Anna Stanhewicz

Anna Stanhewicz, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Health and Human Physiology and is the director of the Microvascular Physiology Lab at the University of Iowa. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of Rhode Island and completed her doctoral and post-doctoral training at Penn State University. Dr. Stanhewicz's research program utilizes in vivo measures of cutaneous microvascular function to study how microvessel function is altered in disease and how intervention strategies can target these alterations to slow, halt, or reverse cardiovascular disease progression.


Kaila Brustkern

Kaila Brustkern is a Research Assistant in the Microvascular Physiology Lab. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Iowa State University where she also worked as an undergraduate lab assistant. Kaila assists in all aspects of human subjects research in the Microvascular Physiology Lab. 

Graduate Students
Kelsey Schwartz

Kelsey Schwartz, PhD Candidate received her BS in Kinesiology and Health from Iowa State University. Her primary research interests include elucidating mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in pre-clinical populations to treat or prevent vascular dysfunction and future cardiovascular disease. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 dogs, and cat.




Ruda Lee Pic

Ruda Lee, MS is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Science in Exercise Physiology at Incheon National University in South Korea. She is interested in examining the influence of cardio-metabolic diseases and lifestyle adjustments on cardiovascular function. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys running, swimming, reading, and spending time with her roommate’s cats (Nari, Bori, Woori).



Grace Maurer

Grace Maurer, MS is a first-year PhD student in the Microvascular Physiology Lab. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is interested in examining the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular consequences of gestational diabetes. Outside of the lab, she enjoys running, horseback riding, and visiting national parks. 

Undergraduate Students


Lizzy Wetzel is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Microvascular Physiology Lab. Lizzy is working towards earning her Bachelor's of Science Degree in Human Physiology with a minor in psychology and on the Pre-Medicine track. On her free time, Lizzy enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. 


MS Thesis Students                             Current Position

Kristen Halstead, MS (2023)                                  Clinical Trials Research Associate, University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

Thesis topic: "Sex differences in oxidative stress-mediated reductions in microvascular endothelial function in young e-cigarette users"

Paola Hernandez, MS (2023)

Thesis topic: "Role of oxidative stress in attenuated insulin-mediated microvascular responses in women with a history of gestational diabetes"

Undergraduate Honors Research Students

Rowan Schlarmann, BS (2022)                               Doctor of Physical Therapy student, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Michael Pyevich, BS (2021)                                     Dental student, UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry

Undergraduate Volunteer Students

Madelyn Mayeski, BS (2023)                                    Master of Clinical Anatomy student, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Brianna Becker, BS (2022)                                        Biomedical Equipment Technician, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics