The AcTIVE Lab's mission is to empower individuals with type 2 diabetes and peripheral vascular disease to become more physically active in order to reduce cardiovascular risk and to improve quality of life. Members of the lab collaborate to achieve this mission and comprise of medical doctors, endocrinologists, PhD scientists, and exercise physiologists. Ongoing clinical trials include REACH, which is studying differences in physical activity and function in adults who either have, or do not have, diabetes. Another study, SitWise, plans to learn more about how time spent sitting influences cardiovascular and muscle health in post-menopausal women.

Judith Regensteiner, PhD
Director of AcTIVE Lab
Distinguished Professor 

Judith Regensteiner, PhD is dedicated to growing the field of women’s health research and sex differences research to promote optimal health care for all. She is the Director (and co-founder) of the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research and Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She holds the Judith and Joseph Wagner Chair in Women’s Health Research and is the Director of the Dean’s Women in Science and Medicine office. Dr. Regensteiner’s research expertise is in the cardiovascular effects of diabetes with a specific focus on women with type 2 diabetes since they appear to have more significant sequelae than men with diabetes. Her lab has been funded for over 30 years and her more than 180 publications have influenced the field. 

Dr. Regensteiner is a Principal Investigator for the National Institutes of Health’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) grant and the Doris Duke Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists as well having been awarded a NIH RO1 for her research. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health. She is also an alumna of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM) and is on the steering committee of the national Leaders in Women’s Health group. 

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Jane Reusch, MD

A physician-scientist, Dr. Reusch has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of cellular metabolism and diabetes complications. The focus of her basic science program is to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms (i.e. mitochondrial dysfunction) that contribute to loss of cardiac, vascular and skeletal muscle resilience in diabetes.  Her shared clinical translational research program with Drs Judy Regensteiner and Kristen Nadeau examines and targets the biological variables in people with diabetes, particularly women, that lead to decreased functional exercise capacity and portend shortened lifespan. 

She is dedicated to recruiting and mentoring the translational research workforce, especially in women’s health and diabetes. Her mentoring efforts have been recognized AFMR-Uncommon Leadership in Mentoring Physician-Scientists Award, the American Diabetes Association Albert Renold Award and Woman of Valor Award, the Endocrine Society Laureate Award for Mentorship and the WAP/WSCI Mayo Soley award for mentorship and lifetime scientific achievement

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Amy Huebschmann, MD, MSc
Associate Professor

Dr. Huebschmann is a primary care physician and tenured Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Huebschmann’s independent line of research inquiry seeks to advance the dissemination and implementation (D&I) science methods available to translate evidence-based interventions into real-world practice settings with attention to health equity concerns.  Dr. Huebschmann currently serves as MPI and lead D&I investigator for one of only 7 NHLBI-funded UG3/UH3 dissemination trials to improve cardiopulmonary disparities, and is the lead D&I co-investigator or consultant on several other NIH-funded studies. 

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Irene Schauer, MD, PhD

Dr. Schauer’s research interest is in vascular disease in diabetes, sex differences in vascular disease, and the benefits of exercise in diabetes. 

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Rebecca Scalzo, PhD
Assistant Professor

The focus of Dr. Scalzo’s research program is to better understand the diabetes burden in premenopausal women. She investigates the connection between type 2 diabetes and disrupted estrogen signaling by examining 1) the interaction of diabetes and estrogen signaling on skeletal muscle mitochondria and 2) the mechanisms by which endocrine therapies for breast cancer increase type 2 diabetes risk in cancer survivors. She is an exercise physiologist who uses exercise testing and training throughout her translational research to understand and address type 2 diabetes. 


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Samantha Thielen, MD
Chief Resident


Dr. Thielen is an internal medicine chief resident, about to enter cardiology fellowship. She is interested in the mechanisms by which diabetes contributes to cardiovascular disease as well as treatments to mitigate this risk. 

Ana Pinto, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Pinto is a 3rd year Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Colorado, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes. Her early research experiences have been primarily focused on women’s health, particularly in the promotion of healthy lifestyle (physical activity and healthy eating) to women living with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and obesity. Her current research emphasizes testing and optimizing physical activity and sedentary behavior interventions to improve glucose metabolism based on individual needs, while also exploring the role of sex in adaptations to these interventions with the goal to improve personalized care.  


Other Lab Staff

Ethan Clark, MSc
Senior Clinical Research Services Professional

Mr. Clark serves as the senior clinical research services professional in the AcTIVE lab. With a background in exercise physiology, he is driven to understand relationships between exercise, sedentary behavior, and cardiovascular health among diverse populations and finding novel interventions to improve outcomes.     



Benjamin Juckett,MSc
Research Services Professional

Mr. Juckett has a special interest in improving the health and wellness of communities through exercise research and implementation. He is excited to keep working with the AcTIVE lab and exploring the field of exercise research. 



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