Center Affiliation and Expertise: Inflammation and Innate Immunity Thematic Area
Dr. Pierce’s research seeks to understand the mechanisms that contribute to vascular endothelial dysfunction with aging, obesity/ prediabetes, endotoxin exposure and sepsis in humans. His lab uses an integrative experimental approach, including non-invasive and semi-invasive approaches to assess vascular function in human subjects and study cells/tissues (endothelial cells, mononuclear cells, sera, adipose) from humans to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in abnormal vascular function. Dr. Pierce has specific expertise in measuring vascular endothelial function in humans via brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, limb blood flow using venous occlusion lethysmography and peripheral artery tonometry, and aortic stiffness via pulse wave velocity. In addition, he has conducted small and medium sized singlecenter randomized, controlled intervention studies (e.g., pharmacological, exercise) on vascular endothelial function and arterial stiffness in relation to metabolic, inflammation and oxidative stress outcomes in healthy young, middle-aged and older adults, and patients with end-stage heart failure and heart transplantation.