AMP Lab Staff

Meet the graduate students, fellows and clinical coordinator who staff the AMP Lab at UVA! 

Kara AndersonKara Anderson received her undergraduate degree in Allied Health from the University of Connecticut in 2015. She then completed her Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018 with a focus on body composition and health. Kara is currently pursing her doctorate degree at the University of Virginia in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research interests include how exercise can be used as medicine in clinical populations, such as individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition, she is interested in exploring different disease phenotypes and the mechanisms behind why one person may or may not respond to a therapeutic intervention. She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and enjoys mentoring undergraduate students in research and assisting with their coursework.


Anna BallantyneAnna Ballantyne is a Kinesiology as Research Coordinator, which is a new challenge albeit with some comfortably familiar lab surroundings. Anna spent half of her working career in hospital laboratories and the other half as an Elementary teacher. Originally from New Zealand, she spent six years in London post-graduation working in the Haemophilia and Thrombosis lab at the Royal Free Hospital. Leaving London and heading back to New Zealand brought a change in career - some post-grad study in order to step into the world of education. Teaching took her from NZ to NC on a teaching exchange and then back to NZ. After five years of teaching in Martinborough, she made a career change to come to UVA. Anna enjoys the myriad entertainment opportunities available in Charlottesville and can often be sighted at concerts, movies, art exhibits, trivia nights and other local events.


Udevyir CheemaUdeyvir Cheema received his Bachelor's degree in economics and biology from the University of Virginia (2019). He currently serves as one of the clinical research coordinators in the AMP Lab. Outside of the lab, he volunteers as an EMT with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad, is a huge basketball and football nerd, and enjoys hiking.


Emily ComerEmily Comer received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Shenandoah University (2015) and her Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Virginia (2017). Currently pursuing her Doctorate in Exercise Physiology, Emily is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which exercise impacts vascular health and function. Specifically, she is interested in how insulin action and other metabolic processes influence vascular function following exercise. In addition to research, Emily enjoys assisting with undergraduate classes and fostering mentorship opportunities.


Austin Hogwood_smallAustin Hogwood received his Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science in 2016 and Master's Degree in Health and Movement Science in 2019 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a research focus in peripheral vascular function.  He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology under the advising of Jason Allen where his research focus involves utilizing supplemental and exercise protocols to enhance vascular function and exercise tolerance in those with, or at risk for, various cardiovascular diseases.  Outside of research, Austin enjoys playing soccer, watching sports, and staying active.


Joaquin Ortiz de ZevallosJoaquin Ortiz de Zevallos’ commitment to his academic development in exercise physiology and human well-being has taken him around the world. He graduated from La Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Peru, in 2009 with a degree in Forest Sciences. However, his passion for competitive triathlons and endurance sports drove his career change to study exercise physiology and human performance. In 2014 he was accepted to study a Master’s Degree in Sport and Health Sciences at The University of Exeter, England, where he investigated the ergogenic effects of inorganic nitrate supplementation (via beet juice-as a means to increase nitric oxide production) in healthy individuals. In 2017, Joaquin started his Ph.D studies with Professor Jason D. Allen in Melbourne Australia but after 9 months they relocated to the University of Virginia. His doctoral studies have continued to investigate the effects of increasing vascular nitric oxide bioavailability in clinical populations. His specific interests are the effects of inorganic nitrate supplementation on vascular and metabolic signaling and function. The ultimate goal of his PhD is to improve functional capacity and quality of life in patients with cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Joaquin also coaches triathletes and marathon runners. When he is not in the office or in the lab you can find him hiking or cycling with his family around the Shenandoah National Park.  

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