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Kinesiology and Community Health :: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
College of Applied Health Sciences


Our research focuses on exercise immunology. Specifically, our experiments are designed to:

Purpose of Experiments

  1. describe the effects of different doses of exercise on immune function,
  2. determine the mechanisms (i.e. central nervous, endocrine, intracellular) responsible for exercise-induced changes in immunity,
  3. define the physiological significance of exercise-induced changes in immunity in relation to disease susceptibility and progression (viral and bacterial infections and cancer), and
  4. explore the use of appropriate forms of exercise as adjunct therapy for those with dysregulated immune systems (i.e. elderly).

The broad goal of our research program is to generate a public health message regarding the effects of exercise on immune function and susceptibility to disease. It is important to know how different doses of exercise affect immune function and disease, especially in the elderly. The current belief is that moderate exercise enhances immune function, whereas exhaustive exercise and overtraining suppress it. Additionally, our work will aid in elucidating the in vivo role of neuroendocrine and non-neuroendocrine factors in regulating immune cell function and disease susceptibility.

Undergraduate Research

Students who are interested in doing undergraduate research, email Dr. Woods with the following information:


  • Name
  • Year
  • Major

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