Rachel Luehrs

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science


+1 630 637 5746

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Dr. Luehrs serves as the Program Director for Exercise Science, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, and the faculty mentor for the Health and Exercise Association (HEXA) student organization. She has a Ph.D. in Health and Human Physiology from The University of Iowa, a M.S in Clinical Exercise Physiology from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and B.S. degrees in Exercise Science and Human Performance and Fitness from St. Ambrose University. Her doctoral research focused on assessing large elastic artery stiffness, blood pressure and cognitive performance among individuals with a history of cigarette smoking. Dr. Luehrs also has research interests in the area of physical activity and mental health. 

Selected Scholarship

Luehrs, R. E., Zhang, D., Pierce, G. L., Jacobs, D. R., Jr, Kalhan, R., & Whitaker, K. M. (2021). Cigarette Smoking and Longitudinal Associations With Blood Pressure: The CARDIA Study. Journal of the American Heart Association10(9), e019566.

Luehrs, R. E., Moreau, K. L., Pierce, G. L., Wamboldt, F., Aloia, M., Weinberger, H. D., Make, B., Bowler, R., Crapo, J. D., Meschede, K., Kozora, E., Moser, D. J., & Hoth, K. F. (2021). Cognitive performance is lower among individuals with overlap syndrome than in individuals with COPD or obstructive sleep apnea alone: association with carotid artery stiffness. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)131(1), 131–141.

Luehrs, R. E., Newell, J. D., Jr, Comellas, A. P., Hoffman, E. A., Warner, K., Croghan, A., DuBose, L. E., Nopoulos, P., Magnotta, V., Arndt, S., Pierce, G. L., & Hoth, K. F. (2018). CT-Measured Lung Air-Trapping is Associated with Higher Carotid Artery Stiffness in Individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)125(6), 1760–1766. Advance online publication.

Nuckols, V. R., Holwerda, S. W., Luehrs, R. E., DuBose, L. E., Stroud, A. K., Brandt, D., Betz, A. M., Fiedorowicz, J. G., Scroggins, S. M., Santillan, D. A., Grobe, J. L., Sigmund, C. D., Santillan, M. K., & Pierce, G. L. (2020). Beat-to-Beat Blood Pressure Variability in the First Trimester Is Associated With the Development of Preeclampsia in a Prospective Cohort: Relation With Aortic Stiffness. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979)76(6), 1800–1807.

Holwerda, S. W., Luehrs, R. E., DuBose, L. E., Majee, R., & Pierce, G. L. (2019). Sex and age differences in the association between sympathetic outflow and central elastic artery wall thickness in humans. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology317(3), H552–H560.

Courses Taught

Foundations of Exercise Science

Physiology of Exercise

Physiology of Exercise Lab