Meet Ebony Gaillard: UNC Charlotte Ph.D. Candidate

Ebony Gaillard, Ph.D. Candidate walking on campus
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

When it comes to managing high blood pressure, Black women are at a distinct disadvantage. But Ebony Gaillard, interdisciplinary Ph.D. student in Kinesiology and Biology, has a plan that could level the playing field.

“In 2018, Black women were 60 percent more likely to have high blood pressure compared to white women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Gaillard said. “Black women are also diagnosed with hypertension at younger ages and die earlier from hypertension-related complications compared to white women.”

Ebony’s research is dedicated to simple isometric exercise training and its effect on blood pressure — particularly among Black women.


“Isometric exercise simply requires you to contract a muscle or muscle group, then hold the position without moving the activated muscle,” she said. 

Ebony received a Dr. James A. Ferguson RISE fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2021 focused on public health research and professional development in infectious diseases and health disparities, a Data Science for All (DS4a) Fellowship, and is the recipient of the Susan and Carl Thomasson Phlebotomy Scholarship.

She also was selected as a STEM Communication Fellow for 2020-21, a program that provides a stipend and focuses on honing skills among Charlotte’s STEM student community. Her paper was developed as part of the Center for Graduate Life and Learning’s (CGLL) STEM Communication Fellows program. 

Since 2017, Ebony has served as an Anatomy and Physiology Lab Teaching Assistant where she has created a curriculum, mentored students and led the investigation into the mechanisms involved in isometric exercise-induced resting blood pressure reduction.

Ebony joins more than 6,300 graduate students at UNC Charlotte working with internationally renowned faculty to prepare for success in a global, knowledge-based society.  As North Carolina’s urban research university, UNC Charlotte’s educational emphasis is on applied research, teaching and responsive public service. Learn more about graduate-level education opportunities at Charlotte Graduate Admissions.