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PhD Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Is the Respiratory System Overbuilt, Underbuilt, or Just Right for Exercise?
It is traditionally believed that the healthy respiratory system—including the upper
and lower airways, alveolar-capillary diffusion surface, pulmonary vasculature, and
respiratory muscles—are overbuilt in terms of their role in the limitation of oxygen transport,
aerobic capacity, muscle fatigue, and exercise performance. In this seminar we question
whether one or more elements of the healthy respiratory system might change its relative
contribution to exercise performance under such conditions as: following exercise training,
especially in the elite athlete, with healthy aging, between the sexes and in different
environments such as high altitude hypoxia.
Dr. Dempsey’s career began in 1968 as a professor at the University of
Wisconsin Medical School. He teamed with clinicians, engineers, and epidemiologists to
investigate the physiologic and pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying the respiratory
system’s response to exercise, hypoxia, and sleep in health, in lung and heart disease,
obesity, and sleep apnea and in endurance-trained athletes. This research was supported by
47 years of National Institute of Health funding and has been reported in 400 publications.
He taught undergraduate, graduate, and medical students, and supervised the research
training of 68 pre- and postdoctoral fellows and 100 undergraduates. Formal recognition of
contributions to teaching, science, and mentoring by the Rankin lab team has been awarded
by the UW-Madison, American and British Physiology Societies, American College of Sports
Medicine and Universities of Waterloo and Western Ontario (Honorary DSc).
Refreshments will be provided.
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