Chester Ray, Ph.D.


caray headshot

Get to know Dr. Ray


I study the effect of physical and mental stress on the autonomic nervous system in humans. Of particular interest to me has been to understand the contribution of the vestibular system in regulating sympathetic nerve activity and its subsequent effects on blood pressure and regional blood flow. The vestibulosympathetic reflex can have implications on blood pressure regulation during standing, exercise training, space travel, and aging.


  • B.S., Ithaca College
  • M.S., Exercise Physiology, University of Georgia
  • Ph.D., Exercise Physiology, University of Georgia
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Iowa College of Medicine (The Cardiovascular Center)
    (awarded an American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue research training)

Publications and Other Scholarly Activities

Shortt, T. L., and C.A. RAY. Sympathetic and vascular responses to head-down neck flexion in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology 272:H1780-H1784, 1997.

RAY, C. A., and K. D. Monahan. Effect of aging on the vestibulosympathetic reflex in humans. Circulation 105:956-961, 2002.

RAY, C. A., and J. R. Carter. Central modulation of exercise-induced muscle pain. Journal of Physiology (London)1: 287-294, 2007.

RAY, C. A., and J. R. Carter. Effects of aerobic exercise training on sympathetic and renal responses to mental stress in humans. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology 298:H229-H234, 2010.

Dyckman, D. J., C. L. Sauder, and C.A. RAY. Effects of short term and prolonged bed rest on the vestibulosympathetic reflex. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology 302:H368-H374, 2012.

Carter, J .R. and C.A. RAY. Sympathetic neural adaptations to exercise training in humans. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 188:36-43, 2015.


  • Funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), as well as received funding from NASA and NSBRI (National Space Biomedical Research Institute)
  • Received an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award
  • Worked on two Space Shuttle Mission Projects
  • Executive Board member and Treasurer of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology
  • Department Chair of Nutrition, Food & Exercise Sciences (FSU)
  • Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (FSU)