Staff

Director

Thessa Hilgenkamp, PhD
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Dr. Thessa Hilgenkamp earned her bachelor’s and master’s in Human Movement Sciences from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands during 2005. She completed her Ph.D. at the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands during 2012, focused on physical activity and fitness among older adults with intellectual disabilities. She is intrigued by the impact cardiovascular physiological challenges have on the ability to exercise and live an active life, especially among individuals with intellectual disabilities and Down syndrome. She received a Marie Curie Sklodowska Postdoctoral Fellowship of the European Union during 2014 to investigate the topic. The fellowship enabled her to complete a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was mentored by Dr. Bo Fernhall in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory. During 2017, she received an NIH K99/R00 Career Development Award focused on the regulation of blood flow among individuals with Down syndrome. She joined the UNLV department of Physical Therapy during summer 2019.
O
ffice: BHS 316
Mail Code: 3029
Phone: 702-895-1055
Fax: 702-895-4883
Email: thessa.hilgenkamp@unlv.edu
Google Scholar Profile: Thessa Hilgenkamp
More about Thessa Hilgenkamp: Go to UNLV Webpage

 


Victor Beck

Victor completed his Bachelor and Master in Biomedical Sciences at Radboud University in the Netherlands in 2018 and 2020 respectively. He joined the CARE-lab in the Spring of 2021 to obtain his PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. With a broad background in the biomedical sciences, Victor has worked with athletes, stroke patients and individuals with Down syndrome, and his research interests focus on exercise physiology and cardiovascular physiology.


Alice Matthews

Alice is a Ph.D. student in the interdisciplinary neuroscience program here at UNLV. She attended the College of Southern Nevada and earned her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She is a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) through The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography® (ARDMS®). She then attended Nevada State College and earned her Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Allied Health Science. Alice was awarded a pediatric echocardiology preceptorship and is trained to recognize and characterize rare and complex congenital and acquired cardiovascular abnormalities in various clinical settings using advanced imaging modalities. Alice is a graduate assistant in Dr. Hilgenkamp’s Cardiovascular Research and Exercise (CARE) lab. Alice’s research interests include cardiovascular physiology, and the autonomic regulation of heart rate and blood pressure, in individuals with neurological limitations.


Marissa Shahani

Marissa is a Ph.D student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Program. Marissa is a Southern California native and completed her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition at Pepperdine University. She then completed her Masters of Science in Clinical and Preventive Nutrition at Rutgers University while jointly completing her supervised practice in clinical nutrition at the VA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Marissa spent her undergraduate years studying the folic acid metabolism pathway in Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease, and then dedicated her graduate research to COVID-19 infection severity and nutrient deficiencies. Marissa began working in the CARE-Lab in January 2022 and is excited to expand her interests and knowledge within fields new to her- cardiovascular and exercise physiology.