James W.E. Rush

Professor; Vice-President Academic and Provost
James Rush

Contact information

Office: Office of the Provost

Phone: 519-888-4766

Email: jwerush@uwaterloo.ca


James Rush is a professor of physiology and vice-president academic and provost of the University of Waterloo. He completed his PhD with distinction at the State University of New York Heath Center at Syracuse in 1998 before pursuing post-doctoral work at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He joined the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Waterloo in 2000. Recognized for his strong leadership, Rush previously held numerous administrative positions within the Faculty of Health including dean, associate dean graduate studies and research, and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences. 

​Research interests

My cardiovascular research interests relate to regulation of blood vessel function and the signaling pathways in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells that control this function. In particular, I am interested in the effects of hypertension, age, and exercise on blood vessel health.  Our recent work has focused on discovering regulatory influences on endothelium derived contracting factors, and on the effects of the red wine polyphenol resveratrol on vascular function. The ultimate goal of this research is to explain the mechanisms by which vascular function can be improved to prevent disease and the preserve cardiovascular health.

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies

  • Cardiovascular physiology
  • Blood vessel health
  • Endothelium
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Isolated blood vessels
  • Endothelium-derived contracting and relaxing factors
  • Resveratrol
  • Prostanoids
  • Vascular effects of exercise


BSc Human Kinetics (with distinction), University of Guelph                                                  

PhD Physiology (with distinction), State University of New York Health Sciences Centre Syracuse

MSc Human Biology, University of Guelph                                                   

​Selected publications

See Google Scholar for list of publications.

*Denniss SG, * Ford RJ, * Smith CS, *Jeffery AJ, Rush, JWE.  Chronic in vivo or acute in vitro resveratrol attenuates endothelium-dependent cyclooxygenase-mediated contractile signalling in hypertensive rat carotid artery. J Appl Physiol, 120: 1141-50, 2016. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00675.2015. PMID:26917696

*Ford RJ, *Teschke SR, *Reid EB, *Durham KK, *Kroetsch JT, Rush JWE. AMP-activated protein kinase activator AICAR acutely lowers blood pressure and relaxes isolated resistance arteries of hypertensive rats. Journal of Hypertension, 30: 725-733, 2012.

*Ford RJ, Rush JWE. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation to the AMPK activator AICAR is enhanced in aorta from hypertensive rats and is NO- and EDCF-dependent. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 300: H64-H75, 2011.

Denniss SG, Jeffery AJ, Rush JWE. RhoA-Rho kinase signaling mediates endothelium- and endoperoxide-dependent contractile activities characteristic of hypertensive vascular dysfunction. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 298: H1391-H1405, 2010.