Research Studies


Dr. Wes Dudgeon’s lab is involved with a number of projects that are related to human performance and body composition. The following are 2 studies that are ongoing: (1) the impact of low level light therapy (lasers) on muscle fatigue, (2) the role of capsaicinoids (compound that makes peppers hot) on metabolism.

If you are interested in being a subject in one of these studies, or volunteering to assist with this work, please contact Dr. Dudgeon at

Dr. Bill Barfield’s research primarily involves study of the musculoskeletal system. Current research examines the following research questions: (1) the sustainability of smoking cessation in total joint arthroplasty patients (2) weight loss among super obese total joint arthroplasty patients, (3) scoliosis AP and ML angle changes across time (4) differential effects of second hand smoke exposure on the two pathways of fracture healing in an animal model.

If you are interested in participating please email

Dr. Kate Pfile’s research interests are centered around anterior cruciate ligament injuries, specifically understanding injury mechanism and identifying potential injury prevention strategies. Current studies are examining the relationship between core stability measures and lower extremity biomechanics during a jump landing task in healthy, physically active adults and youth athletes.

If you are interested in being involved in this area of research, please contact Dr. Pfile at


Dr. Leslie Hart's overarching research theme focuses on environmental exposure to man-made chemicals and resultant health effects. To explore these themes, her research involves two study populations: bottlenose dolphins and college-aged students. The common thread between these two seemingly unrelated species is their vulnerability to exposure. Bottlenose dolphins are particularly vulnerable to chemical contaminant exposure in their coastal and nearshore environments due to the settling of manufacturing emissions, runoff from impervious surfaces in urbanized environments, or garbage waste that has abundantly littered estuaries and oceans. As mammals, many of the adverse health effects seen in bottlenose dolphins may be similar to observations in human populations, providing an opportunity for dolphins to serve as model organisms for humans and vice versa. Additionally, Dr. Hart suspects that college students are particularly vulnerable to chemical contaminant exposure because of the social, economic, and academic pressures that they face.  College students live a unique lifestyle that requires a balance of all of these pressures, which likely results in behavior choices that could put them at a greater risk of exposure to chemicals than other populations.

If you are interested in being involved in this area of research, please contact Dr. Hart at

Dr. Christy Kollath-Cattano’s research interests are broadly related to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery among populations in North and Latin America.  Current projects include: 1) Assessing the effectiveness of a substance use and mental health service usage educational campaign among college students, and 2) Developing and pilot testing a smoking cessation decision aid that includes an in-depth focus on e-cigarettes.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this research, please contact Dr. Kollath-Cattano at