308 W. Circle Dr. Room 27S
East Lansing, MI 48824

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Postdoctoral Fellow Baylor College of Medicine – Children’s Nutrition Research Center

PhD, Texas A&M University

MS, University of North Carolina Charlotte

BS, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Research Interest

David P. Ferguson’s research focuses on how early life nutrition influences cardiovascular development as it relates to functional capacity in adulthood. It has been shown that children who are malnourished at birth have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The goal of his laboratory is to investigate the mechanistic changes that occur due to poor diet and propose therapeutic countermeasures to increase cardiovascular function and decrease mortality rates. Current projects center on the beneficial factors of exercise at restoring functional capacity in growth-restricted mice. An additional and unrelated research interest of Dr. Ferguson is the physiological stress placed on automotive race car drivers and pit crews. He is working with NASCAR, Indycar, and Formula 1 teams to increase performance and safety of drivers and crew members.

Research Topics

Developmental Origins of Cardiovascular Disease

Biological Regulation of Physical Activity

Skeletal Muscle Physiology

Motorsport Physiology


Pendergrast LA, Leszczynski EC, Visker JR, Triplett AN, Ferguson DP. Early life undernutrition reduces maximum treadmill running capacity in adulthood in mice. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2020 Mar;45(3):240-250. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2019-0023. Epub 2019 Jul 16. PubMed PMID: 31310724.

Quinn RA, Melnik AV, Vrbanac A, Fu T, Patras KA, Christy MP, Bodai Z, Belda-Ferre P, Tripathi A, Chung LK, Downes M, Welch RD, Quinn M, Humphrey G, Panitchpakdi M, Weldon KC, Aksenov A, da Silva R, Avila-Pacheco J, Clish C, Bae S, Mallick H, Franzosa EA, Lloyd-Price J, Bussell R, Thron T, Nelson AT, Wang M, Leszczynski E, Vargas F, Gauglitz JM, Meehan MJ, Gentry E, Arthur TD, Komor AC, Poulsen O, Boland BS, Chang JT, Sandborn WJ, Lim M, Garg N, Lumeng JC, Xavier RJ, Kazmierczak BI, Jain R, Egan M, Rhee KE, Ferguson D, Raffatellu M, Vlamakis H, Haddad GG, Siegel D, Huttenhower C, Mazmanian SK, Evans RM, Nizet V, Knight R, Dorrestein PC. Global chemical effects of the microbiome include new bile-acid conjugations. Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7797):123-129. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2047-9. Epub 2020 Feb 26. PubMed PMID: 32103176; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7252668.

Leszczynski EC, Visker JR, Ferguson DP. The Effect of Growth Restriction on Voluntary Physical Activity Engagement in Mice. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 Nov;51(11):2201-2209. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002040. PubMed PMID: 31107349.

Ferguson DP, Monroe TO, Heredia CP, Fleischmann R, Rodney GG, Taffet GE, Fiorotto ML. Postnatal undernutrition alters adult female mouse cardiac structure and function leading to limited exercise capacity. J Physiol. 2019 Apr;597(7):1855-1872. doi: 10.1113/JP277637. Epub 2019 Mar 3. PubMed PMID: 30730556; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6441894.

Visker JR, Ferguson DP. Postnatal undernutrition in mice causes cardiac arrhythmogenesis which is exacerbated when pharmacologically stressed. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2018 Aug;9(4):417-424. doi: 10.1017/S2040174418000156. Epub 2018 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 29644942.

NCBI Bibliography