Springfield College Collaborates with Vanderbilt University Medical Center on a Multi-Center Research Study



SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies Samuel Headley is serving as principal investigator on a three-year, $120,000 research award from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The study focuses on collecting data on Springfield area patients being examined for oxidative stress in chronic kidney disease.

Headley is joined by Springfield College Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Sport Studies Richard Wood as co-investigator in the research. Headley and Wood are among a select number of researchers across the country contributing to the Vanderbilt study.

“The overall goal of our research group is to improve the quality of life of chronic kidney disease patients by employing lifestyle modifications,” said Headley. “For more than 10 years, we have worked closely with Dr. Michael Germain and his colleagues at Western New England Renal and Transplant Associates (WNERTA) to conduct these studies. Our capacity to participate in Vanderbilt’s current multi-center trial would not have been possible without our collaboration with WNERTA. We are also indebted to Charles Milch and his colleagues in the Springfield College Physician Assistant Program, who provide essential medical coverage during our research sessions.”

Participants in the study receive several weeks of supervised exercise in the exercise science and sport studies (ESSS) laboratory, nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, and a stipend to compensate for their time and transportation costs. The ESSS laboratory is part of the Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and supports the Center for Wellness Education and Research.

“Springfield College being a site for this study is exciting for a couple of reasons,” said Wood. “First, it is evidence of the increased research quality and productivity that we are currently experiencing. Second, this increased research activity is happening with the involvement of our undergraduate students, which provides outstanding educational opportunities unique to the College.”

Springfield College graduate students in the ESSS department will benefit from direct experience in working with study subjects and through their local participation in carrying out the sophisticated research protocol designed by Vanderbilt. Locally, Springfield College is collaborating with Baystate Radiology and Imaging in providing bone density scans and results, a key study measure using dual-energy, x-ray absorptiometry equipment.

This is the first collaboration between Springfield College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. T. Alp Ikizler is the principal investigator for the multi-center study, which receives funding from the National Institutes of Health.