Applied Metabolism & Physiology Lab (AMP Lab)

The AMP Lab is designed to understand the intersection of metabolism and vascular physiology for health and well-being. Multiple assessments are made to understand primarily how insulin acts to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism. We have experience working on studies ranging from athletes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, cancer, concussion and Parkinson’s disease.

Research Capabilities

Insulin Sensitivity

There are a variety of ways in which insulin sensitivity is tested that range from fasting and fed measures to utilization of hormone infusions. Depending on the question, we use:

  1. Fasting blood measures
  2. Oral glucose tolerance test
  3. Mixed-meal tolerance test
  4. Euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp, with and without stable isotopes
Beta-cell Pancreatic Function

Determine in vivo insulin secretion using a variety of tests that include:

  1. Fasting blood measures
  2. Oral glucose tolerance test
  3. Mixed-meal tolerance test
Clinical Labs

We have experience in analyzing various substrates (glucose, lactate, FFA, etc.), hormones (e.g. insulin, C-peptide, etc.), and inflammatory mediators (e.g. CRP, adiponectin, leptin, ET-1, etc.) centered around obesity. We often use oxidase, colorimetric or ELISA assays to make such measures on plasma/serum from humans.

Endothelial Function

Vascular blood flow is in part mediated by the ability of endothelial cells to respond to stimuli. In turn, we use mainly two approaches to understand large conduit arterial function, resistance arterioles and microvascular blood flow in skeletal muscle. These include:

  1. Ultrasound derived flow mediated dilation (FMD)
  2. Ultrasound derived post-ischemic flow velocity (PIFV)
  3. Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEU) to determine microvascular function
Arterial Stiffness

Using non-invasive approaches, we assess aortic waveform and pulse wave velocity with wave deconvolution analysis to understand both central and peripheral hemodynamics during fasted and fed states.


Indirect calorimetry is used to assess breath samples to understand both resting as well as exercise and nutrient/hormone influence on caloric needs, energy expenditure and carbohydrate plus fat metabolism.


A number of questionnaires are used assess physical activity, diet, sleep and well-being to connect physiology to quality of life in people.

Anthropometry Measures

Clinically we use circumference measures (e.g. waist, abdomen, thigh, neck) to assess girth. We also utilize DEXA and the BodPod along with bioelectrical impedance to gain insight towards body composition (fat-free mass, bone, fat mass).

Fitness and Functional Assessment

We are familiar with design of protocols to assess aerobic fitness using the VO2max test. For clinical purposes, we have also conducted 6 min walk tests to assess physical capacity. In line, we have experience with hypertensive and cardiac responses to physical activity.

Exercise and Nutrition Interventions/Monitoring

We have expertise to design clinical trials with oversight towards physical activity/exercise interventions, with or without nutritional implementation. We also have experience with design of pharmacological studies as well as bariatric surgery interventions.


Steven K. Malin

Steven K. Malin

AMP Lab Director

Associate Professor
Department of Kinesiology and Health


Read Bio >>

Phone: 848-932-7054