Dr. Lorrie Brilla


Ph.D., Stress Physiology, University of Oregon, 1983
M.S., Applied Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, 1978
B.S., Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 1976

(360) 650-3056

BH 314

Research Interests  

Nutrition, specifically magnesium effects in health and physical performance is a primary research interest. The health effects are related to lipid metabolism and body pools of magnesium. The performance effects of magnesium on strength, aerobic exercise performance, and its co-activating influences with creatine have been salient research projects. Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) in health and physical performance is also a key interest. IMT influence on paradoxical vocal fold motion is an interdisciplinary research endeavor with the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. IMT effects in athletes on physical performance have been studied with emphasis on respiratory function and related oxygen delivery. Collaborative studies are conducted in various areas: elderly, arthritis, and analysis of equipment. Graduate students have conducted eclectic thesis projects under my supervision, depending on their interests, with consideration of technical and financial limitations. Examples include performance implications of omega-3 fatty acids, physiological attributes of rock climbers, sonic driving and performance, and Pilates training effects on abdominal muscle function. A number of grants on which I have been principal investigator have been awarded from external sources, including Albion Laboratories, Metagenics, Inc., OmegaPure, Inc., and Creative Health Products.


Before entering academia, I had seven years of clinical experience which included cardiac rehabilitation, echocardiography, and directing a Non-Invasive Cardiac Laboratory. Related certifications include:
American College of Sports Medicine: Certified Program Director, 1987, Certified Exercise Specialist, 1978, Certified Exercise Technologist, 1978
American College of Nutrition: Certified Nutrition Specialist, 1995
National Foundation for Non-Invasive Diagnostics: Certification, Phonocardiography, 1979, Certification, Basic and Advanced Echocardiographic Measurements, 1979, Certification, Basic Echocardiography, 1979
American Association for Cardiographic Technologists: Certification, Electrocardiography, 1979.

From 1983 to 1985, I was a Lecturer at Ballarat University (renamed Federation University), Australia. Since 1985, I have been at WWU. Sabbatical work has been conducted with Dr. Sighart Golf, Justus Lieberg University and with Dr. Luca Gatteschi, Sports Medicine Clinic, Florence, Italy in 1996. In 2001, my sabbatical was hosted by Louise Burke, Ph.D., R.D., IAAF Medical & Anti-Doping Commission Member and head of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport, and Maria Fiatarone-Singh, M.D., John Sutton Chair of Exercise and Sport Science, Sidney University, Australia. An American Physiological Society award was received to attend the International Physiological Congress in Christchurch, New Zealand in August 2001. The 2007 sabbatical award was used to develop a multi-dimensional CD/DVD Applied Physiology Laboratory Manual.
Fellow status has been awarded from the American College of Sports Medicine, American College of Nutrition, and the Human Biology Association.
Outside activities have been varied. The prominent activity was playing competitive rugby for 16 years including participation at the national playoffs and achieving selection for regional all-star teams, reffing rugby for three years, and coaching the WWU women’s team for eight years.