Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science & Technology

Mooney LAB for Exercise, Nutrition, & Biochemistry

Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation
One Bear Place #97313
Waco, TX 76798-7313

Our Mission

The Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science & Technology, the Mooney Lab ENB, and the Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Laboratory are designed and equipped to provide our students with advanced academic training and practical experience in the exercise and health sciences. Our facilities provide an optimal environment for faculty and students to develop, test, and apply knowledge, skills, competencies, and to integrate their Christian worldview through service learning and research. The purposes of our laboratories are to:

  • Plan, research, and promote strategies and interventions to encourage and improve human health, fitness, sports, and wellness, as well as prevention.
  • Foster collaborative efforts within Baylor University and the surrounding medical community to develop and implement empirically-based wellness interventions
  • Provide community access to affordable, state-of-the-art fitness assessments, current health information, and individualized exercise prescriptions in order to improve the human condition and reduce chronic disease risk
  • Enhance sports performance and athletic achievement by testing sport-specific physical characteristics and developing individualized training recommendations based on test results.
  • Educate clinicians to become advanced practitioners through hands-on strategies and comprehensive evidence-based practice research.
Home - BLEST Lab
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Our Facilities

Together, the Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science & Technology (BLEST) and the Mooney Lab (MLENB) integrate four separate facilities that are housed in the Marrs-McLean Gymnasium (MMG). These laboratories provide a collaborative environment where our HHPR faculty and students can conduct several research studies simultaneously. These facilities also allow us to deliver the very best hands-on instruction to undergraduate and graduate students in our Exercise Physiology and Athletic Training programs as well as interested students from other programs across campus.

The Baylor Laboratories for Exercise Science & Technology

The BLEST includes three separate labs and over 4400 sq ft of functional space. The Cardiopulmonary Assessment and Health Appraisal Lab (MMG 127) is a 2000 sq ft, split-floor room.

Lab Cardiopulmonary Assessment

The lab is equipped with a variety of exercise ergometers (e.g., treadmills, cycle ergometers, recumbent cycles, elliptical trainers, upper-body ergometers), Quinton® electrocardiography and stress-testing systems, MedGraphics™ automated open-loop spirometry, and the latest Parvo-Medics® respiratory gas analysis equipment. This equipment enables us to determine cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic power; blood pressure, heart rate, electrocardiographic and other hemodynamic responses to exercise; pulmonary function at rest and during exertion; and, exercise energy expenditure using the latest technology.

The Body Composition Lab (MMG 126) is equipped with a state-of-the-art Hologic™ dual x-ray absorptiometer (DXA) for estimating body composition and bone density. Body composition may also be estimated using bioelectrical impedance and skin fold techniques.

Lab Body Comp & Resting Energy Expenditure

The Vascular Imaging & Ultrasound Lab has two Parvo-Medics® respiratory gas analysis systems are dedicated to assessing resting energy expenditure. Together, the measurements of body composition and energy expenditure provide important information for formulating specific exercise interventions and monitoring weight loss programs.


BLEST Testing & Assessment Capabilities

  • Anaerobic Capacity Testing (Lode® Excalibur system)
  • Blood Collection & Assessment (clinical chemistries: metabolic and lipid panels, electrolytes, kidney and liver function, CBC and differentials, hormone analyses, etc.)
  • Body Composition and Bone Density Assessment (dual x-ray absorptiometry, BIA)
  • Cardiopulmonary/ECG Exercise Stress Testing
  • Exercise Prescription and Training
  • Metabolic Stress Testing (oral glucose tolerance, measures of post-prandial lipemia)
  • Nutrition Analysis
  • Respiratory Gas Analysis (resting and maximum oxygen consumption, ventilatory threshold testing, resting and exercise energy expenditure)
  • Sports-Specific Endurance Performance Testing (treadmill and cycle ergometry)
  • Strength Testing (Isokinetic & Isotonic)
  • Total Body Water Assessment (BIA)
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The Mooney Lab for Exercise, Nutrition, & Biochemistry

EBNL Willoughby PictThe Mooney Lab is set up to process, store, and analyze blood, urine, and muscle tissue samples collected in various studies. Additionally, the Mooney Lab is equipped with a number of biochemistry analyzers that can assay muscle tissue and various substrates, hormones, and gene expression (e.g., spectrophotometers, automated plate reader, multi-plex bead array, automated electrophoresis, HPLC, real time PCR, automated hematology, gene microarray system, automated DNA sequencer/analyzer, etc). The Mooney Lab has the capacity to conduct a vast array of biochemical and molecular biology techniques used in exercise physiology and nutrition research.

Mooney Lab Testing & Assessment Capabilities

  • Real-Time Quantitative PCR (CFX Connect, Bio-Rad)
  • Multi-Imager for UV-Vis (Chemi-Doc System, Bio-Rad)
  • Automated DNA Sequencing (ABI Prism 310, Applied Bio-Systems)
  • Protein Array Analysis (Bio-Plex System, Bio-Rad)
  • Microplate Analysis (xMark System, Bio-Rad)
  • Automated Protein/Nucleotide Electrophoresis (Experion System, Bio-Rad)
  • Tissue Histochemistry and Photomicroscopy (Canon System)
  • Urine Analyzer (Clinitek System, Bayer)
  • Electrophoresis (Spife 3000)

Our Faculty and Staff

Affiliated Faculty

  • Rodney Bowden, PhD (Professor and Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences)
  • Deborah Johnston, PhD (Associate Professor, HHPR, Exercise Physiology)
  • Brian Leutholtz, PhD, FACSM (Professor, HHPR, Clinical Exercise Physiology)
  • Joe Shim, PhD (Associate Professor, HHPR, Motor Behavior)
  • Renee Umstattd, PhD (Associate Professor, Public Health, Physical Activity Behavior)
  • LesLee Funderburk, PhD (Assistant Professor, Nutrition)
  • Michelle Law, PhD (Assistant Professor, Nutrition)

The HHPR faculty are dedicated to high-quality internally and/or externally funded research primarily on human participants and rodent models. The majority of our research efforts are aimed at investigating the independent and combined effects of exercise and nutrition on health and human performance. HHPR faculty actively seek and have been highly effective in obtaining research grants from public and private entities to fund independent research studies on a variety of exercise, nutrient, supplement, and pharmaceutical interventions. HHPR faculty welcome collaborative research endeavors with private industry to sponsor university-based research studies on the safety and efficacy of their products.