Upon completion of graduate work at the University of Georgia, where he earned a doctorate in exercise physiology and a Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology, Dr. Michael Delp served as the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of Missouri. Prior to coming to Florida State University, Delp was a Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, a Professor and Vice Chair in the Division of Exercise Physiology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and a faculty member in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University.
Dr. Michael Delp’s research is primarily focused on understanding the effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular system and, more specifically, the microcirculation. To accomplish this goal, his laboratory has used exercise training to investigate the effects of high levels of physical activity on cardiovascular function, while aging, microgravity (simulated and actual) and type II diabetes have been used as models where low levels of physical activity is a key component of the condition. According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disorders. It also contributes to other risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, low levels of HDL cholesterol, and diabetes. Work from the Delp laboratory has focused on the full spectrum of physical activity on smooth muscle and endothelial cell function of resistance arteries, and how activity-related alterations in vasomotor function alters control of arterial pressure and tissue perfusion. The specific areas of investigation include the following:
- The effects of aging and exercise training on vascular control mechanisms in skeletal muscle.
- The effects of actual and simulated microgravity on microvascular control mechanisms in the brain, splanchnic tissue and skeletal muscle, and how these alterations contribute to health risks associated with spaceflight.
- The possible coupling of diminished blood flow and microvascular endothelial function to bone loss associated with disuse, old age and type II diabetes.