Hypoxia Lab

OUR HISTORY


Trusted hypoxia research since 1958

Founded by John W. Severinghaus, MD, in 1958, the UCSF Hypoxia Research Laboratory is a leading center for the study of the effects of hypoxia on humans. The laboratory has focused on oxygen transport, oxygen measurement, and high-altitude physiology for more than 40 years. Studies done in San Francisco and at the University of California’s White Mountain Research Station represent some of the most important studies ever done on human adaptation to high altitude. We continue this interest in studies on control of breathing and adaptation to hypoxia in humans.

A major current activity of the laboratory is the evaluation of the accuracy of pulse oximetry. We have a continuing interest in pulse oximeter development and provide accuracy testing of pulse oximeters and related devices for industry.

At the present time, the Hypoxia Lab is also actively working to support the development of pulse oximeters and other non-invasive monitors that improve patients safety, with an emphasis on low and middle-income countries.

We are a completely independent university-based testing facility with no ties to pulse oximeter manufacturers.

 

HYPOXIA LABORATORY STAFF

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John W. Severinghaus, M.D.

Professor Emeritus
Department Of Anesthesia And Perioperative Care
University Of California, San Francisco

Inventor of modern blood gas analysis, inventor of the carbon dioxide electrode 40 years at UCSF, > 200 peer reviewed publications in areas of gas exchange, gas transport. Clinical monitoring technology, human adaptation to high altitude environments Dr. Severinghaus began studying pulse oximeter in 1985, and developed the protocols used for testing pulse oximeters in this lab, and in many other labs throughout the world. Dr. Severinghaus continues to offer his advice and support to the laboratory.

UCSF Profile
Pioneers of Anesthesia Lecture by Dr. Severinghaus

Philip E. Bickler, Ph.D., M.D.

Professor
Department Of Anesthesia And Perioperative Care
Director Of Hypoxia Research Laboratory And Neuroscience Laboratories
University Of California, San Francisco

Dr. Bickler joined Dr. Severinghaus as a research fellow in 1986 and has directed the laboratory since Dr. Severinghaus’ retirement in the early 1990’s. In addition to the hypoxia laboratory for industry sponsored clinical studies, Dr. Bickler directs a basic science laboratory that is involved in studying how neurons adapt to oxygen deprivation. He also oversees our high altitude protocols, clinical projects investigating regional and cerebral oximetry during neurosurgery, and a pilot study examining the effects of acute hypoxia and pre-conditioning on cognition.  He has published over 80 peer reviewed studies. Visit the Bickler Lab website.

UCSF Profile

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John R. Feiner, M.D.

Professor
Department Of Anesthesia And Perioperative Care
University Of California, San Francisco

Dr. Feiner joined Dr. Severinghaus in the lab in 1992 and has been participating in the study of pulse oximeters since then.  He is responsible for data acquisition, programming, and data analysis.
UCSF Profile

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Helge Eilers, M.D.

Professor
Clinical Anesthesia
Director Of Liver Transplant Anesthesia
University Of California, San Francisco

Dr. Eilers has been a part of the Hypoxia Lab research team since 2002. In addition to being a part of our team, Dr. Eilers is involved in a number of research projects focused on the advancement of our understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the transduction of painful stimuli in peripheral nociceptive neurons. His main effort is currently directed at investigating the effects of general anesthetics in peripheral nociceptors. Irritant anesthetics such as isoflurane have been shown to activate sensory neurons and may contribute to the severity of postoperative pain.
UCSF Profile

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Jeff Sall, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department Of Anesthesia And Perioperative Care
University Of California, San Francisco

Dr. Sall joined the Hypoxia Research Lab in 2005 and has been participating in the study of pulse oximeters since then. Dr. Sall’s basic science research is focused on how early exposure to anesthesia effects brain and cognitive development.  Dr. Sall is currently on sabbatical at the Karolinska Insitute, Stokholm, Sweden.
UCSF Profile

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Jennifer Lucero, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Division Of Obstetric Anesthesia
Department Of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care
Department Of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
University Of California, San Francisco

Dr. Jennifer Lucero is a physician-scientist who received her medical degree at Yale School of Medicine and then completed training in both Obstetrics/Gynecology and Anesthesia at UCSF. After her anesthesia training, she spent two years completing both an obstetric anesthesia and NIH research fellowship.  Dr. Lucero joined the lab in 2012 after completing her research fellowship and has been participating in the study of pulse oximeters since that time.  She is both a member of the Obstetric Anesthesia and Fetal Anesthesia team and is actively investigating the maternal end-organ effects of preeclampsia. She has been involved in fetal surgeries and management as both an obstetrician and anesthesiologist.
UCSF Profile

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Michael Lipnick, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department Of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care
University Of California, San Francisco

Michael Lipnick MD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at UCSF and based clinically at San Francisco General Hospital. He is a graduate of the UCSF School of Medicine and completed residency programs in Internal Medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Anesthesia Residency at UCSF as well as Critical Care Fellowship at UCSF.  His research interests include comparative physiology with focus on mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance and preconditioning. He completed a research fellowship at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station where he studied mechanisms of cold-tolerance among endothermic fish. Michael’s interests in public health have focused on injury and critical care in resource-constrained settings. He has served as a contributor to the Global Burden of Disease Study Group and co-founded The Global Health Hub (www.globalhealthhub.org) and Global Partners in Anesthesia and Surgery (GPAS – www.globalsurgery.org).  Dr. Lipnick’s current grant funding is aimed at developing novel methods for oximetry validation during severe anemia.
UCSF Profile

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Koa Gudelunas

Research Assistant
Department Of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care
Department Of Physiological Nursing
University Of California, San Francisco/ San Francisco VA Medical Center

Koa joined the lab in May 2016.  His research projects in the lab include the value of cerebral tissue oxygenation during Neurovascular surgery and its potential use as a way to predict surgical outcomes and if cerebral oximetry can better access cerebral perfusion during Neurosurgery.  He also has interests in heart rate variability as a predictor of cardiac arrest. He received his B.S. in Neuroscience from The University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015.  His ultimate goal is to practice medicine and plans to apply to medical school in the next couple years.

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Andrew Schober, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Department Of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care
University Of California, San Francisco

UCSF Profile