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Human Circulation Research Lab

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Human Circulation Lab

Dr. Mikhail Kellawan, Director

Dr. J. Mikhail Kellawan received his BSc (Honors) from the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) and his MSc from the University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada). He completed his doctoral work at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) before completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Kellawan has exhibited excellent scholarly potential during his graduate and post-doctoral work which includes research awards from the American Heart Association, and several from the American Physiological Society. Currently, Dr. Kellawan is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Human Circulation Research Laboratory (HCRL) in the HES department. His work largely focused on mechanisms that control blood flow in skeletal muscle and cerebral circulations during exercise and environmental stress in humans. His work is designed to understand the physiological mechanisms that limit cardiovascular support of the brain and skeletal muscle with the aim of developing treatments and strategies to improve human health and performance.

Dr. Kellawan is also a member of the Cellular & Behavioral Neurobiology Graduate Program (

B.Sc., Honors, Human Kinetics, University of Guelph
M.Sc., Kinesiology, University of Victoria
Ph.D., Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University

Peripheral vascular control
Insulin resistance
Human performance
Physiological overlap between cardiovascular and cognitive-degenerative diseases
Medical Imaging
Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Peripheral Artery Disease

HES 3853 Exercise Testing and Prescription
HES 4953 Senior Capstone
HES 6823 Cardiorespiratory Exercise Physiology
HES 5863 Physiology of Aging


Ashley, J.D., Shelley, J.H., Sun, J., Song, J., Trent, J.A., Larson, D., Larson, R., Yabluchanskiy, A., Kellawan, J.M. (2020). Cerebrovascular Responses to Graded Exercise in Young Healthy Males and Females. Physiological Reports, 8, e14622,

Stone, B.L., Beneda-Bender, M., McCollum, D.L., Sun, J., Shelley, J.H., Ashley, J.D., Fuenzalida, E., Kellawan, J.M. (2020). Understanding Cognitive Performance During Exercise in Reserved Officers’ Training Corps: Establishing the Executive Function-Exercise Intensity Relationship. Journal of Applied Physiology 129, 846-854,

Gonzales, J.U., Fischer, S.M., Maharaj, A., Vellers, H., Anderson T, Karnjanapiboonwong A, Subbiah S, Kellawan, J.M., Figueroa, A.  (2020). Response of exercise‐onset vasodilator kinetics to L‐citrulline supplementation during different phases of the menstrual cycle. Physiological Reports 8, e14536, doi: 10.14814/phy2.14536.

Kellawan, J.M., Peltonen, G.L., Harrell, J.W., Roldan-Azate, A., Wieben, O., Schrage, W.G. (2020) Differential contribution of cyclooxygenase to basal cerebral blood flow and hypoxic cerebral vasodilation. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 318, R468-R479

Sun, J., Ashley, J., Kellawan, J.M., (2019) Can Acupuncture Treatment of Hypertension Improve Brain Health? A Mini Review Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 11(240), 1-8

Rosenberry, R., Tucker, W.J., Haykowsky, M.J., Trojacek, D., Chamseddine, H.H., Arena-Marshall, C.A., Zhu, Y., Wang, J., Kellawan, J.M., Tian, F., Nelson, M.D., (2019) Determinants of skeletal muscle oxygen consumption assessed by near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy during incremental handgrip exercise  Journal of Applied Physiology 127, 698-706

Tucker, W.J., Rosenberry, R., Trojacek, D., Chamseddine, H.H., Arena-Marshall, C.A., Zhu, Y., Wang, J., Kellawan, J.M., Haykowsky, M., Tian, F., Nelson, M.D. (2019) Studies into the determinants of skeletal muscle oxygen consumption: Novel insight from Near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy Journal of Physiology 597 (11), 2887-2901

Kellawan, J.M., Limberg, J.K., Scruggs Z.M., Nicholson, W.T., Schrage, W.G., Joyner, M.J., Curry, T.B. (2018)  Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibition preserves exercise onset vasodilator kinetics when NOS activity is reduced Journal of Applied Physiology 124(2), 276-282

Limberg, J.K., Malterer, K.R., Kellawan, J.M., Schrage, W.G., Wilkins, B.W., Nicholson, W.T., Eisenach, J.H., Joyner, M.J., Curry, T.B. (2017) Potentiation of the NO-cGMP pathway and blood flow responses during dynamic exercise in healthy humans  European Journal of Applied Physiology 117(2), 237-246

Hoscheidt, S.M*., Kellawan, J.M*., Rivera, L., Berman, S., Turski, P., Carlsson, C.M., Asthana, S., Johnson, S.C., Rowley, H., Wieben, O., Schrage, W.G., Bendlin, B.B. (2017) Insulin resistance is associated with lower cerebral blood flow and hypoperfusion in cognitively healthy middle-aged adults. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 37(6), 2249-2261 (*co-first author)

Kellawan, J.M., Harrell, J.W., Roldan-Azate, A., Wieben, O., Schrage, W.G. (2017) Regional hypoxic cerebral vasodilation facilitated by diameter changes primarily in anterior versus posterior circulation. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 37(6), 2025-2034

Kellawan, J.M., Peltonen, G.L., Schrage, W.G. (2016) To measure diameter or not: experimental design is key: Comments on Crosstalk 30: The middle cerebral artery diameter does/does not change during alterations in arterial blood gases and blood pressure. Journal of Physiology 000.0, 1-8

Limberg, J.K., Peltonen, G.L., Johansson, R.E., Harrell, J.W., Kellawan, J.M., Eldridge, M.W., Sebranek, J.J., Walker, B.J., Schrage, W.G. (2016) Greater beta-adrenergic receptor mediated vasodilation in women using oral contraceptives. Frontiers in Physiology 7(215), 1-8

Limberg, J.K., Johansson, R.E., Peltonen, G.L., Harrell, J.W., Kellawan, J.M., Eldridge, M.W., Sebranek, J.J., Schrage, W.G. (2016) β-adrenergic mediated vasodilation in young men and women: Cyclooxygenase restrains nitric oxide synthase. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 310(6), H756-H764

Kellawan, J.M., Harrell, J.W., Schrauben, E.M., Hoffman, C.A., Roldan-Alzate, A., Schrage, W.G., Wieben., O. (2016) Quantitative cerebrovascular 4D flow MRI at rest and during hypercapnia challenge. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 34, 422-428

Walsh, J.J., Scribbans T., Bentley, R.F., Kellawan, J.M., Gurd, B.J., Tschakovsky, M.E. (2016) Neurotrophic growth factor responses to lower body resistance training in older adults. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 41(3), 315-323

Owen A.L., Kellawan, J.M. (2015) Upstream Stiffness, downstream problems: not all arteries are equal. Journal of Physiology 593(20) 4517-4518

Kellawan, J.M., Johansson, R.E., Harrell, J.W., Sebranek, J.J., Walker, B.J., Eldridge, M.W., Schrage,W.G. (2015) Greater exercise vasodilation in women: role of nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase European Journal of Applied Physiology 115(8), 1735-1746

Kellawan, J.M, Bentley, R.F., Bravo, M.F., Moynes, J.S., Tschakovsky, M.E. (2014) Does oxygen delivery explain inter-individual variation in forearm critical impulse? Physiological Reports 2(11), e12203

Limberg, J.K., Kellawan, J.M., Harrell, J.W., Johansson R.E., Eldridge, M.W., Proctor, L.T., Sebranek, J.J., Schrage, W.G. (2014) Exercise-mediated vasodilation in human obesity and metabolic syndrome: Effect of acute ascorbic acid infusion. American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology 307(6), H840-H847

Bentley, R. F., Kellawan, J. M., Moynes, J. S., Poitras, V. J., Walsh, J. J., Tschakovsky, M. E. (2014) Individual susceptibility to hypoperfusion and reductions in exercise performance when perfusion pressure is reduced: evidence for vasodilator phenotypes. Journal of Applied Physiology 117(4), 392- 405

Kellawan, J. M., Tschakovsky, M. E. (2014) The Single-Bout Forearm Critical Force Test: A New Method to Establish Forearm Aerobic Metabolic Exercise Intensity and Capacity. PLoS ONE, 9(4)

Moynes, J., Bentley, R.F., Bravo, M., Kellawan, J.M., Tschakovsky, M.E. (2013). Persistence of functional sympatholysis post-exercise in human skeletal muscle. Frontiers in Exercise Physiology, 4(131), 1–15

Kellawan, J.M., Stuart-Hill, L.A., Petersen, S.R. (2009) The Effects of Caffeine During Exercise in Fire Protective Ensemble. Ergonomics 52(11), 1445-1454



HCRL Lab Group Photo



Dr. Jongjoo Sun, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Jongjoo Sun, a Korean Medicine Doctor and Korean Internal Medicine Specialist, majored in Korean Medicine and graduated from Kyunghee University in Seoul, South Korea in 2004. After graduation, he was trained at the Department of Cardiology and Neurology at Kyunghee Korean Medicine Hospital for four years, and then he started to work at Dongsuwon Korean Medicine Hospital while also completing doctoral studies. He earned his doctoral degree in 2014. He has now joined the Human Circulation Research Lab at the Department of Health and Exercise Science at OU as a research scholar since July 2018. He is collaborating with Dr. Kellawan and Ph.D. students to find out the physiological and pathological mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases such as HTN, atherosclerosis, stroke with the purpose of providing a possible therapeutic approach for improving human health.

BA in Korean Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea
MA in Korean Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea
Ph.D. in Korean Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, South Korea

Cerebral blood flow, Stroke
Neurodegenerative diseases (PD, AD)
Metabolic syndrome
Mechanism of Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in modulating CV system

A comparison of brain activity between healthy subjects and stroke patients on fMRI by acupuncture stimulation. Chin J Integr Med. 2013 Apr;19(4):269-7

Comparison Study on the Characteristics among Sasang Constitution in Acute Stroke Patients. J Int Korean Med. 2007;28(1):34-46

A Cross-Sectional Study on the Distribution of Metabolic Syndrome according to the Sasang Constitution in Acute Stroke Patients. J Stroke Korean Med. 2007 Dec;7(1)

A Clinical Study of Acupuncture with Aromatherapy on Poststroke Depression Patients. J Int Korean Med. 2006;27(2):480-487



Alex Buelow, Ph.D. Student

Alexander Buelow is a student in the exercise physiology master's degree program at the University of Oklahoma. His current research interests include cerebrovascular as well as peripheral vascular response to exercise. He completed his BS in Kinesiology – Exercise/Fitness Management at the University of Central Oklahoma. Alexander’s future plan is to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of exercise physiology. 



Jacob Matney, Ph.D. Student

Jacob Matney is an MS student studying exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Health and Exercise Science.

He is currently a member of the Human Circulation Research  Laboratory, led by Dr. Kellawan. Jacob received his BS degree in Kinesiology at Kansas State University in 2020, where he was an undergraduate research assistant for 3 years. He is currently interested in researching the link between cerebral autoregulation and the blood brain barrier, and how exercise can reduce the decline of these mechanisms as they relate to neurodegenerative diseases. After receiving his master's degree, Jacob hopes to attend medical school where he will pursue his M.D./Ph.D in medicine and perform neurological medical research.



Sarah Skillett, M.S. Student

woman standing in front of tree

Sarah Skillett is a student in the exercise physiology master's degree program at the University of Oklahoma. She received her bachelor's degree in health and exercise science at the University of Oklahoma in 2021, where she was an undergraduate research assistant for two years. She is currently interested in researching the vascular effects of different substances in the body during exercise. After receiving her master's degree, Sarah hopes to attend PA school and become an orthopedic PA.



Jiwon Song, Ph.D. Student

Jiwon completed his Bachelor of Physical Education degree at Chung-Ang University, South Korea in 2014. Then, he went to the University of Nebraska at Omaha to earn Master of Arts in Athletic Training in 2017.

He wrote a thesis during his master’s about the impact of mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants on leg blood flow, skeletal mitochondrial function, and physical capacity of leg in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at OU in Human Circulation Research Lab. His research focuses on the mechanism of how vascular functions affect systematic blood flow regulation and cerebrovascular circulation in humans and how degraded vascular functions have negative effects on developing diseases related to cardio- or cerebrovascular dysfunction.




Joe Shelley


Luis Ambrosio


Brandon Stone

John Ashley