Frank L. Powell, Ph.D


Frank L. Powell is a physiologist and Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, where he has been since 1980. He obtained his Ph.D. in respiratory and comparative physiology at UC Davis in 1978 and did pre- and post-doctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany. His early research focused on respiratory gas exchange, including factors that limit gas exchange for oxygen and other gases, breath testing, and defining the mechanisms responsible for better oxygen exchange at high altitude in birds compared to mammals.

Powell's research has continued to focus on hypoxia. Current research in his laboratory studies respiratory neurobiology and the mechanisms of neural plasticity, tolerance and susceptibility to chronic hypoxia. From 1995-2012, he directed the University of California's high altitude research laboratories at White Mountain Research Station, which has ideal facilities for studying long-term hypoxia in humans. Additional collaborations with the UCSD Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care are testing the clinical significance of results obtained from animal models in Powell’s laboratory.

Powell's teaching efforts have been focused in the UCSD School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Currently, he is the director of interdisciplinary courses on the Pulmonary System for first and second year in the new UCSD School of Medicine curriculum. Powell also teaches in the Physiology track of the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program and supports professional training in physiology and educational outreach through the American Physiological Society. He also directs an NIH institutional training grant in Respiratory Biology, which is a new collaboration with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care.


Biographical Sketch

Contact Information

University of California, San Diego

Department of Medicine - 0623A

9500 Gilman Drive

La Jolla, CA 92092-0623

858-534-4191 (voice)

858-534-4812 (fax)