Matt Durand, PhD

Matt Durand, PhD

Associate Professor; Research Director; Secondary Faculty Appointment in Physiology


  • Cardiovascular Center
    MEB, M4845

Contact Information


BA, Biology, Lawrence University, 2005
PhD, Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2010
Postdoctoral Training, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2015


Dr. Durand received his PhD from the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2010 under the mentorship of Dr. Julian Lombard. He then chose to continue his training at MCW and completed his postdoctoral fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. David Gutterman in the Department of Medicine. In 2015 Dr. Durand joined the faculty in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MCW.

Research Experience

  • Angiotensin II
  • Endothelium-Dependent Relaxing Factors
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Frailty
  • Hypertension
  • Ischemic Postconditioning
  • Ischemic Preconditioning
  • Mitochondria
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Prehabilitation
  • Stroke

Leadership Positions

  • Research Director - Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

MCW Program / Core Facilities

  • Cardiovascular Center

Research Interests

My research focus is a blend of exercise physiology, vascular biology, and rehabilitation science. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in adults in the United States. Post-stroke, many individuals experience profound muscle weakness due to decreased neural activation of the muscle. Other factors can also contribute to muscle weakness and enhanced muscle fatigability however, including lack of adequate blood flow to exercising skeletal muscle. The Durand lab, in collaboration with Dr. Allison Hyngstrom’s laboratory from the Department of Physical Therapy at Marquette University, has shown that blood flow to the exercising paretic muscle is dramatically reduced in stroke survivors compared to age-matched controls. We have also shown that a non-invasive, cost-effective, simple intervention called ischemic conditioning can increase blood flow to the exercising muscle, while also increasing paretic muscle strength and reducing neuromuscular fatigability. Current projects are examining how ischemic conditioning can improve muscle performance and blood flow to exercising muscle in stroke survivors, including by modulating a fundamental physiological process that allows blood vessels in an active muscle bed to remain vasodilated during exercise, called functional sympatholysis. Another area of interest in the Durand laboratory is the concept of microvascular resiliency. Frailty is defined as a state of increased vulnerability to stress. This is a major concern to our healthcare systems as our population is aging and upwards of 50% of adults in the US who require surgery are considered frail. How the microvasculature responds to external stressors in elderly individuals remains largely unknown. Current projects in collaboration with Dr. Julie Freed from the Department of Anesthesiology are examining how the microvasculature responds differently to high intensity interval exercise stress in elderly individuals with high vs. low cardiorespiratory fitness. We are further examining whether ischemic conditioning can improve this stress response in the elderly, and whether ischemic conditioning is a suitable “prehabilitation” intervention in elderly individuals who require surgery.