Scientific Environment

The Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory is primarily affiliated with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine within the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine on the main (Westwood) UCLA campus. The division includes 51 faculty, 16 clinical fellows and various research fellows, doctoral candidates and post-doctoral investigators. The fellowship training program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The clinical faculty of the Division provides subspecialty consultation in pulmonary medicine and critical care attending services for UCLA Health. Comprised of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and the UCLA Medical Group with its wide-reaching system of primary-care and specialty-care offices throughout the region, UCLA Health is among the most comprehensive and advanced healthcare systems in the world. Consistently ranked one of the top five hospital systems in the nation and the best in the western United States by US News & World Report, UCLA Health is at the cutting edge of biomedical research, with doctors and scientists who are leaders in performing pioneering work across an astounding range of disciplines.

For 21 consecutive years, the EPRL has organized a 2-3 day physiology symposium at Addenbrooke’s Hospital of the University of Cambridge School of Medicine in the UK that includes education of pulmonary function testing, exercise testing and sleep physiology. These symposia have attracted many international delegates over the years. The syllabus material for the exercise physiology component of the symposia is a popular book entitled ‘Exercise Testing and Interpretation. A Practical Approach’ authored by Dr. Christopher Cooper the founder of the lab. This book has sold over 15,000 copies worldwide and been translated into three languages in addition to English. The EPRL continues to have a strong relationship with the Sports and Exercise Medicine Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital leading to joint publications. The laboratory also has strong relationships with several commercially-based health clubs and recently completed a research project that resulted in a published research study (2019) with exercise and sleep curricula on performance.

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and EPRL faculty and fellows provide weekly research meetings and scientific seminars along with monthly journal clubs. The EPRL has trained a host of visiting faculty from overseas, dozens of clinical fellows (MDs), several MS candidates, several PhD candidates and over 65 undergraduate students with aspirations for careers in medical and physiological sciences.

The EPRL is also intimately involved with the National Exercise Clinical Trials Network (NExTNet). This nationwide collaboration was established in 2012 to lead and facilitate rigorous, multi-site exercise clinical trials that will fill major knowledge gaps in exercise physiology/biology and medicine (e.g. dose-response relationships; exercise-drug/device interactions; response heterogeneity, exercise genomics, and personalized medicine; disease and population specificity; and biobehavioral mechanisms of adherence and behavioral change). The network brings together the physical and intellectual resources of an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of 66 institutions from coast to coast.

The same lofty goals and unflappable determination that permeate UCLA’s academic spirit also propel its athletic dominance. This enduring spirit is embodied in the coaching of John Wooden and his “Pyramid of Success” which taught a set of principles that led to four undefeated seasons and 10 national championships — more than any other coach in college basketball history. Moreover, UCLA has captured more NCAA Championships (currently 117) than any other school in the country. The Bruins have captured at least one NCAA title in 19 of the last 20 years. UCLA is proud of its comprehensive athletics program and heritage. The collective accomplishments of Bruin teams and athletes are testimony to the efforts of many dedicated and talented individuals: the student-athletes themselves, as well as coaches, administrators, and support staff. The athletic department also benefits from the strong support of the faculty. The potential to collaborate with coaches and student-athletes on empirically-based athletic, sleep coaching, wearable technology is readily apparent and in the works within the EPRL’s UC Fit laboratory.