Sarah Witkowski

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts

S. Witkowski Lab

Ph.D.: University of Maryland
Postdoctoral Training: University of Maryland

Molecular Mechanisms Contributing to Deleterious changes in Myocardial and Vascular Tissue

Dr. Witkowski's research interest is in novel factors influencing cardiovascular adaptations to activity and inactivity in health, disease, and aging.  Recent work involves the mechanisms by which physical activity influences adult stem cells known to contribute to the maintenance, regeneration, and repair of cardiovascular-related tissues.  Physical activity and exercise influence function, proliferation, and survival of these cells, contributing to changes in cardiovascular function and overall health.  Related interests include investigation of molecular mechanisms contributing to changes in myocardial and vascular tissue with exercise in conditions of health and disease.

Representative publications:

Witkowski S, Jenkins NT, Hagberg JM. Enhancing Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease: Exercise and Circulating Angiogenic Cells. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2011 Apr;39(2):93-101.

McKenzie JA, Witkowski S, Ludlow AT, Roth SM, Hagberg JM. AKT1 G205T Genotype Influences Obesity-Related Metabolic Phenotypes and Their Responses to Aerobic Exercise Training in Older Caucasians. Exp Physiol. 2011 Mar;96(3):338-47.

Jenkins NT, McKenzie JA, Hagberg JM, Witkowski S. Plasma fetuin-A concentrations in young and older high- and low-active men. Metabolism.  2011 Feb;60(2):265-271.

Witkowski S, Lovering, RM, and Spangenburg EE. High-frequency electrically stimulated skeletal muscle contractions increase p70(s6k) phosphorylation independent of known IGF-I sensitive signaling pathways. FEBS Letters. 2010 July 2;584(13): 2891-2895.

Lockard MM, Witkowski S, Spangenburg EE, Jenkins NT, Obisesan TO, Hagberg JM. The Effect of Thrombin on Putative Endothelial Progenitor Cells with Exercise and Exercise Training.   J Appl Physiol. 2010 Jun;108(6): 1682-90.

Jenkins NT, McKenzie JA, Damcott CM, Witkowski S, and Hagberg JM. Endurance exercise training effects on body fatness, VO2max, HDL-C subfractions, and glucose tolerance are influenced by a PLIN haplotype in older Caucasians. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Mar;108(3):498-506.

Witkowski S, Lockard MM, Jenkins NT, Obisesan TO, Spangenburg EE, Hagberg JM. Relationship between circulating progenitor cells to endothelial function and oxidative stress with long term training and short term detraining in older men. Clin Sci (Lond). 2010 Feb;118(4):303-11.

Jenkins NT, Witkowski S, Spangenburg EE, and Hagberg JM.  Effects of acute and chronic endurance exercise on intracellular nitric oxide in putative endothelial progenitor cells: Role of NADPH oxidase. AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2009 Nov;297(5):H1798-805.

Witkowski S and Spangenburg EE. Reduced Physical Activity and the Retired Athlete: a dangerous combination? Br J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;42 (12):952-3.

Ludlow AT, Zimmerman JB, Witkowski S, Hearn JW, Hatfield BD, Roth SM. Relationship between physical activity, telomere length, and telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononucleocytes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Oct; 40 (10):1764-71.

Deeny SP, Poeppel D, Zimmerman JB, Roth SM, Brandauer J, Witkowski S, Hearn JW, Ludlow AT, Contreras-Vidal JL, Brandt J, Hatfield BD. Exercise, APOE, and working memory: MEG and behavioral evidence for benefit of exercise in middle-aged e4 carriers. Biol Psychol. 2008 May; 78 (2):179-87.

Claassen JA, Zhang R, Fu Q, Witkowski S, Levine BD.  Transcranial Doppler estimation of cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular conductance during modified rebreathing. J Appl Physiol. March; 102: 870-877, 2007.

Zhang R, Witkowski S, Fu Q, Claassen JA, Levine BD Cerebral hemodynamics after short and long-term reduction in blood pressure in mild and moderate hypertension  Hypertension. 49:1-7, 2007.

Witkowski S and Hagberg JM. Progenitor Cells and Age: Can we Fight Aging with Exercise? J Appl Physiol. 102 (3): 834-835, 2007.

Fu Q, Zhang R, Witkowski S, Arbab-Zadeh A, Prasad A, Okazaki K, Levine BD.  Persistent sympathetic activation during chronic antihypertensive therapy: A potential mechanism for hypertension morbidity or treatment failure? Hypertension, Apr;45(4):513-21, 2005.

Fu Q, Witkowski S, Okazaki K, Levine BD.  Effects of gender and hypovolemia on sympathetic neural responses to orthostatic stress.  Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, Jul;289(1):R109-16, 2005.

Zhang R, Wilson TE, Witkowski S, Cui J, Crandall CG, Levine BD. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase does not alter dynamic cerebral autoregulation in humans. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology,  Mar;286(3):H863-9, 2004.

Fu Q, Witkowski S, Levine BD. Vasoconstrictor reserve and sympathetic neural control of orthostasis.  Circulation, Nov 2;110(18):2931-7, 2004.

Jedlickova K, Stockton DW, Chen H, Stray-Gundersen J, Witkowski S, Ri-Li G, Jelinek J, Levine BD, Prchal JT.  Search for genetic determinants of individual variability of the erythropoietin response to high altitude. Blood Cells and Molecular Diseases, Sep-Oct;31(2):175-82, 2003.

Cui J, Zhang R, Wilson TE, Witkowski S, Crandall CG, Levine BD. Nitric oxide synthase inhibition does not affect regulation of muscle sympathetic nerve activity during head-up tilt.  American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 285:H2105-H2110, 2003.

Ri-Li G, Chase PJ, Witkowski S, Wyrick BL, Stone JA, Levine BD, and Babb TG. Obesity: associations with acute mountain sickness. Ann of Internal Medicine, Aug 19; 139(4):253-7, 2003.

Wilson TE, Cui J, Zhang R, Witkowski S, Crandall CG. Skin Cooling maintains cerebral blood flow velocity and othostatic tolerance during tilting in heated humans. J Appl Physiol 93: 85-91, 2002.

Ri-Li G, Witkowski S, Zhang Y, Alfrey C, Sivieri M, Karlsen T, Resaland GK, Stray-Gundersen J, Levine BD. Determinants of erythropoietin release in response to short term, hypobaric hypoxia. J Appl Physiol. 92 (6), 2361-2367, 2002.