Karen Ball


Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair


Integrative Physiology & Health Science

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Physiology and Biophysics, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • B.A. Exercise and Health Science, Alma College



My career at Alma began in


I'm an expert in

Human Physiology

My expertise:

Dr. Ball’s research focuses on the biochemical regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle function. Specifically, her work examines modulation of force production under physiological (organismal development) and pathological (e.g. heart failure, diabetic cardiomyopathy) conditions. The laboratory also utilizes cell culture models to examine regulation of skeletal muscle growth with broad implications for clinical medicine and human performance.  A final area of study is the tissue remodeling that occurs in the hearts of hibernating 13-lined ground squirrels.  This information will have important implications in clinical approaches to heart attacks and heart failure.

Signature course(s):

Foundations in Physiology, Pharmacology, First Year Seminar

Recent publications:

Ball, Karen L. and Nancy Dopke. “Effective Transition from Individual Faculty Advising to Committee Structure”. In: Handbook of Research on Developing Competencies for Pre-Health Professional Students, Advisors, and Programs. Eds. Rohini Ganjoo and Lisa Schwartz, IGI Global, May 2022.

Other recent accomplishments:

Past President of the Michigan Physiological Society