CeRPAN Laboratories

photo of Dr. Suman

Children's Wellness and Exercise Center & Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Directed by Oscar E. Suman, PhD | Biography
Location:  4th floor, Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston

Welcome to the Children’s Wellness and Exercise Center & Exercise Physiology Lab
Research in Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, and Cardiopulmonary Function


The Children’s Wellness and Exercise Center (CWEC) is on the 4th floor of Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston and it is 980 sq. ft., with state-of-the-art exercise equipment for pediatric patients 7 years old and older. There are arm ergometers, treadmills, rowers, elliptical machines and exercise cycles used for cardiopulmonary training/rehabilitation. For strength training/rehabilitation, the CWEC has dumbbells, resistance bands, and weight lifting machines appropriate for ages 7 and above. The patients are trained typically following guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and training is done by ACSM certified personal trainers.

Lab Specific Information

The Exercise Physiology Laboratory (EPL) is 780 sq. ft. and is located on the 6th floor. It has equipment for the assessments of cardiopulmonary function, muscle function, and dietary analysis, as well as assessment of body composition. These assessments are conducted in pediatric patients with severe burns. These patients are from Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston and from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Blocker Burn Unit. The EPL also assesses these measurements in non-burn participants.

photo of exercise lab
The EPL assesses body function and composition for severe burn and non-burn pediatric patients 7 years and older
photo of exercise equipment
The CWEC serves pediatric patients 7 years old and older with state-of-the-art exercise equipment

The CWEC performs the following assessments:

  • Body composition is measured by a duel-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). It uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce a detailed image of body components. We collect the lean body mass, fat mass, and total mass of our patients.
  • Muscle strength is measured using an isokinetic test with a Biodex System 4 dynamometer. We test the dominant leg for flexion (hamstrings) and extension (quadriceps) at angular velocities of 150°/second.
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT) is performed by a Respiratory Therapist to measure how well the lungs are work. For our research, they are conducted to see how a patient’s burn injury can affect their lungs.
  • Cardiorespiratory capacity was determined by measuring VO₂ during a modified Bruce treadmill test. Expired gases were analyzed by indirect calorimetry. Gases and air flow were calibrated using known gasses.
  • All exercises assessments are performed at different time points and done by an ACSM certified exercise technician and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
  • Dietary recalls are also collected by a Research Nutritionist. The information is analyzed by the nutritional software from the University of Minnesota: Nutrition Data Software for Researchers.