Robert Chapman

Associate Professor
(812) 856-2452
PH 070-J

  • Indiana University, Ph.D., 1996
  • Indiana University, M.S., 1992
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, B.S., 1991
  • SPH K409 Basic Physiology of Exercise
  • SPH K636 Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Techniques
  • SPH K633 Factors Affecting Human Performance
  • Co-investigator, US Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field research on the "Live High - Train Low" altitude training model
  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and the UT-Southwestern Medical Center
  • Associate Director of Sport Science and Medicine for USA Track & Field
  • Former men's cross country / track coach, Indiana University

Research Interests

My main research interests have focused on the limitations to performance in elite endurance athletes. In particular, my research has focused on pulmonary gas exchange limitations in elite distance runners and the effective use of altitude training to augment endurance performance. For example, approximately 50% of the elite endurance athlete population exhibits a phenomenon called exercise induced hypoxemia, when inadequate pulmonary gas exchange limits arterial oxygen content even at sea level. Our research has indicated that these athletes experience significant declines in performance at mild altitudes (< 3000ft) - an altitude not generally thought to be high enough to limit performance. With altitude training, athletes who experience the most performance improvement upon return to sea level are generally the ones who individually "respond" the best. Our data indicates that Responders a) produce more EPO, which leads to greater red blood cell production and VO2max improvement, and b) are able to train at the fastest speeds and oxygen uptakes while at altitude. This knowledge may allow scientists and coaches to pre-screen athletes to determine who would benefit the most from altitude and form whom the cost of relocating to an altitude camp exceeds a reduced benefit.

Selected Publications
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