Team research award-winner Shane Phillips

Shane Phillips

Shane Phillips
Team Research Award, shared with Irena Levitan
Professor of physical therapy

Years at UIC: 16

What are your research interests? 
My research interests broadly are related to exploring and testing lifestyle interventions for optimal cardiovascular health. More specifically, I have been interested in the mechanisms of how blood flow is regulated and how the circulation can become dysfunctional or injured during diseases such as obesity and hypertension (high blood pressure) and then in response to rehabilitation, exercise and diet. 

How did you become interested in these topics?
I was really interested in exercise physiology, sports performance, and fatigue as an undergraduate student and then as a physical therapist. I had won a summer undergraduate research fellowship to work with a professor in his laboratory and the topic was muscle fatigue and muscle physiology and I loved it. When I started my Ph.D. studies, I looked for labs studying blood flow in muscle.

What do you teach?
I teach various topics in pathophysiology and cardiovascular physiology in the physical therapy program. I also teach a graduate course called PT 506 Advances in Rehabilitation Sciences II. 

How do you balance teaching and research?
I try to be as efficient as possible when I teach. I save more time for meeting individually with my students and I always bring research concepts to the classroom.

What’s your advice to students who want to focus their future careers on research?
It’s important and exciting to look for experiences in research labs as undergraduate students. Apply for these opportunities early and ask your professors if they would take on a student for an independent study in an area of interest. Be as respectful as possible in the lab and offer to contribute as much as possible. This is the best way to get hands-on research experiences.

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