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Breathing on the Roof of the World

Memoir of a Respiratory Physiologist

  • John B. West

Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book is an informal autobiography by John West MD PhD. He obtained his medical degree in Adelaide, Australia and then spent 15 years mainly at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital in London where he, with others, used radioactive oxygen-15 to make the first description of the uneven regional distribution of blood flow in the lung.

 In 1960-1961, he was a member of the Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition led by Sir Edmund Hillary who had made the first ascent of Mt Everest 7 years before. During the expedition about 6 scientists spent up to three months at an altitude of 5800 m studying the effects of this very high altitude on human physiology.

 Because of his interests in the effects of gravity on the lung, Dr. West spent a year at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California in 1967-1968. While there he submitted a proposal to NASA to measure pulmonary function of astronauts in space, and this was funded. Later, in 1981 he organized the American Medical Research Expedition to Everest during which the first measurements of human physiology on the summit, altitude 8848 m, were obtained. In the 1990’s, Dr. West’s team made the first comprehensive measurements of pulmonary function of astronauts in space using SpaceLab which was taken up in the Shuttle.

Keywords

Comparative physiology High altitude physiology Memoir of John West Pulmonary gas exchange Respiration at high altitude Respiration in space Respiratory physiology Space physiology

Authors and affiliations

  • John B. West
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7122-0
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4939-7121-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4939-7122-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2365-0613
  • Series Online ISSN 2365-0621
  • Buy this book on publisher's site