Dr. Cheri McGowan

Professor and Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies

E-mail: mcgowanc@uwindsor.ca
Phone: (519) 253 - 3000 ext: 2451
Office: H.K. Building, Room 113

PACR laboratory


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory, Division of Cardiology, University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, 2008
  • Ph.D., McMaster University, Human BioDynamics (Cardiovascular Physiology and Exercise Rehabilitation), 2006
  • M.Sc., McMaster University, Human BioDynamics (Health Psychology and Cardiac Rehabilitation), 2001
  • B.Sc., University of Waterloo, 1999


Dr. Cheri L. M. McGowan is a Professor and the Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor. She completed her undergraduate degree at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON), her graduate training at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON), and her postdoctoral fellowship at University Health Network (Toronto, ON). Her teaching interests include exercise physiology, and the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease and exercise rehabilitation. She holds Adjunct positions in the School of Kinesiology at Western University (London, ON), Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA), and the School of Medicine and Department of Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI, USA), and is an Adjunct Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON).

Scope of Research:

Dr. McGowan’s research mission is to improve the well-being of the local, provincial, national and global population by providing simple solutions to reduce cardiovascular disease-related morbidity and mortality. Her current research program provides value in four areas:

  1. Determines the contribution of the autonomic nervous system to disease pathophysiology,
  2. Examines the effectiveness of traditional exercise-based treatments (e.g., Cardiac Rehabilitation),
  3. Generates support for alternative exercise interventions (e.g., Isometric handgrip training) to improve blood pressure (BP) regulation in healthy and clinical populations,
  4. Investigates methods to best implement effective interventions into clinical practice to promote optimal patient standard of care.


Scope of Collaboration:

To accomplish her mission, Dr. McGowan has gathered together a research team in the Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Research (PACR) Laboratory at the University of Windsor that currently includes: 1 PhD candidate, 4 masters-level candidates, 3 Outstanding Scholars (BHK), 3 undergraduate-level volunteers (1 HK, 2 Integrative Biology), 4 medical students, as well as a research associate, a research nurse, and a physician.

Dr. McGowan is a strong supporter of undergraduate and graduate-level research, and her extensive collaborations provide her students with high caliber training and exposure. As direct evidence of this philosophy, most of her trainees go on to attend medical school, chiropractic college, or graduate school.

Dr. McGowan’s network of research partners extends to include scientists, clinicians, program directors and exercise rehabilitation specialists at the University of Windsor (Kinesiology, Science, Psychology), within Windsor-Essex (Chronic Disease Management Program/Windsor Essex Community Health Centre, Cardiac Wellness Program/Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, Windsor Regional Cancer Centre), and within the national (University of Montreal, Western University, Brock University, University of Guelph) and international (USA: University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Penn State, Henry Ford Health System, ; Europe: Greenwich University, University of Northampton, KU Leuven; Brazil: University Nove de Julho; Australia: University of New England, Central Queensland University; Uganda: Soft Power Health, Makerere University, Mbarara University, Ugandan Ministry of Health) medical and physiology communities. These ongoing partnerships have led to awards, manuscripts, funding opportunities, and presentations at scientific conferences.


Key Scholarly Activities:

  1. Wood, Cayla, N; Leis, Hanna, RG; Richards, Jared, J; Milne, Kevin, J; van Wyk, Paula, M; McGowan, Cheri, L, M., What is the world recommending? An international perspective of isometric handgrip training for lowering blood pressure, Critical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 32(2): 127-153.

  2. Smart, Neil, A; Howden, Rueben; Veronique Cornelissen; Robert Brook; Cheri McGowan; Philip Millar; Raphael Ritti-Dias; Anthony Baross; Debra Carlson; Jonathon Wiles, Letter to the Editor: Physical activity to prevent and treat hypertension: A systematic review, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 52, 1001-1002, 2020.

  3. Hornsby, Whitney, E; Norton, Elizabeth, L; Fink, Samantha; Koelling, Todd, M; Saberi, Sara; Wu, Xiaoting; McGowan, Cheri, L; Brook, Robert, D; Jones, Lee, W; Willer, Cristen, J; Kim, Karen, M; Deeb, George, M; Patel, Himanshu, J; Eagle, Kim, A; Rubenfire, M; Yang, Bo., Cardiopulmonary exercise testing following open repair for a proximal thoracic aortic aneurysm or dissection, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, doi.10.1097/HCR0000000000000446(40), 108-115, 2020.

  4. Baddeley-White, Daniel, S; McGowan, Cheri, L; Howden, Rueben; Gordon, Ben; Kyberd, Peter; Swaine, Ian, L, Blood pressure lowering effects of a novel isometric exercise device following a 4-week isometric handgrip intervention, Blood Pressure Monitoring, 10, 89-98, 2019.

  5. Smart, Neil, A; Way, D; Carlson, Debra; Hess, Nicole; Millar, Philip; McGowan, Cheri; Swaine, Ian; Baross, Anthony; Howden, Rueben; Ritt-Dias, Raphael; Wiles, Jim; Bleile, Bea, Effects of isometric exercise training on resting blood pressure: Individual participant data meta-analysis, American Journal of Hypertension, doi:10.1097/ HJH.0000000000002105, 2019.

  6. Badrov, Mark, B; Wood, Katelyn, N; Lalande, Sophie; Sawicki, Carolyn, P; Borrell, Lindsay, J; Barron, Carly, C; Vording, Jennifer, L; Fleischhauer, Arlene; Suskin, Neville; McGowan, Cheri, L; Shoemaker, Kevin, Effects of six months of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation on autonomic function and neuro-cardiovascular stress reactivity in coronary artery disease patients, Journal of the American Heart Association, 8, e012257.doi.10.1161/ JAHA.119.012257, 2019.

  7. Dempster, Kylie, S; McGowan, Cheri, L; Wade, Terrance, J; O’Leary, Deborah, D. Effects of isometric handgrip exercise training on systemic arterial stiffness, cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity, and cognition in treated adults with hypertension: A pilot study. Critical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 30, 219-237, 2018.

  8. Boa Sorte Silva, Narlon, C; Gregory, Michael, A; Gill, Dawn, P; McGowan, Cheri, L; Petrella, Robert, J. The impact of blood pressure dipping status on cognition, mobility, and cardiovascular health in older adults following an exercise program. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, 4, 1–11. doi.org/10.1177/2333721418770333, 2018.

  9. Somani, Yasina, B; Baross, Anthony, W; Brook, Robert, D; Milne, Kevin, J; McGowan, Cheri, L; Swaine, Ian, L. Acute response to a 2-minute isometric exercise test predicts the blood pressure-lowering efficacy of isometric resistance training in young adults. American Journal of Hypertension. doi:10.1093/ajh/hpx173, 2017.

  10. Smart, Neil, A; Swaine, Ian; Carlson, Debra; Swaine, Ian; McGowan, Cheri. Commentary on Aerobic versus isometric handgrip exercise in hypertension: A randomized controlled trial, Journal of Hypertension, 35, 2554-2556, 2017.

  11. McGowan, Cheri, L; Proctor, David, N; Swaine, Ian; Brook, Robert, D; Jackson, Elizabeth, A; Levy, Phillip, D. Isometric handgrip as an adjunct for blood pressure control – A primer for Clinicians, Current Hypertension Reports, 19: 51. doi:10.1007/s11906-017-0748-8, 2017.

  12. Zinszer, Kate; Stone, Jessie; Mpaata, Julius, C; Muwanguzi, S; Adler, S; McGowan, Cheri L; Levy, Philip, D. Success and failure: A firsthand look into Uganda’s most recent bednet distribution campaign. The Lancet Infectious Disease, 17, 251-253, 2017.

  13. Gregory, Michael, A; Boa Sorte Silva, Narlon, C; Gill, Dawn, P; McGowan, Cheri, L; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Shoemaker, J, Kevin; Hachinkski, Vladimir; Holmes, Jeff; Petrella, Robert, J. Combined dual-task gait training and aerobic exercise to improve cognition, mobility, and vascular health in community-dwelling older adults at risk for future cognitive decline. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 57, 747-763, 2017.

  14. Somani, Yasina; Baross, Anthony; Levy, Phillip; Zinszer, Kate; Milne, Kevin; Swaine, Ian; McGowan, Cheri. Reductions in ambulatory blood pressure in normotensive men and women after isometric exercise training and its relationship with cardiovascular reactivity. Blood Pressure Monitoring, 22, 1-7, 2017.

  15. Badrov, Mark, B; Freeman, Shane, R; Zokvic, Mary Ann; Millar, Philip, J; McGowan, Cheri L. Isometric exercise training lowers resting blood pressure and improves endothelium-dependent vasodilation equally in men and women, European Journal of Applied Physiology, 116, 1289-1296, 2016.

  16. Brook, Robert, D; Jackson, Elizabeth, A; Giorgini, Paolo; McGowan, Cheri, L; When and how to recommend “Alternative Approaches” in the management of high blood pressure, American Journal of Medicine, 128, 567-570, 2015.