sosnoff JJ, Ofori E, Jae SY, Baynard T, Collier SR, *Goulopoulou S, FigueroaA, Woods JA, Pitetti KH, Fernhall B. Complexity of force output during static exercise in individuals with Down Syndrome. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2009; 106(4):1227-33

17. Fernhall B, Baynard T, Collier SR, Figueroa A, Goulopoulou S, Kamimori GH, Pitetti KH.Catecholamine Response to Maximal Exercise in Persons with Down Syndrome. American Journal of Cardiology. 2009; 103(5):724-6.

16. Collier SR, Kanaley JA, R. Carhart Jr., Frechette V, *Tobin MM, *Bennett N, *LuckenbaughAN, Fernhall B. Cardiac Autonomic Function and Baroreflex Changes Following 4 Weeks of Resistance Versus Aerobic Training in Individuals With Pre Hypertension. Acta Physiologica.2009; 195(3):339-48

15. Collier SR, Kanaley JA, Carhart Jr., Frechette V, *Tobin MM, *Hall AK, *Luckenbaugh AN,R., Fernhall B. Effect of 4 weeks of aerobic or resistance exercise training on arterial stiffness, blood flow and blood pressure in pre-and stage-1 hypertensives. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2008; 22(10):678-86.

14. Collier SR. Sex differences in the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on blood pressureand arterial stiffness. Gender Medicine. 2008; 5(2):115-23.

13. *Heffernan K, Collier SR, *Kelly EE, Fernhall B. Arterial Stiffness and Baroreflex SensitivityFollowing Bouts of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2007; 28 (3): 197-203

12. Collier SR, Manini TM, Tillotson JW. Predictors of Success In Exercise Physiology. TheMentor: An Academic Advising Journal, 2007; 9 (1).

11. Collier SR, *Collins E, Kanaley JA. Oral Arginine Attenuates the Growth Hormone Response to Resistance Exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. 2006; 101: 848-852

10. Unnithan VB, *Kenne EM, Logan L, Collier SR, Turk M. The effect of partial body weight support on the energy cost of walking in children with spastic cerebral palsy; Pediatric ExerciseScience. 2006 18: 11-21

9. *Goulopoulou S, Figueroa A, Collier SR, Baynard T, Giannopoulou I, Fernhall B. CardiacAutonomic Control in Individuals with Down Syndrome. American Journal of Mental Retardation. 2006; 111(1): 27-34

8. *Heffernan K, *Kelly E, Collier SR, Fernhall B. Cardiac autonomic modulation during recovery from acute endurance versus resistance exercise; European Journal of CardiovascularPrevention and Rehabilitation. 2006; 13(1): 80-86

7. Fernhall B, Figueroa A, Collier SR, *Goulopoulou S,Giannopoulou I, Baynard T. RestingMetabolic Rate is Not Reduced in Obese Individuals with Down Syndrome. Mental Retardation. 2005; 43(6): 391-400

6. Kanaley JA, Giannopoulou I, Collier SR, Ploutz-Snyder R, Carhart R Jr. Hormone- replacement therapy use, but not race, impacts the resting and exercise-induced GH response inpostmenopausal women. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2005; 153(4): 527-33

5. Fernhall B, Figueroa A, Collier SR, Baynard T, *Giannopoulou I, *Goulopoulou S. Blunted heart rate response to upright tilt in people with Down syndrome. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2005; 86(4): 813-8

4. Collier SR, *Casey DP, Kanaley JA. Growth Hormone Responses to Varying Doses of Oral Arginine. Growth Hormone and IGF Research. 2005; 15 (2): 136-139

3. Clark BC, Collier SR, Manini TM, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Sex differences in muscle fatigabilityand activation patterns of the human quadriceps femoris. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2005; 94: (1-2): 196-206

2. Figueroa A, Collier SR, Baynard T, *Giannopoulou I, *Goulopoulou S, Fernhall B. Impairedvagal modulation of heart rate in individuals with Down syndrome. Clinical Autonomic Research. 2005; 15(1): 45-50

1. *Heffernan K, Baynard T, *Goulopoulou S, Giannopoulou, I, Collier SR, Figueroa A, Fernhall B. Baroreflex Sensitivity During Static Exercise in Individuals with Down Syndrome. Medicineand Science in Sports and Exercise. 2005; 37(12): 2026-31