Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

Winter 2016

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Heart Hypothesis

Kinesiologist testing treatment for coronary microvascular dysfunction 

Heart Illustration

One in four female deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. Kinesiology Assistant Professor Michael Nelson hopes to reduce that number by studying the root causes of coronary microvascular dysfunction, a condition that damages tiny coronary arteries in women.

"Our previous research has shown that the heart muscle doesn't relax properly in these women, and that they are prone to developing heart failure. But we don't understand why," says Dr. Nelson, who won a four-year grant from the American Heart Association for his study. "Our hypothesis is that the impaired relaxation of the heart is directly related to coronary microvascular dysfunction and contributes to the progression of heart failure."

He and his team will use MRI techniques to test their theory on 30 subjects. Half of the patients will have the condition; the other half will be age- and gender-matched controls. Participants also will be given a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor—a drug that is known to improve microvascular blood flow—to see if it can alleviate the disorder and restore normal heart function. Area cardiologists will prescribe the medication.

Anne Bavier, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, believes Nelson's research could prove to be a potent weapon in the war against heart disease.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States," she says. "The outcome of this study could go a long way toward saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and improving the quality of life for millions of others."

Illustration by Henry Campbell

More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research