San Diego State University

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Research Facilities

laboratory facilities

Research and teaching is conducted throughout the school’s modern research facilities.

Applied Sensorimotor Laboratory (ASML) – ENS 213

The dual mission of the ASML is to identify mechanisms underlying psychomotor responses to stress and pain, and to apply this knowledge to the prevention and treatment of chronic pain disorders. We use a variety of neurophysiologic techniques to investigate how the central nervous system responds to stress and pain in healthy individuals and clinical populations.  Common experimental techniques include surface and intra-muscular electromyography (EMG), peripheral nerve stimulation, and quantitative sensory testing.  We also conduct clinical studies to investigate risk factors and novel treatment strategies for chronic pain disorders including neck pain and fibromyalgia.

Biomechanics Laboratory – ENS Annex 001A

A state-of-the-art research space for the acquisition and analysis of human movement data. This lab is fully equipped with an 8-camera motion analysis system, dual-integrated force plates and wireless EMG. Current projects in the lab include those focused on the analysis of gait (walking/running) and the validation of various clinical assessment devices.

Clinical Nutrition and Physiological Sciences (CNaPS) Laboratories – ENS 101, 102

The CNaPS laboratory is designed for clinical and physiological testing of human research participants. Two large rooms allow for simultaneous testing using multiple types of equipment and furniture. The lab has a Bod Pod, Lode cycle ergometers, treadmill, several metabolic measurement systems, blood collection station, and multiple other physiological instruments.

Exercise Physiology Laboratories – ENS 255

The Kasch Laboratory, named after renowned Professor Emeritus Fred W. Kasch, contains several large treadmills and metabolic measurement systems, an environmental chamber, hydrostatic weighing tank, and an exercise biochemistry room.  A focus of this lab is the acclimation of sweat glands to exercise in the heat.  In addition, the Annex Exercise Physiology Laboratory also has a Bod Pod, several treadmills, Lode cycle ergometers, and several metabolic measurement systems including two portable wireless systems.  This lab is shared with the nutrition faculty.

Foods and Nutrition Laboratories– PSFA 401, 416, 424, 424A, 428, 471 and 147

The Foods and Nutrition Laboratories allow the faculty and students to conduct foods and nutrition research that ranges from basic to applied sciences. Our laboratories accommodate a variety of experimental techniques to study molecular and physiological effects of nutritional variables in animal and human models. We have areas designed for molecular work, biochemistry, mineral analysis, (DXA) bone analysis, body composition, food analysis and sensory evaluation.

Neuromechanics and Neuroplasticity Lab (Cerebro) – ENS 216

The main goal of Cerebro is to optimize sensorimotor recovery and learning in patients with neurological disorders (e.g. Parkinson’€™s Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment) through a better understanding of neural plasticity that underlies motor impairments, recovery and rehabilitation. The research in our laboratory encompasses a wide spectrum from basic science experiments for understanding motor behavior in healthy adults and those with neurological deficits at to explore the effects of mechanistic interventions & strategies to augment sensorimotor recovery. Our research employs motion analyses to characterize and quantify movement strategies as they evolve with practice and time in patients with neurological disorders.


Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Laboratory – PG 1048

The Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Laboratory is focused on understanding the role of muscle and other support structures during both normal movement and pelvic floor dysfunction, with a particular interest in the role of exercise and rehabilitation on these structures. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging equipment, biofeedback, and devices for measuring pelvic muscle strength and function.

Physical Activity Research Lab – ENS 141B

A multifunctional laboratory that is used for physical activity measurement and data collection training, accelerometer data analysis, interviews, graduate seminars, and experimental and computer-based work.

Rehabilitation Biomechanics Laboratory – PG 181
(RBL – Domingo | RBL – Gombatto)

The Rehabilitation Biomechanics Laboratory (RBL) specializes in biomechanics research with an emphasis on neuromuscular control, motor learning and rehabilitation in the context of musculoskeletal injuries, neurological injuries and aging.

The 1,000 ft2 RBL is located in Peterson Gym, Room 181. The laboratory includes a dedicated space for an integrated motion capture system with 16 high-resolution cameras (Qualisys, Inc), 5 integrated force platforms (AMTI), a 16-channel wireless EMG/IMU system (Delsys) with electro-goniometers (Biometrics), portable sensors for kinematic assessment outside the laboratory, and an 80” display monitor that can be integrated with the motion capture system or other devices, for the purpose of providing visual feedback to the participant for rehabilitation purposes. The lab also is equipped with an overhead track and harness system (Solo-Step, Inc.) and treadmill for gait and balance research. Further, for the study of overground walking, the lab is equipped with an Ekso bionic suit (Ekso Bionics). The Ekso is a wearable robot that allows those with paralysis or weakness to stand and walk, with full weight bearing and reciprocal gait. The RBL has one of only two Ekso suits in the San Diego area, and the only one dedicated for gait rehabilitation research. The space also includes a clinical examination room with a treatment table and storage, a workbench for small equipment fabrication and repair, desk spaces for research assistants and graduate students, and a conference area for lab meetings.

Dr. Gombatto’s current projects include the investigation of factors that contribute to low back and lower extremity pain and injury, long-term ecological monitoring of lumbar spine posture and movement, and sports biomechanics assessment for injury prevention and return-to-sport.

Dr. Domingo is investigating the use of state-of-the art technologies, including robotic devices, to improve walking function and health in people with neurological injuries, and seeks to maximize motor learning outcomes for rehabilitation using these devices. She is also interested in improving health and wellness of disabled populations using wearable sensors.

Sensory Motor and Rehabilitative Lab (SMaRT Lab) – ENS Annex 003B/D

The SMaRTlab is the formal testing grounds for a novel low-cost force plate technology called the Balance Tracking System (BTrackS) created by Dr. Daniel Goble. BTrackS research consists of validation against high-end force plate technology and applied studies looking at balance assessment and training effects in such populations as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Stroke and Sport-related concussion.