Manda Keller-Ross

Assistant Professor


Awards & Recognition

  • National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program (LRP), competitive Renewal, 2019
  • Faculty Success Program, National Center for Faculty Development, 2018
  • National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program (LRP), 2017
  • NIKE, Inc. Loren G. Myhre Environmental and Exercise Physiology Postdoctoral Research Award, EEP Section of the American Physiology Society, 2015
  • Recognition Award for Beginning Investigators (Exercise and Environmental Physiology, EEP) section of the American Physiological Society, 2014
  • Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS II) Scholarship from the Foundation of Physical Therapy, Marquette University, 2010
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Research Award, McMaster, 2008
  • Clinical Excellence Award, Marquette University, 2006

Professional Associations

  • American Heart Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Autonomic Society   
  • American College of Sports Medicine, Member
  • American Physiology Society, Member
    • Exercise and Environmental Physiology Section Member
    • Cardiovascular Section Member

Research Summary

The Cardiovascular Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory (CRRL) has a primary interest to investigate 1) factors that contribute to the greater cardiovascular risk in women after menopause and 2) exercise intolerance in those with cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. In addition, we aim to develop novel treatment strategies to improve cardiorespiratory regulation and decrease cardiovascular disease.

The CRRL uses a multi-system approach to understand blood pressure regulation as the maintenance of blood pressure at rest and during exercise involves a highly redundant and sophisticated integration of multiple systems with the goal of maintaining homeostasis. Our laboratory uses several techniques to quantify autonomic function and limitations to exercise in healthy and clinical populations, such as those with cardiovascular diseases and muscular dystrophy. Techniques in our lab to quantify autonomic function are muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA), which is the gold standard for measuring sympathetic activity, electrocardiography, heart rate variability, baroreflex function and venous occlusion plethysmography to measure limb blood flow. Our laboratory is also interested in limitations to exercise, including cardiopulmonary and skeletal muscle factors in healthy and clinical populations. We conduct maximal/peak oxygen consumption (VO2max/peak)tests as well as fatigability tests isolated to single muscle groups. We aim to understand the contributing factors of autonomic dysregulation to cardiovascular disease and identify optimal treatment strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk and mortality in adults.

Current projects

  • Mechanisms of increased cardiovascular disease risk in women who enter menopause premature or early
  • Influence of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and sleep disturbance, to autonomic blood pressure regulation.
  • Mechanisms of exercise intolerance in clinical populations including muscular dystrophy and heart failure
  • The contribution of locomotor muscle afferents (group III and IV) to central drive and cardiorespiratory responses during exercise in both healthy adults and those with heart failure
  • Use of neuromodulation to improve blood pressure in clinical populations.


Research Funding Grants

Institute of Engineering Medicine Working Grant University of Minnesota 
Working group to establish Autonomic Neuromodulation.
Role: Co-PI (Osborn-PI) 

Grant-In-Aid, University of Minnesota 
Autonomic blood pressure regulation in older premature and early menopause 
The goal of this GIA is to determine autonomic regulation of blood pressure in older women who entered menopause premature or early.
Role: PI

1 K01 AG064038-01A1, National Institute of Health
Autonomic blood pressure regulation in older premature and early menopause 
The goal of this Career Development grant to study autonomic blood pressure regulation in premature and early post-menopausal women.
Role: PI

Women’s Health Research Program, University of Minnesota (Keller-Ross-PI)
Sympathetic activity and baroreflex function in postmenopausal black females
The goal of this study is to investigate the differences in blood pressure regulation in typical age and premature/early menopause in black females.
Role: PI




  • Vera, K, McConville, Kyba, M, Keller-Ross, ML. Resting Metabolic Rate in Adults with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. Appl Physiol, Nutr, Metab (2021). Mar 18. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2020-1119. PMID: 33735584.
  • Anderson, E, Kelly, T, Sharp, A, Keller-Ross, ML, Brunsvold, ME. (2021) Active Rehabilitation in a patient during and after venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with a diagnosis of COVID-19, a case report. J Acute Care Phys Ther (In Press).
  • Keller-Ross, ML, Chantigian, DP, Nemanich, S, Gillick, BT. (2021) Cardiovascular effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and bimanual training in children with cerebral palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal. Jan 1;33(1):11-16. DOI: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000762.


  • Smith, JR, Joyner, MJ, Curry, TB, Borlaug, BA, Keller-Ross, ML, Van Iterson, EH, Olson, TP. In press. Locomotor Muscle Group III/IV Afferents Constrain Stroke Volume and Contribute to Exercise Intolerance in Human Heart Failure. J Physiol.
  • Keller-Ross, ML, Chantigian, DP, Nemanich, S, Gillick, BT. In press. Cardiovascular effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and bimanual training in children with cerebral palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal. 
  • Vera, K, McConville, Kyba, M, Keller-Ross, ML. (2020) Sarcopenic obesity in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy. Frontiers in Physiology.
  • Keller-Ross, ML, Cunningham, HA, Carter, JR. (2020) Impact of age and sex on neural cardiovascular responsiveness to cold pressor test in humans. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00045.2020 
  • Lalande, S. Cross, TT, Keller-Ross, ML, Morris, N, Johnson, BD, Taylor, BJ (2020) Exercise Intolerance in Heart Failure: Central Role for the Pulmonary System. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews. Jan;48(1):11-19.doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000208



  • Keller-Ross ML, Larson, M, Johnson, BD. Skeletal Muscle Fatigability in Heart Failure (2019). Frontiers in Physiology. Feb 21;10:129. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00129.
  • Keller-Ross ML, Chantigian DP, Rich TL, Chen M, Chen CY, Gillick BT. Stability of the cardiovascular response during single-pulse TMS in perinatal stroke. (2019) Brain Stimul. pii: S1935-861X(18)30376-0. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2018.11.010. 


  • Keller-Ross ML, Chantigian DP, Rich TL, Chen M, Chen CY, Gillick BT. Stability of the cardiovascular response during single-pulse TMS in perinatal stroke. Brain Stimul. (2018) Nov 20. pii: S1935-861X(18)30376-0. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2018.11.010. 
  • Keller-Ross, ML, Sarkinen, AL, Chantigian, DP, Cross, TJ, Johnson, BD, Olson, TP. Interaction of Chemoreflex and Ergoreflex during Dynamic Exercise in Healthy Adults. (2018). Translational Sports Med. 
  • Keller-Ross, ML, Chantigian, Dl, Evanoff, N, Bantle, Anne, Dengel, Donald, Chow, Lisa (2018). VE/VCO2 slope in Lean and Overweight Women and Its Relationship to Lean Leg Mass. Int J Cardiol Heart & Vasculature.


  • Ann Van de Winckel, Yu-Ting Tseng, Daniel Chantigian, Kaitlyn Lorant, Zinat Zarandi, Jeffrey Buchanan, Thomas A. Zeffiro, Mia Larson, Becky Olson-Kellogg, Jürgen Konczak, Manda L. Keller-Ross (2017). Age-Related Decline of Wrist Position Sense and its Relationship to Specific Physical Training. Front Hum Neuroscie.;11:570. 
  • Wheatley, Courtney M., Baker, Sarah E, Taylor, Bryan J, Keller-Ross, Manda L. Chase, Steven C, Carlson, Alex R., Wentz, Robert J. Snyder, Eric M, Johnson, Bruce D. Influence of Inhaled Amiloride on Lung Fluid Clearance in Response to Normobaric Hypoxia in Healthy Individuals. (2017) High Altit Med & Biol.; 18:4: 343-354.


  • Keller-Ross, ML, Cowl, A, Cross, TJ, Johnson, BD, Olson, TP. (2016). Ventilation Increases with Lower Extremity Venous Occlusion in Young Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 48 (3): 377-383.


  • Keller-Ross, ML, Johnson.BD, Carter, R, Joyner, MJJ, Eisenach, J, Curry, T, Olson, TP. (2015). Improved Ventilatory Efficiency with Locomotor Muscle Afferent Inhibition is Strongly Associated with Leg Composition in Heart Failure. Int J Cardiol202: 159-166.
  • Cross TJ, Keller-Ross ML, Issa A, Wentz R. Taylor B, Johnson B. (2015). The impact of averaging window length on the desaturation indexes obtained via overnight pulse oximetry at high altitude. Sleep38(8): 1331-1334.


  • Keller-Ross ML, Joyner, MJ, Johnson, BD, Olson, TP.(2014) Influence of the metaboreflex on arterial blood pressure in heart failure patients. Am Heart J167(4):521-8.
  • Keller-Ross ML, Pruse, J, Yoon T, Schlinder-Delap B, Harkins, A & Hunter SK. (2014) Stress- Induced increase in muscle fatigability of young men and women is predicted by strength but not voluntary activation. J Appl Physiol, 116(7):767-768.
  • Keller-Ross ML, Schlinder-Delap B, Doyel, R, Larson, G & Hunter SK. (2014) Muscle fatigability is greater in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Med Sci Sports Exerc46(7):1302-13.


  • Yoon T, Schlinder-Delap B, Keller ML & Hunter SK (2011b). Supraspinal fatigue impedes recovery from a low-intensity sustained contraction in old adults. J Appl Physiol 112849- 858.
  • Keller ML, Pruse, J, Yoon T, Schlinder-Delap B, Harkins, A & Hunter SK (2011). Supraspinal Fatigue in men and women during a low force fatiguing contraction. Med Sci Sports Exerc.43, 1873-1883.
  • Pereira H, Keller ML (2011). Understanding the mechanisms of neuromuscular fatigue with paired- pulse stimulation. J Physiol 589 (Pt 14), 3533-3544.


  • Hoeger Bement M, Weyer A, Keller, ML, Harkins AL, Hunter SK (2010) Anxiety and stress can predict pain perception following a cognitive stress. Physiology & Behavior 101: 87-92.


  • Yoon T, Keller ML, Delap BS , Harkins A, Lepers R, & Hunter SK (2009). Sex differences in response to cognitive stress during a fatiguing contraction. J Appl Physiol: respiratory, environmental and exercise physiology 107: 1486-1496.
  • Hoeger-Bement M, Rasiarmos R, DiCapo R, Lewis A, Keller ML, Harkins A, Hunter S (2009). The Role of the Menstrual Cycle Phase In Pain Perception Before and After an Isometric Fatiguing Contraction. Eur J Appl Physiol 106: 105-112. (PMID:19189119).

Teaching Summary





603 Children's Rehabilitation Center

Minneapolis, MN 55455