Research Team

As principal investigator in the Muscle Physiology and Metabolism Laboratory, Dr. Lanza leads a research team that's advancing exercise physiology research in the context of aging and metabolic disease. Through translational studies in humans and laboratory-based preclinical studies, Dr. Lanza aims to uncover novel therapeutic strategies and underlying mechanisms to help prevent the metabolic abnormalities and physical deterioration that are hallmarks of aging.

Meet some of our talented research team members:

Ian R. Lanza, Ph.D.

Dr. Lanza is a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. His primary appointment is within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition in the Department of Internal Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering. He is also the director of the Mayo Clinic Metabolomics Core, which provides analytical services for small molecule detection and quantitation by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Dr. Lanza is a distance runner (emeritus) and has recently come to appreciate a good cup of coffee.

Kevin J. Gries, Ph.D.

Dr. Gries is a postdoctoral fellow in our lab exploring research on skeletal muscle physiology and how muscle responds to acute and chronic exercise and aging. Dr. Gries is helping lead a clinical study that will help us understand differences in how young and old respond to exercise and discover strategies to enhance exercise-induced adaptations, including single muscle fiber physiology (size, function and type), metabolism and tissue cross-talk between skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.

Dr. Gries received a B.S. in exercise physiology from Concordia University of Wisconsin, an M.S. in human performance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and a Ph.D. in human bioenergetics from Ball State University in Indiana. Dr. Gries also tries to leverage his research to understand how he can become a better distance runner and prevent the aging response.

Hawley E. Kunz, Ph.D.

Dr. Kunz, a postdoctoral research fellow, has a background as an exercise immunologist and is currently spearheading a major clinical study that's designed to better define the molecular responses to exercise in both young and older adults. The project is designed to evaluate the influence of chronic inflammation on skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and anabolic responses to resistance exercise. Dr. Kunz has a keen interest in the role of immune cells as regulators of exercise response in skeletal muscle.

Dr. Kunz completed her undergraduate training in biology (B.S.) at Mercer University, followed by a Ph.D. in kinesiology at the University of Houston. Before coming to Mayo Clinic for postdoctoral training, she worked as a scientist at the NASA Immunology and Biochemistry Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center. Dr. Kunz knows how to pipette in microgravity.

Kimberly S. Osmundson, CCRP

Kimberly Osmundson is a clinical research coordinator who oversees the day-to-day logistics and coordination of the clinical studies in our lab. She's responsible for participant recruitment, scheduling, screening and consenting, and handles all the regulatory aspects of our research projects.

Zachary C. Ryan

Mr. Ryan is a senior research technologist who oversees all day-to-day laboratory operations and has expertise in tissue culture, mitochondrial physiology assays and molecular biology. He oversees analysis and quality control of high-resolution respirometry measurements in isolated mitochondria and permeabilized muscle tissue samples from human muscle biopsies. He enjoys playing in the dirt and challenging himself in obstacle course races.

Roberta (Bobbie) A. Soderberg and Vicky A. Wade

Mrs. Soderberg and Mrs. Wade are research assistants who joined forces to provide clinical support during skeletal muscle and fat biopsy procedures. They're also responsible for organization and inventory of biological samples collected in our lab.