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Metabolic & Applied Physiology Lab (MAP Lab)


Lab Director: Matthew J. McAllister


The Metabolic and Applied Physiology Laboratory (i.e., MAP Lab) involves work with human subjects with a focus on dietary and exercise interventions aimed at improving aspects of cardiometabolic health and performance.


Specific areas of focus within the MAP Lab include:

Dietary interventions such as caloric/carbohydrate restriction, intermittent energy restriction and nutraceutical use (i.e., dietary antioxidants) on body composition, performance, and biochemical markers of oxidative stress and cardiometabolic health

The impact of dietary or exercise interventions on acute metabolic responses to calorie dense feedings (high fat meals)

Methods to mitigate the physiological impact of stressors in high stress occupations (firefighters, military personnel, etc.)

While research within the MAP lab involves a variety of physical and biochemical analyses, much of the work is centered on oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition associated with excessive production of radical species (e.g., free radicals) resulting in damage to various biomolecules such as proteins, DNA, enzymes, and cellular structures. Most of the work done within the MAP Lab is focused on investigating methods to increase antioxidant protection against oxidative stress and improve “metabolic flexibility”. Since oxidative stress has a strong association with the aging process as well as most chronic diseases, research findings have major implications for a variety of populations in terms of health and performance benefits, especially in high stress occupations (e.g., firefighters, military personnel, etc.). The MAP Lab also provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to learn about metabolic and biochemical assessments that may involve collection of biological samples (i.e., blood, saliva, skeletal muscle) as well as the analysis of stress hormones, markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.


For more information on the ongoing research with high stress occupations, see our Tactical Physiology & Performance page.


Contact Dr. McAllister for more information regarding the ongoing research in the MAP Lab: or 512-245-2953.

A brief tour of the MAP Lab