Facilities and Equipment

The CNBR is housed at the National Center for Human Performance (NCHP) located in the John P. McGovern Campus of Texas Medical Center. The CNBR facility comprises 2770 ft2 of leased laboratory space within the NCHP that accommodates three faculty offices, six graduate student carrels, a conference area, and a broad, reconfigurable experiment space. Specialized research equipment housed in the Center includes:


  • A computerized dynamic posturography system (Balance Manager, NeuroCom Int’l, Clackamas, OR),

  • A fully-instrumented dual belt treadmill (Bertec Corp, Columbus, OH),

  • A Gaitrite portable walkway system (CIR Systems, Havertown, PA),

  • A functional electrical stimulation (FES) ergometer system,

  • Three multi-axis force platforms (AMTI, Watertown, MA),

  • Two standard electronic treadmills (ProForm XP 650E and Biodex RTM 400),

  • An immersive virtual reality training and rehabilitation system (IREX, GestureTek Health, Toronto, Ontario),

  • A 12 camera, 3D video motion capture and analysis system (Vicon, Oxford, UK)

  • A multi-channel 3D inertial motion tracking system (MTx, Xsens Technologies, Enschede, The Netherlands),

  • A multi-channel wireless EMG and electronic goniometry suite (Biometrics Ltd., Gwent, UK),

  • A standard 8-channel EMG suite (Bagnoli-8, Delsys Inc, Boston, MA),

  • Two in-shoe pressure mapping systems (Tekscan F-Scan, Tekscan F-Scan VersaTek, Tekscan, Inc., Boston, MA),

  • A functional electrical stimulation cycle (RT-300, Restorative Therapies Inc., Baltimore, MD),

  • A multi-joint torque-velocity dynamometer (Biodex 3, Biodex Medical Systems, Shirley, NY),

  • An electrical pulse stimulus generator system (Model S88, Grass, West Warwick, RI) with stimulus isolation unit (Model SIU5, Grass, West Warwick, RI),

  • A psychomotor reaction and movement time panel (Moart Model 35601, Lafayette Instruments, Lafayette, IN),

  • A transcranial magnetic stimulator (Magstim Company, Whitland, Wales, UK),

  • A whole-body vibration system (Power Plate Inc., Irvine, CA), two Wii fit game systems,

  • A custom-built full-body offloading suspension rig.


The laboratory also houses a fully equipped electronics test bench, multiple large screen digital monitors/displays, and multiple fully equipped research workstations, including custom data acquisition and control software as well as Microsoft Office, SPSS, Matlab, and Visual 3D software.


Relationship to Laboratory of Integrated Physiology (LIP)

The CNBR grew out of, and remains closely affiliated with, HHP’s Laboratory of Integrated Physiology (LIP). The LIP’s capabilities in cellular and molecular level investigations of metabolism, energetics, and performance strongly complement the CNBR’s capabilities in system level investigations. The close affiliation between these two research groups offers unique capabilities for performing multi-level studies of human performance.

CNBR research studies requiring specialized cellular/molecular analyses have full access to the LIP wet laboratory facilities in Garrison Gymnasium on the UH main campus.

Specialized research equipment housed in the LIP includes: a sample collection area, a Laminar Flow Safety Cabinet (SterilGARD), a High-Aspect Ratio Vessel bioreactor, a FlexCell Muscle Dynamic Muscle Cell Culture System (FlexCell International), an automated, robotic sample processor (BioTek Precision XS), a 3-color, 1-laser micro volume flow cytometer (Guava Easy Cyte Mini), a 4-color, 2-laser flow cytometer (Accuri C6), two refrigerated centrifuges (Sorvall RT 6000D, Beckman-Coulter Series 6), an absorbance plate reader (Molecular Probes SpectraMax 190), a fluorescence plate reader (Molecular Probes Gemini XS), an automated Plate Washer (BioTek XS),  three -80° C freezers, a -20° C refrigerator for reagent storage, and liquid nitrogen samples storage dewars.  The LIP also houses system level research devices, including: treadmills, cycle ergometers, metabolic cart (ParvoMedics, Sandy, UT), a suite of a resistance exercise equipment, multiple heart rate monitors (Suunto, Vantaa, Finland), an environmental chamber for performing physical activities over a wide range of controlled temperatures and humidities, and a whole-body DEXA system (Discovery W, Hologic, Inc., Bedford, MA) for measuring body composition and bone mineral density.