Scott Ferguson

Assistant Professor
Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology
College of Arts & Sciences

Areas of Expertise

I am a cardiopulmonary and exercise physiologist with teaching and research interest in the mechanisms of fatigue in extreme environments (e.g., hypoxia or microgravity). I earned a B.S. and M.S. in Kinesiology from the College of Health and Human Sciences at Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in Physiology from the College of Veterinary Medicine, also at Kansas State University. I then completed a four-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Division of Cardiology at The University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.

I have over a decade of experience using preclinical and clinical research techniques to study vascular and microvascular (dys)function in health and disease and currently lead the Integrative Aerospace and Exercise Physiology (IAEP) laboratory at Embry-Riddle. Our current projects are focused on furthering our understanding of the impacts of hemolysis and anemia on skeletal and cardiac muscle function. We are also interested in identifying novel dietary, pharmacological, and lifestyle interventions to improve human physical and mental performance in extreme environments, such as during rapid ascent to high altitudes or long-duration space flights. Our work is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health.

  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology, Kansas State University
  • M.S. - Master of Science in Kinesiology, Kansas State University
  • B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Kansas State University

  • Private Pilot - Federal Aviation Administration

  • HFS 515: Ergonomics
  • BIO 450: Exercise Phys & Human Perform
  • HF 326: Human Perform in Extreme Envir

Lin YH, Major JL, Jeong MY, Wennersten SA, Haefner KR, Cavasin MA, Hourani Z, Wilson CE, Han Y, Ferguson SK, Ambardekar AV, Lam MPY, Granzier HL, Woulfe KC, McKinsey TA. (2021) HDAC6 regulates titin stiffness in the heart. Sci. Transl. Med 132(10):e148333

Buehler PW, Swindle DC, Pak DI, Ferguson, SK, Majka SM, Karoor V, Moldovan R, Sintas C, Black J, Geninetta T, Buzzi RM, Vallelian F, Wassmer A, Elder M, Bain J, Schu D, Hassell K, Nuss R, Schaer D, Irwin DC. (2021) Hemopexin dosing improves cardiopulmonary dysfunction in murine sickle cell disease. Free Radic Biol Med 175: 95- 107.

Smith JR, Hirai DM, Copp SW, Ferguson SK, Holdsworth CT, Hageman KS, Poole DC, Much TI. (2021) Exercise Training Decreases Intercostal and Transversus Abdominis Muscle Blood Flows in Heart Failure Rats during Submaximal Exercise. Resp Phys Neurobiol 292, 103710.

Hirai DM, Belbis MD, Holmes MJ, Calvo N, Ferguson SK. (2021) Commentaries on Viewpoint: The interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 may have consequences for skeletal muscle viral susceptibility and myopathies. J Appl. Physiol 129 (4), 864-867.

Ferguson SK, Redinius KM, Harral JW, Pak DI, Swindle DC, Hirai DM, Blackwell JR, Jones AM, Stenmark KR, Buehler PW, Irwin DC. (2020) Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation on the speed-duration relationship in mice with sickle cell anemia. J Appl. Physiol 129 (3): 474-482.

2019-2020       Assistant Professor (tenure track)Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Science, University of Hawaii, Hilo. Research and teaching interest in the mechanisms of exercise fatigue in pathological and environmental hypoxia. Courses taught include Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Physiology of Exercise (and laboratory section), Foundations of Public Health, Basic Human Nutrition, and a Health Promotion Practicum. Courses are taught in person, online, and a combination of in-person and online.

2018-present Co-Founder and Head-Coach – Summation Athletics LLC. Provide training for a variety of mountain-based endurance sports, including rock- climbing, trail running, mountaineering, backcountry hunting, and alpine climbing. Please see for more information.

2015-2018       Adjunct FacultyDepartment of Kinesiology, Kansas State University (KIN 605, Physiological and Therapeutic Challenges in Acute and Chronic Hypoxia). Developed an online course on cardiopulmonary function in health and various diseases. Emphasis placed on adaptations to environmental and pathological hypoxia and current treatment/therapeutic strategies.

2014-2015       Course Facilitator - Department of Kinesiology Kansas State University (Cardiorespiratory/Comparative Physiology in Health and Disease) Responsible for administering the online course content, developing exams, and assigning grades.

2013-2015       Instructor - Department of Kinesiology Kansas State University (Nutrition and Exercise KIN/HN 635). Sole instructor for the exercise section (16 lectures) of KIN/HN 635 (senior-level undergraduate and graduate-level course). Lectures focused on basic cardiopulmonary physiology, metabolic pathways, substrate utilization during exercise, and implications of a healthy lifestyle vs. “ideal weight.”

2013-   Member of The American Physiological Society, Environmental and Exercise Physiology Section

2021-   Early-Career Reviewer Board Member, American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology

2022-   Editorial Board Member, Journal of Applied Physiology, American Physiological Society

  1. Environmental & Exercise Physiology (EEP) Nike Postdoctoral Research Award, 2018
  2. American Physiological Society: Best Presentation Award, Physiological and Pathophysiological Consequences of Sickle Cell Disease meeting, 2017.
  3. Environmental & Exercise Physiology (EEP) Military Physiology Postdoctoral Research Award, 2017
  4. Environmental & Exercise Physiology (EEP) National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Gravitational Physiology Post-Doctoral Research Award, 2016
  5. Nike, Inc. Loren G. Myhre Environmental & Exercise Physiology (EEP) Pre-doctoral Research Award, 2015
  6. Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Marguerite L. Richards Graduate Student Scholarship Award, 2015
  7. Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dr. Albert L. Burroughs Memorial Award, 2015
  8. Phi Zeta Honor Society: A.S.R Ganta Graduate Student Award, years 2014 and 2015
  9. American Physiological Society: Caroline Tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award, Spring 2014