Meet the Editor: Lacy M. Alexander

Lacy M. Alexander

Lacy Alexander, Ph.D., FACSM, FAPS, is a Professor of Kinesiology at the Pennsylvania State University. She is also an affiliate of the Intercollege Graduate Program in Integrative and Biomedical Physiology and the College of Health and Human Development’s Center for Healthy Aging.

Dr. Alexander grew up in rural southern Oregon and attended the University of Oregon, where she earned a B.S. and M.S. in Human Physiology (then Exercise and Movement Science). After her Master’s degree she worked for a short time as a cardiac rehabilitation therapist in both in- and outpatient settings before returning to human physiology research in a technical role at the University of Oregon. This was a transformational time in her career, working to build new laboratories that cemented her passions for research and teaching. Dr. Alexander obtained her Ph.D. at Penn State University in 2007 under the mentorship of Dr. W. Larry Kenney. While not following the traditional academic training path, Dr. Alexander stayed at Penn State for a postdoctoral fellowship and then a research faculty position. She transitioned to the tenure track in 2015 and was promoted to full professor with tenure in 2019. She has been recognized for her scholarship with several awards including the Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award, the American Physiological Society (APS) Environmental and Exercise Physiology (EEP) New Investigator Award, the APS Cardiovascular Early Investigator Research Recognition Award, and the EEP Section Impact Award.

Dr. Alexander’s areas of research examine in vivo and in vitro mechanisms of vascular dysfunction in human cohorts, including those with essential hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, primary aging, and women with reproductive disorders. She and her research team have developed and validated a human model for examining mechanisms underlying microvascular dysfunction in disease. Complementary in vitro biochemical assays of target tissue samples couple structure with function. This approach allows for a level of pharmacodissection that would not otherwise be possible in humans. Her team has been the first to explore several molecular targets inducing vascular dysfunction translating preclinical research to human subjects utilizing the cutaneous circulation as an in vivo bioassay.

Additionally, Dr. Alexander uses systemic therapeutic strategies including the use of statins, platelet inhibitors, and nutraceuticals to examine their modulatory effects on mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction and smooth muscle function in humans. She has been successful utilizing these approaches since 2002 to contribute in a substantive way (>100 publications) to translational studies interrogating the mechanisms underlying vascular disease in humans.

Dr. Alexander has been an active member of the APS since she was a graduate trainee and attained fellowship status in 2021. She has served the APS in multiple roles. including serving as section chair for the EEP Section before being elected to APS Council in 2021. She also serves as member of the board of trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine (elected in 2022). In 2009, Dr. Alexander joined the Journal of Applied Physiology as an Editorial Board member. In 2016, she assumed an Associate Editor role, contributing her expertise spanning exercise, thermal, and cardiovascular human physiology. She has worked on highlighted topics including the Physiology of Vascular Aging, The Physiology of Thermal Therapy, and The Impact of Climate Change on Health and Performance. She finds her service role to the Journal to be extremely rewarding and wants to continue to grow the distinction and prestige of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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