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College of Health Sciences

Faculty Research Spotlight: Evan Johnson, Hydration, and Thermoregulation

Assistant Professor Evan Johnson with the Division of Kinesiology and Health.Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology Evan Johnson recently made a trip to the Clinical Research Center at Lund University in Malmö, Sweden where he was learning a new technique for the quantification of the pre-pro hormone, "copeptin".

Johnson is continuing a research project funded by Danone, one of the world’s largest producers of bottled water and a company he has conducted research with for seven years, currently investigating the question of how much water is necessary for rehydration after a healthy person senses that he or she feels dehydrated. The 125 research participants kept diet records for two weeks, which graduate students then entered into nutritional software that calculates the micronutrient and macronutrient content of the subjects’ diets. After performing data-cleaning procedures (determining outliers to identify errors or establish an explanation), Johnson and his team will present their findings at the Experimental Biology conference. This project has also enabled Johnson, a huge believer in collaboration across disciplines and institutions, to work with Professor of Human Nutrition D. Enette Larson-Meyer, who is conducting her own analysis of iodine intake through the samples already collected for Johnson’s study.

In collaboration with K&H’s Drs. Gretchen Sewczak-Claude, Boyi Dai, and Derek Smith, as well as Professor of Pharmacology Sree Nair, Johnson is in the grant stage of a research project investigating kidney injury as a result of high intensity interval training. One element of consideration is the individuals taking an NSAID, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, for pain relief before exercising. Acute kidney injuries may include a decrease in filtration rate, a blockage, and damage to the nephron. The study will focus on a young population and the impact after even one session of high-impact interval training.

Johnson is kept busy with multiple other projects and research ideas. He is guiding students in his Advanced Exercise Physiology course as they create a submission for the American Physiology Society’s spring student video competition. Together with K&H Associate Professor Tucker Readdy, Johnson is interested in working with fire fighters to build their heat acclimatization before fire season and determine how beneficial this practice is. Far in the future, after UW’s environmental training chamber is built for its athletes, Johnson is considering “research possibilities regarding the athletic benefits of combined thermoregulatory and altitude training.”

K&H appreciates Johnson’s commitment to collaboration and research expertise, and looks forward to his upcoming findings and future investigations.

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