Herbert A. Saltzman
Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine

Presently I am not actively engaged in research. The following paragraphs do describe my past and future research activities however.

My main area of research interests in past years has been to study the effects of increased and decreased atmospheric pressure upon respiratory function and human performance. In these studies emphasis was often placed on the specific role of increased and decreased pressure of oxygen. Simulated altitude and diving environments have been frequently employed. Hyperoxia, hypoxia, increased atmospheric pressure and decreased atmospheric pressure have been typical forcing functions. In some studies these forcing functions have been combined, i.e., hypoxia and altitude, hyperoxia and increased atmospheric pressures. Many of these studies have tested the limits of human performance under extreme environmental conditions.

The approaches employed for implementing experimentation, as described above, have included three techniques. The first group of techniques reflect conventional measurements of gas exchange, pulmonary function, measurement of blood gases and quantitative measurements of aerobic performance. The second general area of techniques have involved the use of near infrared signals to measure oxygenation and cytochrome function in vivo, both in animals and humans. The third technique combines the measurement of different inert gases, in trace amounts, in blood and respiratory gases plus the use of computerized solutions of the linear equations necessary for determining parameters of gas exchange, including distributions of ventilation and perfusion.

In the 1980's interval I served as Chairman of the Steering Committee for the NHLBI funded study of how to diagnose pulmonary embolism (PIOPED). This study was completed successfully and led to a very large number of relevant publications. I continue to be involved in various committee functions related to this study.

My areas of expertise extending to national recognition include hyperbaric oxygen, hyperbaric medicine, diving medicine, thromboembolic disease. I serve as a consultant and reference source for these subjects.

I hope, in retirement, to acquire the tools that will help me to study two subjects that have captured my curiosity for many years: the apparent absence of aerobic metabolism in humans exposed to very low environmental pressures of oxygen and the study of hydrostatic pressure gradients upon intracellular function.

Key words to characterize my academic work: oxygen, hyperbaric physiology, altitude and diving physiology, respiratory physiology, thromboembolic disease.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 0564 Clin Res Lab, Durham, NC 27710
  • Box 3838 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

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