Professor Wilund is the new Director of the School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness at the University of Arizona. Prior to coming to Arizona, he was a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 19 years. His education and training includes a B.S. degree in Nutritional Sciences and a PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The focus of Professor Wilund’s research is examining the effects of exercise training and nutritional factors on cardiovascular health and muscle wasting in in patients with kidney failure.
Dr. Wilund’s research is focused on developing novel strategies to improve the health and quality of life of patients with kidney failure undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD) therapy. HD patients suffer from a myriad of co-morbidities that adversely impact their health and quality of life. While pharmacological therapies are often prioritized in their care, exercise and nutrition-related strategies receive less emphasis, despite tremendous potential benefits. He has developed two parallel lines of research that aim to: A) develop strategies for getting patients with chronic kidney disease more physically active; and B) reducing chronic volume overload in HD patients. These are two of the most challenging and clinically significant problems in Nephrology. Dr. Wilund recently founded two research-related entities to help facilitate this work: 1) The Global Renal Exercise (GREX) Network; and 2) The Kidney Wellness Institute of Illinois (KIWII). The purpose of both of these groups is to improve the research base and implementation of lifestyle-related therapies across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease.