Integrated Search Menu

Karen Sweazea

Profile photo
Assoc Professor
Faculty, DTPHX Campus, Mailcode 3020
Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Biography

Karen Sweazea is a physiologist who specializes in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She received her PhD in Physiological Sciences from the University of Arizona where her research focused on understanding glucose homeostasis and natural insulin resistance in birds. Her postdoctoral research was designed to explore how poor dietary habits promote the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Sweazea's current research seeks to explore potentially protective mechanisms existing in mammalian and non-mammalian organisms against complications that can arise with being overweight or having high blood sugar levels. One of the main research foci is on understanding the reasons behind the evolution of naturally high blood sugar concentrations in birds in addition to exploring the impact of urbanization and poor dietary choices on avian health. Learning how certain animals thrive under conditions that would result in pathologies for other species may help improve the treatment of diabetes. A second research focus is on characterizing the mechanisms by which high caloric intake leads to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in mammalian and non-mammalian organisms. This particular research focus also includes the exploration of potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of functional foods in an effort to improve diet and reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease in humans subjects. 

Education

2005, PhD, Physiological Sciences, University of Arizona

2005-2008, Postdoc, Vascular Physiology, University of New Mexico

Research Interests

The central focus of my research is to explore potentially protective mechanisms existing in mammalian and non-mammalian organisms against complications that can arise in diseases associated with being overweight or having high blood sugar levels.

Publications

Five most recent:

1.     Ingram T, Zuck J, Borges C, Redig P, Sweazea KL. (2017) Variations in native protein glycation and plasma antioxidants in several birds of prey. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B. 210: 18-28.

2.     Sweazea KL, Braun EJ, Sparr R. (2017) Novel role of insulin in the regulation of glucose excretion by mourning doves (Zenaida macroura). Zoology. 122: 58-62. 

3.     Aslam F, Iqbal S, Nasir M, Anjum AA, Swan PD, Sweazea K. (2017) Evaluation of white sesame seed oil on glucose control, and biomarkers of hepatic, cardiac, and renal functions in male Sprague-Dawley rats with chemically induced diabetes. Journal of Medicinal Foods. 20(5): 448-457. 

4.     Ricklefs-Johnson K, Johnston CS, Sweazea KL. (2017) Ground flaxseed increased nitric oxide levels in adults with type 2 diabetes: A randomized comparative effectiveness study of supplemental flaxseed and psyllium fiber. Obesity Medicine. 5: 16-24, 2017. 

5.     Zuck J, Borges C, Braun EJ, Sweazea KL. (2017) Chicken albumin exhibits natural resistance to glycation. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology-B. 203: 108-114. IF: 1.757. 

Research Activity
  • Sweazea,Karen Leanna*​. Exploration of the metabolic and vascular protective effects of an organometallic complex (OMC). Isagenix International (1/1/17-12/31/18).
  • Sweazea,Karen Leanna*, Johnston,Carol S. Evaluation of the protective effects of a beet juice energy drink on vascular health. Isagenix International (10/1/2015 - 8/30/2016).
  • Sweazea,Karen Leanna*. Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Flaxseeds in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms. AMERIFLAX(1/1/2014 - 6/30/2015).
  • Sweazea,Karen Leanna*, Johnston,Carol S. Evaluation of the Anti-aging Properties of Product B. Isagenix International (8/1/2013 - 11/30/2014).
  • Sweazea,Karen Leanna*, Johnston,Carol S. Almond Ingestion to Reduce Hemoglobin A1C in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Almond Board of CA (7/1/2012 - 12/31/2013).
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
NTR 290Intro Evidence-Based Practice
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
NTR 532Pathophysiology and Nutrition
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 360Animal Physiology
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
NTR 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
NTR 493Honors Thesis
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BDE 792Research
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
CHS 101The ASU Experience
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 360Animal Physiology
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
EXW 691Seminar
NTR 691Seminar
BDE 792Research
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
HSC 492Honors Directed Study
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
NTR 532Pathophysiology and Nutrition
NTR 691Seminar
EXW 691Seminar
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 360Animal Physiology
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 493Honors Thesis
BIO 493Honors Thesis
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 493Honors Thesis
BIO 493Honors Thesis
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HSC 320Appl Medical/Healthcare Ethics
HSC 420Eval Health Sci Res
HSC 493Honors Thesis
HSC 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Honors / Awards

2017         Tenured Faculty Excellence in Service Award, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, ASU

2016         Distinguished Service on the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology (CEP) Section of the American Physiological Society Steering Committee Award

2015         New Investigator Award, CEP section of the American Physiological Society

2014         Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Faculty Women’s Association, ASU

2014         Dale J. Benos Early Career Professional Service Award, The American Physiological Society (http://bit.ly/OqEWRw)

2010         Elected Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research and Honor Society

2008         August Krogh Young Investigator Award, The Microcirculatory Society