D. Walter Wray, PhD, MSc

Research Interests

  • Oxidative Stress and Disease
  • Exercise and Aging
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Angiotensin II
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Baroreflex
  • Sympathetic Nervous System
  • Peripheral sympathetic nerve recording
  • Endothelin-1
  • Endothelium
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Internal Medicine - Associate Professor, Nutrition and Integrative Physiology - Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Divisions: Geriatrics

Academic Bio

Dr. Wray joined the Division of Geriatrics at the University of Utah as a Research Assistant Professor in 2008. He is a founding member of the Utah Vascular Research Laboratory (http://www.uvrl.org), a consortium that is affiliated with the University of Utah (Departments of Internal Medicine and Nutrition and Integrative Physiology) and the Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center Geriatrics, Research, Education and Clinical Center (SLC VAMC GRECC).

Dr. Wray maintains an active, extramurally-funded research program within the UVRL that is broadly focused on vascular and autonomic physiology, with an emphasis on aging and age-related diseases such as heart failure (HF). Current projects include studies examining neurohumoral control of muscle blood flow at rest and during acute exercise, and studies focused on determining the causes and consequences of chronic sympathoexcitation in HF.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California San Diego
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training University of North Texas Health Science Center
Integrative Physiology
Graduate Training University of North Texas Health Science Center
Integrative Physiology
Undergraduate Abilene Christian University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Hydren JR, Gifford JR, Jarrett CL, Park SH, Shields KL, Broxterman RM, Kithas AC, Bisconti AV, Thurston TS, Ratchford SM, Wray DW, Stehlik J, Selzman CH, Drakos SG, Richardson RS (2021). Vascular Function in Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Recipients: Effect of a Single Pulsatility Treatment Session. (Epub ahead of print) Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol.
  2. Bunsawat K, Ratchford SM, Alpenglow JK, Park SH, Jarrett CL, Stehlik J, Smith AS, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2020). Sacubitril-valsartan improves conduit vessel function and functional capacity and reduces inflammation in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. J Appl Physiol, 130(1), 256-268.
  3. Ratchford SM, Clifton HL, La Salle DT, Broxterman RM, Lee JF, Ryan JJ, Hopkins PN, Wright JB, Trinity JD, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2020). Cardiovascular responses to rhythmic handgrip exercise in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. J Appl Physiol, 129(6), 1267-1276.
  4. Bunsawat K, Ratchford SM, Alpenglow JK, Park SH, Jarrett CL, Stehlik J, Drakos SG, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2020). Chronic antioxidant administration restores macrovascular function in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Exp Physiol, 105(8), 1384-1395.
  5. Ely MR, Ratchford SM, La Salle DT, Trinity JD, Wray DW, Halliwill JR (2020). Effect of histamine-receptor antagonism on leg blood flow during exercise. J Appl Physiol, 128(6), 1626-1634.
  6. Limberg JK, Casey DP, Trinity JD, Nicholson WT, Wray DW, Tschakovsky ME, Green DJ, Hellsten Y, Fadel PJ, Joyner MJ, Padilla J (2019). Assessment of resistance vessel function in human skeletal muscle: guidelines for experimental design, Doppler ultrasound, and pharmacology. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 318(2), H301-H325.
  7. Craig JC, Broxterman RM, La Salle DT, Cerbie J, Ratchford SM, Gifford JR, Bunsawat K, Nelson AD, Bledsoe AD, Morgan DE, Wray DW, Richardson RS, Trinity JD (2019). The role of endothelin A receptors in peripheral vascular control at rest and during exercise in patients with hypertension. J Physiol, 598(1), 71-84.
  8. Ratchford SM, Clifton HL, Gifford JR, LaSalle DT, Thurston TS, Bunsawat K, Alpenglow JK, Richardson RS, Wright JB, Ryan JJ, Wray DW (2019). Impact of acute antioxidant administration on inflammation and vascular function in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 317(5), R607-R614.
  9. Barrett-OKeefe Z, Lee JF, Ives SJ, Trinity JD, Witman MAH, Rossman MJ, Groot HJ, Sorensen JR, Morgan DE, Nelson AD, Stehlik J, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2019). α-Adrenergic receptor regulation of skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 316(5), R512-R524.
  10. Clifton HL, Machin DR, Groot HJ, Frech TM, Donato AJ, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2018). Attenuated nitric oxide bioavailability in systemic sclerosis: Evidence from the novel assessment of passive leg movement. Exp Physiol, 103(10), 1412-1424.
  11. Barrett-OKeefe Z, Lee JF, Berbert A, Witman MAH, Nativi-Nicolau J, Stehlik J, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2018). Metaboreceptor activation in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: Linking cardiac and peripheral vascular haemodynamics. Exp Physiol, 103(6), 807-818.
  12. Hureau TJ, Weavil JC, Thurston TS, Broxterman RM, Nelson AD, Bledsoe AD, Jessop JE, Richardson RS, Wray DW, Amann M (2018). Identifying the role of group III/IV muscle afferents in the carotid baroreflex control of mean arterial pressure and heart rate during exercise. J Physiol, 596(8), 1373-1384.
  13. Machin DR, Clifton HL, Richardson RS, Wray DW, Donato AJ, Frech TM (2017). Acute oral tetrahydrobiopterin administration ameliorates endothelial dysfunction in systemic sclerosis. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 35 Suppl 106(4), 167-172.
  14. Witman MA, McDaniel J, Fjeldstad AS, Ives SJ, Zhao J, Nativi JN, Stehlik J, Wray DW, Richardson RS (2012). A differing role of oxidative stress in the regulation of central and peripheral hemodynamics during exercise in heart failure. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 303(10), H1237-44.


  1. Bunsawat K, Ratchford SM, Alpenglow JK, Ryan JJ, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2020). Direct Assessment of Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity During Exercise in Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction: A Case Report. [Letter to the editor]. J Card Fail, 27(1), 114-116.