The Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory is located at the David Geffen School of Medicine on the main (Westwood) UCLA campus. The research facilities comprise three separate but closely adjacent spaces (totaling over 2,600ft2) on the southern part of campus in the Center for Health Sciences building across from the world-renowned Ronald Reagan UCLA Hospital. The AEPRL comprises: two clinical laboratories and an applied-translational exercise physiology laboratory – called UC Fit – and includes exam rooms for recruitment activity and for study visits as well as a lab for human health and performance assessments; a Pulmonary Function lab and Quality Assurance and Centralized Over Read Center for Spirometry; and adjacent wet lab for blood, tissue and sputum biospecimen sampling and preparation. Indwelling catheters and biopsy procedures along with comprehensive exercise testing and training can all be performed in these laboratories. There are private offices for participant encounters and/or private telephone and face-to-face interviews. All laboratory staff are certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for exercise testing.
The Pulmonary Function Research Laboratory is in close proximity to the Clinical and Translational Research Laboratory (CTRL) operated under the auspices of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). This laboratory specializes in COPD research and houses a variety of spirometers, a body plethysmograph and equipment for measuring diffusing capacity and facilities for subject encounters, interviews, blood sampling and, potentially, muscle biopsies.
The applied-translational exercise physiology laboratory, UC Fit, under the direction of Dr. Brett A. Dolezal, underwent a major expansion in 2009 with the award of a $3 million contract from the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate for a project entitled Physiological Health Assessment System for Emergency Responders (PHASER). This project involved collaboration between the Schools of Medicine and Engineering at UCLA and led to the development of a Digital Health Network, which has been used in multiple research projects to implement remote monitoring and guidance of exercise testing and training in first responders and the like throughout the country. UC Fit is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise training equipment and a wide variety of digital health equipment, from fitness wearables to exergaming virtual reality systems to stand-alone clinical devices.
Together these labs are affiliated as specialty laboratories within the CTSI offering other UCLA investigators a range of research procedures and other services related to exercise testing and training. Aside from numerous exercise projects, current clinical projects involve patients with COPD, mitochondrial myopathies, Friedreich’s ataxia and post-polio syndrome. We also have multiple collaborations on campus, for example with researchers in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior dealing with exercise interventions in individuals with dementia, clinical depression, schizophrenia and drug addiction. Our current research studies, forty-one in all including both clinical and applied, are listed in the appendices.