Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory

Carlson 1B06

Phone: 303-735-6410
Fax: 303-492-6778

Research Focus

The research goals of the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory are to determine:
  • important changes in physiological function with aging;

  • modulation of those changes by biological factors (e.g., adiposity, vitamin D/estrogen status) and lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity/inactivity, diet);

  • the efficacy of interventions, both lifestyle and pharmacological (including "nutraceuticals"), for reversing adverse changes in physiological function with aging;

  • the integrative (systemic to molecular) biological mechanisms that mediate physiological changes with aging and the effects of modulating influences and interventions on those changes.

Within this context of the integrative physiology of aging, a primary focus is "vascular aging", in particular the development of large elastic artery stiffness and impaired arterial endothelial function with advancing age. A recently added direction of interest involves assessing decreases in motor and cognitive function with aging and the ability of potential healthspan-extending interventions to improve age-associated reductions in motor/cognitive performance.

A wide range of contemporary experimental techniques are employed to study these issues in human subjects, rodents, and cell culture using cross-sectional, intervention, and longitudinal study designs. Emphasis is placed on the integrative nature of the physiological and pathophysiological processes involved from a mechanistic perspective.

Our research on human subjects is performed in the University of Colorado Boulder Clinical Translational Research Center (CTRC). If you are interested in participating, please review the Volunteers Needed page and contact one of the investigators.

The laboratory provides scientific training from the undergraduate to postdoctoral levels, and is supported by individual investigator (R01 and R21), fellowship (F31, F32, K01) and institutional training grant (T32) awards from the National Institutes of Health.

See our Facebook page to learn more about activities in our laboratory.

Opportunities for Undergraduates

To learn more about research opportunities for undergraduates in our laboratory, see the undergraduate research application page. Our needs change each semester so if we are not currently bringing in new undergrads, please check back.


Back row: Chris Martens, Matt Rossman, Cody Johnson, Doug Seals, Zack Sapinsley, Jamie Richey, Hannah Rosenberg, Nina Bispham, Jessica Santos-Parker
Front row: Melanie Zigler, Chelsea Steward, Kara Lubieniecki, Lauren Cuevas, Vienna Brunt, Kayla Woodward, Melissa Mazzo

Highlighted Articles

 Santos-Parker JR, LaRocca TJ, Seals DR. Aerobic exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors that influence vascular aging. Advances in Physiology Education 38:296-307, 2014.
 Seals D, Melov S. Preclinical Studies: Track function in ageing animals. Nature 511: 406-407, 2014.
 Seals DR, Melov S. Translational Geroscience: Emphasizing function to achieve optimal longevity. Aging 6(9): 718-730, 2014.
 Seals DR. Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lecture: The remarkable anti-aging effects of aerobic exercise on systemic arteries. Journal of Applied Physiology 117: 425-439, 2014.
 Seals D, Santos-Parker J, LaRocca T. Translational physiology in practice. Physiology News 2014(96): 38-42, 2014.
 Seals DR. Translational physiology: from molecules to public health. Journal of Physiology 591(14): 3457-3469, 2013


Recent Publications

For a complete list of publications click here.