The Airway and Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory (EPRL), established in 1993 to promote the discipline of exercise physiology in research, is housed in one of the world’s most premier medical schools and provides a foundation for research and teaching exercise physiology to undergraduate, graduate, medical and dental students as well as postgraduate fellows. The EPRL is unique at UCLA in its focus on applied exercise physiology, serving as a community hub for translational research and a clinical resource for lifestyle-wellness-fitness interventions that emphasize evidence-based practices.
The lab promotes a prevention model of wellness, focused on forestalling disease progression through the enhancement of health and fitness practices. Recently, the lab has been distinguished as part of the Exercise is Medicine® on-campus recognition program through the American College of Sports Medicine, together our vision is to create a campus culture that embraces physical activity and exercise as a daily facet of life and views it as essential for long-term health and wellness. Notable among the myriad of research topics conducted in the EPRL is our study and utilization of cutting-edge wearable fitness technologies and exergaming that aim to improve the health and performance in those inflicted with a disease, fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike.
From ideation to research to program design and implementation, the lab’s multi-disciplinary team strives to bridge-the-gap between laboratory research and the real-world application of health-fitness practices by leveraging Digital Health technologies.
The EPRL reflects a tripartite mission – research, education, and outreach—to advance the knowledge and practice of exercise physiology:
Research: To provide a platform for conducting and exploring the positive impact and protective role exercise has in the evolution of pulmonary, cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal and other high-risk degenerative diseases and non-communicable disorders.
Education: To mentor and guide students toward professional independence by providing an opportunity to gain practical experience and appreciation of the role, duties, and responsibilities of working in a physiology-based laboratory. Our student lab research internships are a high-impact educational practice that teaches a variety of disciplinary and transferable skills, as well as supports the personal and professional development of the undergraduate ‘scientist’. Engaging in these experiences enhance disciplinary skills, such as research design, data collection and analysis, information literacy and scientific communication. Moreover, these lab experiences improve other more global transferable skills and habits, such as student self-confidence, tolerance for obstacles, and an ability to work independently.
Outreach: To disseminate research findings to the scientific and lay communities and provide a nexus to motivate and channel communication between researchers, health-fitness practitioners, and medical personnel. Ultimately, through research and education, to master acquired knowledge of exercise physiology by bridging the gap from classroom/laboratory theory to practical, day-to-day application.