About the HPL

The mission of the Human Performance Laboratory is to study disease states affecting the human condition such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, muscle wasting, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes and subsequently determine how a physically active lifestyle can aid in the prevention or as an intervention for these conditions. This mission is achieved by conducting basic research ranging from cell cultures to animal models and using the information gathered to conduct translational studies in the intact human. Knowledge gained by our faculty is directly disseminated through didactic teaching, seminars, journal clubs, and one-on-one interaction with graduate and undergraduate students. The long-standing (>25 y) Cardiovascular Risk Assessment program offers a clinical vehicle for hands-on student training as well as an opportunity to provide meaningful service and information concerning effective exercise practices to the university and local communities. In summary, the HPL provides a foundation for conducting research, student education, and service in concordance with the mission of East Carolina University as well as the translational concept of "From Cell to Society" exemplified by the Department of Kinesiology.

Joseph Houmard

Joseph Houmard, Ph.D.

I have been the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory since 1996, and have seen it grow dramatically with support from the department, college, and university levels. The HPL is an integral part of the B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology by providing instruction as well as research opportunities for undergraduates. The M.S. in the Exercise Physiology track provides assistantship opportunities for students to directly work in the HPL; M.S. students from a variety of programs can also utilize HPL resources for their thesis or culminating research project. Students in the Ph.D. program in Bioenergetics and Exercise Science are mentored and funded by HPL faculty; this interdisciplinary program also utilizes resources in the Brody School of Medicine. In all of these academic programs we strive to provide the tools to prepare and uniquely train students for their subsequent careers.

At the HPL we provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning about and promoting the benefits of an active lifestyle. Our research focus’ upon discerning the underlying mechanisms linked with conditions such as obesity, muscle wasting, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, The Metabolic Syndrome and negative aspects of the aging process. Our service programs take the message of how to successfully perform and integrate physical activity into your life by providing diagnostic testing, exercise prescriptions and specialized exercise programs to the community.

If you have any interest in our programs or would like to learn more about the lab please feel free to contact me or anyone on this site.

Joe Houmard