PHA/Pfizer Proof of Concept Research Grant Winner 2011

Mary Beth Brown, PhD, PT, ATC

Mary Beth Brown, PhD, PT, ATC

Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Indiana University, Indianapolis
Title: "Clinical Investigation of a Daily Walking Program plus L-Arginine Supplementation for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension"
Term: October 1, 2011 and will end September 30, 2012




Summary of Research Project:

We are investigating if functional and biochemical indicators of disease progression are attenuated in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) by 12 weeks of daily aerobic exercise plus dietary supplementation of L-arginine, an amino acid important to vascular health. Training will consist of a simple walking program- 3 supervised treadmill sessions and 3 unsupervised home walking sessions per week at moderate intensity for 45 minutes. Supervised exercise and testing will be performed at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport (NIFS) on the IU School of Medicine campus. During home walking sessions, adherence to prescribed exercise parameters will be facilitated with the use of personal heart rate monitors with data upload capability. A relatively small number of subjects will be enrolled in this initial 'proof-of-concept' project so that feasibility, efficacy, and safety of the research plan may be assessed in a timely and economical manner. Findings will be used in the planning of a clinical trial of exercise and supplemental L-arginine in a large study population.

Curriculum Vitae

NAME: Mary Beth Brown, PhD, PT, ATC
POSITION TITLE: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy


Lenoir-Rhyne College, North Carolina B.A. 12/92 Exercise Physiology
University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida M.S.P.T. 12/95 Physical Therapy
Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Ph.D. 12/09 Applied Physiology
Indiana University School of Medicine Post-doctoral 6/11 Lung Physiology

Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment:

  • July 2011 Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dept. of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2010 Post-doctoral researcher, Petrache Lab, Div. of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2008-2009 Research technician, Dept. of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
  • 2005-2009 Graduate research assistant, Exercise Physiology Laboratory, School of Applied Physiology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  • 2001-2005 Coordinator, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, Baycare Health System, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 1996-2001 Physical therapist, Bayfront Medical Center and Mediplex Outpatient Rehab, St. Petersburg/Bradenton, FL

Honors and Awards

  • 2009 Carl V. Gisolfi Memorial Award, American College of Sports Medicine, for research: "Mechanisms and Implications of Sodium Loss in Sweat During Exercise in the Heat for Cystic Fibrosis Patients and Healthy Individuals"
  • 2009 Invited speaker, The Howard R. Thranhardt Award Lecture, by The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP): "Physiological Responses of Amputees during Treadmill Exercise in Running-Specific Prostheses Compared to Traditional Prostheses and to Matched Non-Amputee Runners."
  • 2008 Doctoral Student Research Award, Southeast Region of the American College of Sports Medicine: "Relationship of Heart Rate to Oxygen Consumption is Similar for Amputee and Non-Amputee Runners."

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Presson R*., Brown MB* (co-1st author), Fisher A, Sandoval R, Dunn K, Lorenz K, Delp E, Salama P, Molitoris B, Petrache I. Two-photon imaging within the murine thorax without respiratory and cardiac motion artifact. American Journal of Pathology (in press).
  2. Brown, MB.,Vincent, K., Millard-Stafford, M., Pollack, B., McCarty, N. Low abundance of sweat duct chloride channel CFTR in both healthy and cystic fibrosis athletes with exceptionally salty sweat during exercise in the heat. American Journal of Physiology- Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. 2011 Jan 13 [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Brown, MB., McCarty, N., Millard-Stafford, M. High sweat [Na+] in cystic fibrosis and healthy individuals does not invalidate thirst as an indicator of fluid needs with dehydration from exercise in the heat. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology (submitted, currently in revision).
  4. Schweitzer KS, Johnstone BH, Garrison J, Rush NI, Cooper S, Traktuev DO, Feng D, Adamowicz JJ, Van Demark M, Fisher AJ, Kamocki K, Brown MB, Presson RG Jr, Broxmeyer HE, March KL, Petrache I. Adipose stem cell treatment in mice attenuates lung and systemic injury induced by cigarette smoking. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,. 2011 Jan 15;183(2):215-25.
  5. Kram, R., Grabowski, A., McGowan, C., Brown, MB., McDermott, W., Beale, M., Herr, H. Counterpoint: Artificial Limbs Do Not Make Artificially Fast Running Speeds Possible. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2010 Apr;108(4):1012-4.
  6. Millard-Stafford, M., Brown, MB., Snow, T. Acute carbohydrate ingestion affects lactate response in highly-trained swimmers. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 2010 Mar; 5(1):42-54.
  7. Weyand, P., Bundle, M., McGowan, C., Grabowski, A., Brown, MB., Kram, R., Herr, H. The fastest runner on artificial legs: different limbs, similar function? Journal of Applied Physiology, 2009 Sep; 107(3):903-11.
  8. Brown, MB., Millard-Stafford, M., Allison, A. Run prostheses permit energy costs similar to non-amputee. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2009 May; 41(5):1080-7.
  9. White R., Brown MB., Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, Phonophoresis, Iontophoresis. In: Pfenninger J, Fowler G, editors. Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadephia: Mosby, 2010.
  10. White R., Shaw MB., Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, Phonophoresis, Iontophoresis. In: Pfenninger J, Fowler G, editors. Procedures for Primary Care. 2nd ed. Philadephia: Mosby, 2003.

Research Support

  1. T32 Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health, IU School of Medicine, Dept of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care (role: post-doctoral fellow)
    Role: Mary Beth Brown, Post-Doctoral Fellow
  2. Clinical and Translational Science Award program, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources.
    2007-2009 PHS Grant (UL1 RR025008, KL2 RR025009, or TL1 025010)
    Role: Mary Beth Brown, Principal Investigator
    'Mechanisms and implications of high sweat sodium loss during exercise in the heat for cystic fibrosis patients and healthy individuals.' Our overall research goal was accomplished- we determined unique fluid and electrolyte challenges during prolonged exercise in the heat for patients with cystic fibrosis and healthy individuals who lose excessive salt in sweat. In addition to two publications, this information has been presented at the annual meetings of two organizations, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine, so that nutritional guidance can be better provided for these individuals by their health care providers.

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