Dr. Figueroa studies the effects of exercise on autonomic control of the cardiovascular system, arterial stiffness, and endothelial function. His primary focus is on the effects of resistance exercise, whole-body vibration, L-citrulline supplementation (synthetic and from watermelon)and functional foods on cardiovascular function and body composition in middle-aged and older adults with chronic diseases associated with reduced physical activity and obesity.
Ph.D.- Physiological Sciences(Applied Physiology), 1999
University of Arizona
M.S. - Sports Medicine, 1985
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
M.D. - Medicine, 1979
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
Arjmandi BH and Figueroa A (2012).Daily Incorporation of strawberries into a diet favorably improves vascular function and lowers aortic blood pressure in postmenopausal women with prehypertension. California Strawberry Commission. $82,037
Arjmandi BH and Figueroa A(2012). Daily incorporation of blueberries into a diet favorably improves vascular function and lowers aortic blood pressure in postmenopausal women with prehypertension. U.S. Highbush blueberry council. $74,997.
Figueroa A (2011). The effect of low-intensity resistance exercise and diet on arterial function in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. December 2010-2011. Funding agency Nutrisystem Inc. $36,185.
Figueroa A, Arjmandi BH. Effects of watermelon supplementation on arterial stiffness and vascular inflammation in older individuals with the metabolic syndrome.2010-2011. Funding agency National Watermelon Promotional Board; amount: $76, 874.
Figueroa A, Arjmandi BH, Perkins-Veazie P. Effect of watermelon on aortic hemodynamic parameters in older postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1 hypertension. 2008-2009.Funding agency National Watermelon Promotional Board; amount: $50,000.
The effects of 12-weeks of resistance exercise training in women with fibromyalgia, American College of Sport Medicine Foundation Research Grant, $5000, Derek Kingsley(Ph.D. student).
The effects of oral L-arginine and resistance exercise training on arterial stiffness, endothelial function and vascular inflammation in postmenopausal women. Florida State University, College of Human Sciences Research Initiation Award, 2007, $6,000, principal investigator.
Effects of oral L-arginine on arterial stiffness and autonomic function in resistance trained men during physiological conditions with sympathetic hyperactivity, MEMS, 2006, $5000, Alvaro Bada(Medical student).
The effect of resistance exercise training on arterial stiffness in middle-aged women with and without fibromyalgia, Florida State University, College of Human Sciences Equipment Grant, 2005, $10,000, principal investigator.
The acute and chronic effect effects of resistance exercise on cardiovascular autonomic control in women with fibromyalgia, Florida State University, CRC First Year Assistant Professor Award, 2005, $14000, principal investigator.
- Clinical cardiovascular physiology. The effects of resistance exercise, whole-body vibration, and oral amino acid supplementation (L-citrulline and watermelon) on neural control of the circulation, aortic blood pressure, arterial wave reflection, arterial stiffness, and endothelial function in aging and chronic diseases associated with obesity and physical inactivity.
Current research projects: 1. Acute and chronic cardiovascular effects of whole-body vibration in overweight/obese premenopausal and postmenopausal women. 2. Aortic and leg arterial stiffness responses to muscle ischemia after static squat and whole-body vibration. Laboratory Information: Autonomic function is measured by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability, blood pressure variability and spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity. Arterial stiffness is measured by augmentation index and pulse wave velocity using applanation tonometry of the radial artery. Parameters are measured in response to head-up tilt, isometric handgrip, cold pressor, and during and after an acute bout of exercise. EQUIPMENT: Finometer beat-to-beat blood pressure and hemodynamic monitoring system; Sphygmocor for pulse wave velocity, aortic blood pressure and augmentation index (arterial stiffness); Omron VP-2000 Enhanced vascular profiling system for measurements of pulse wave velocity and ABI; Two Spacelabs ambulatory blood pressure monitors (model 90207); Hokanson Plethysmography System to measure both limb arterial and venous blood flow non-invasively; Biopac MP100 Data Collection System with ECG and hand grip attachments; Impedance cardiography for stroke volume and cardiac output; WinCPRS software to estimate power spectrum density of heart rate/blood pressure variability and spontaneous baroreflex sensitvity; Electronic tilt table to evalaute cardiovascular responses to orthostatic stress; 10 MedX machines; and Two PRO-5 AIRdaptive Whole-body Vibration Power Plate.
Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Wong A, Arjmandi BH. Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension. Am J Hypertension, In Press, 2012.
Figueroa A, Gil R, Wong A, Hooshmand S, Park SY, Vicil F, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Whole-body vibration training reduces arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and sympathovagal balance in young overweight/obese women. Hypertension Res Epub ahead of print 23 February 2012.doi:10.1038/hr.2012.15
Wong AM, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Gil R, Vicil F, Park SY, Figueroa A. Passive vibration on the legs reduces peripheral and systemic arterial stiffness. Hypertension Res 35:126-127, 2012.
Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Wong AM, Vicil F, Gil R, Park SY, Figueroa A. Impact of passive vibration on pressure wave characteristics. J Human Hypertension Epub June 23, 2011.
Figueroa A, Park SJ, Seo DY, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Baek YH. Combined resistance and endurance exercise training improves arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and muscle strength in postmenopausal women. Menopause Epub Apr 30, 2011.
Kingsley JD, McMillan V, Figueroa A. Resistance exercise training does not affect postexercise hypotension and wave reflection in women with fibromyalgia. Appl Physiol Nutr Metabol. In Press, 2011.
Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Weider R, Kim JS, Vicil F, Figueroa A. Creatine supplementation attenuates hemodynamic and arterial stiffness responses following an acute bout of isokinetic exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. In Press.
Figueroa A, Gil R, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Whole-body vibration attenuates the increase in leg arterial stiffness and aortic systolic blood pressure during post-exercise muscle ischemia. Eur J Appl Physiol. Epub Dec 3, 2010. DOI 10.1007/s00421-010-1746-6,
Kingsley JD, McMillan, Figueroa A. The effects of 12 weeks of resistance exercise training on disease severity and autonomic modulation at rest and after acute leg resistance exercise in women with fibromyalgia. Arch Phy Med Rehabil 91:1551-1557, 2010.
Figueroa A, Marcos A Sanchez-Gonzalez, Perkins-Veazie P, Arjmandi BH. Effects of Watermelon Supplementation on Aortic Blood Pressure and Wave Reflection in Individuals with Pre-hypertension: A Pilot Study. Am J Hypertension Epub July 8, 2010; doi:10.1038/ajh.2010.142.
Figueroa A, Vicil F. Post-exercise aortic hemodynamic responses to low-intensity resistance exercise without and with vascular occlusion. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2010 Epub Feb 1.
Figueroa A, Trivino JA, Vicil F, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Oral L-citrulline supplementation attenuates blood pressure responses to cold pressor test in young men. Am J Hyertension 23:12-16, 2010.
Kingsley JD, Panton LB, McMillan V, Figueroa A. Cardiovascular autonomic modulation after acute resistance exercise in women with fibromyalgia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 90:1628-1634, 2009.
Figueroa A, Hooshmand S, Figueroa M, Bada AM. Aortic hemodynamic and cardiovagal baroreflex responses to isometric exercise and postexercise muscle ischemia in resistance-trained men. Scand J Med Sci Sports published online April 2009.
Fernhall B, Baynard T, Collier SR, Figueroa A, Gouloupolou S, Kamimori GH, Pitetti KH. Catecholamine response to maximal exercise in persons with Down syndrome. Am J Cardiol 103:724-726, 2009.
Heffernan KS, Sosnoff JJ, Ofori E, Jae SY, Baynard T, Collier SR, Goulopoulou S, Figueroa A, Woods JA, Pitetti KH, Fernhall B. Complexity of force output during static exercise in individuals with Down Syndrome. J Appl Physiol. Jan 22 Epub ahead of print, 2009.
Franklin RM, Baynard T, Weinstock RS, Goulopoulou S, Carhart R, Ploutz-Snyder R, Figueroa A, Fernhall B, Kanaley JA. Autonomic Responses to Physiological Stressors in Women with Type 2 Diabetes. Clin Auton Res 18(2):66-73, 2008.
Figueroa A, Kingsley JD, McMillan V and Panton LB. Resistance exercise training improves heart rate variability in women with Fibromyalgia. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 28 (1):49-54, 2008.
Kanaley JA, Baynard T, Franklin RM, Weinstock RS, Goulopoulou S, Carhart R, Ploutz-Snyder R, Figueroa A, Fernhall B. The effects of a glucose load and sympathetic challenge on autonomic function in obese women with and without type 2 diabetes. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental 56:778-785, 2007.
Figueroa A, Baynard T, Fernhall B, Carhart R and Kanaley JA. Cardiovascular autonomic modulation after brisk walking in middle-aged women with type 2 diabetes and obesity. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehab 14(2):237-243, 2007.
Figueroa A, Baynard T, Fernhall B, Carhart R and Kanaley JA. Endurance training improves post-exercise cardiac autonomic modulation in obese women with and without type 2 diabetes. Eur J Appl Physiol 100:437-444, 2007.
Heffernan KS, Baynard T, Goulopoulou S, Giannopoulou I, Collier SR, Figueroa A, Beets M, Pitetti K and Fernhall B. Baroreflex Sensitivity During Static Exercise in Individuals with Down Syndrome. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37(12):2026-2031, 2005.
Giannopoulou I, Fernhall B, Carhart R, Weinstock RS, Baynard T, Figueroa A, Kanaley JA. Effects of diet and/or exercise on the adipocytokine and inflammatory cytokine levels of postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Metabolism 54(7):866-875, 2005.
Figueroa A, Collier S, Baynard T, Giannopoulou F, S Goulopoulou, Fernhall B. Impaired vagal modulation of heart rate in individuals with Down syndrome. Clin Autonom Res 15:45-50, 2005.
Figueroa A, Going SB, Milliken LA, Blew R, Sharp S, Teixeira PJ, Lohman TG. Effects of Exercise Training and Hormone Replacement Therapy on Lean and Fat Mass in Postmenopausal Women. J Gerontol: Med Sci 58A(3):M266-M270, 2003.
American College of Sports Medicine, Fellow
American Heart Association
- Florida State University, College of Human Sciences Dean's Award for Funding Development, 2007.
- Florida State University, College of Human Sciences Research Initiation Award, 2007.
PET 33021C Anatomy and Physiology I
PET 3932 Exercise and Disease
PET 6365 Exercise and the Cardiorespiratory System
Current Graduate Students:
1. Florence Vicil, fourth year Ph.D. Student.
2. Marcos Sanchez, fourth year Ph.D. Student.
3. Alexei Wong, third year Ph.D. Student.
4. Roy Kalfon, M.S. Student.
J. Derek Kingsley, PhD 2009.
Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology
Dept. of Physical Education. Indiana State University.
Ryan Gil, MS 2011.
Julian A. Trivino, MS 2010.