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Respiratory physiology, human performance and health

The overall aim of this research project is to address novel aspects of integration between respiratory function and human performance and health.

Specific aims are:

  • to develop a novel method of evaluating the contractile properties of the human diaphragm and to determine the role these properties may play in the loss of respiratory muscle function with fatigue in young and older adults;
  • to explore maladaptation of the respiratory system in response to heat stress and dehydration in young and older adults; and
  • to evaluate generic exercise-based rehabilitation for chronic breathlessness and to provide exploratory data on the feasibility and acceptability of a state of the art decision making tool where patients exercise at home in a virtual group supported by an “exercise-avatar”.

The impact of the research is wide ranging and long lasting, with the potential to make a difference to the lives of elderly people and clinical populations, including patients with COPD, heart failure and asthma.

Research Outputs

Simpson AJ, Romer LM, Kippelen P (2017). Exercise-induced dehydration alters pulmonary function but does not modify airway responsiveness to dry air in athletes with mild asthma. J Appl Physiol 122(5):1329-1335.

Simpson AJ, Bood JR, Anderson SD, Romer LM, Dahlén B, Dahlén SE, Kippelen P (2016). A standard, single dose of inhaled terbutaline attenuates hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction and mast cell activation in athletes. J Appl Physiol 120(9):1011-1017.

Marshall, H., Gibson, OR., Romer, LM., Illidi, CR., Hull, JH. and Kippelen, P. (2020) 'Systemic but not local rehydration restores dehydration-induced changes in pulmonary function in healthy adults'. Journal of Applied Physiology, 130 (3). pp. 517 - 527. ISSN: 8750-7587 

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Lee Romer
Dr Lee Romer - Dr Romer holds a Readership in Human and Applied Physiology. After completing undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Brunel, he worked for several years at the British Olympic Medical Centre where he was responsible for the design, management and provision of physiological support services to Olympic Governing Bodies. He completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham and received post-doctoral training at the John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He rejoined Brunel in 2004 and served as Division Lead from 2014 to 2018. 
Dr Pascale Kippelen
Dr Pascale Kippelen - After completing undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate studies (MSc and PhD) in Sport & Exercise Sciences (with a specialism in Exercise and Respiratory Physiology) in France - at the University of Strasbourg and University of Montpellier, respectively -, Pascale joined Dr Sandra D Anderson at the Dept of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney (Australia) to carry on post-doctoral training. There, she investigated the pathophysiology of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in athletes and took part to phase III of the clinical trial for AridolTM/OsmohaleTM. AridolTM/OsmohaleTM is a bronchial provocation test aimed at diagnosing asthma patients and managing the condition. In 2005, Pascale was offered a Lectureship in Exercise Physiology at the School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen (UK). In 2008, she moved to Brunel University London to take up lectureship in Exercise and Respiratory Physiology. She was promoted Senior Lecturer in 2011, and Reader in 2020. Pascale is a member of staff in the Division of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences (SHES). 

Related Research Group(s)

respiratory measurements (2)

Applied Respiratory Research Group - Applied respiratory research meeting the needs of respiratory-related healthcare

diverse group exercise (1)

Physical Activity in Health and Disease - The centre conducts interdisciplinary research to improve human health and performance through regular physical activity and exercise, and by limiting sedentary behaviour.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 02/10/2023