Stephanie Hall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology at Kansas State University. Prior to joining KSU, she taught and conducted research in the Department of Kinesiology at Boise State University. Her research training began at the University of Northern Colorado, where she studied the life-threatening cardiovascular effects of the chemotherapy drug Doxorubicin and the protection provided with exercise. Upon receiving her doctoral degree, she held an NIH-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in a skeletal muscle physiology laboratory at the University of Florida. While in Florida, she studied the mechanisms responsible for respiratory muscle weakness in patients subjected to prolong periods of mechanical ventilation.
Although these research foci seem miles apart, the underlying message is that exercise can be used in the treatment and prevention of disease. Here at Kansas State, Stephanie will continue her work uncovering the mechanisms of exercise protection in one of the most devastating diseases today, Alzheimer’ disease.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurogenerative disease affecting nearly 6 million Americans presently with the number expected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050. There is currently no cure for AD, and the CDC states that it is the third leading cause of death among older adults. In fact, while deaths from heart disease have decreased by 8% since 2000, deaths from AD have increased by 146%. Exercise has been shown to prevent and slow the atrophy of brain tissue. In addition, exercise can effectively improve memory and cognition. Despite this work, much is still unknown and the Hall Laboratory is currently working to discover the mechanisms of exercise-induced neuroprotection.