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Jerome A. Dempsey, PhD

Research Area: Clinical research
Keywords: Sleep apnea, Cardiovascular disease

John Robert Sutton Professor Emeritus of Population Health Sciences
Director, John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary Medicine



Jerry is a native Canadian from London, Ontario, educated at the Universities of Western Ontario, Alberta and Wisconsin – the later under the mentorship of Dr. John Rankin, MD. He is the director of the John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary Medicine located at Medical Center at 1300 University Avenue. He has his primary appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences and affiliate appointments in Physiology and Kinesiology. His research interests are concerned with the regulation of breathing in various physiologic states in un-anesthetized humans and animals. One group of projects seeks to determine the limits of the healthy and diseased human pulmonary system for gas transport, respiratory muscle function and ventilatory output during exercise. The effects of aging, gender, fitness and airway reactivity on these processes are emphasized. A second major aim is the influence of respiration on autonomic control of cardiovascular function in health and heart failure. A third series of studies is concerned with regulation of breathing in waking and sleeping humans and animals, with specific emphasis on the pathogenesis of sleep apnea, the contributions from chemoreceptors to breathing stability and airway patency and the effects of novel treatments. This research has been funded continuously from 1967-2013 with grants from NIH, AHA, VA, DOD and the UW. Jerry taught in the undergraduate Bio core program, the graduate Kinesiology program and the Medical School physiology course. He has collaborated with several UW faculty in supervising the research training of 68 pre- and post-doctoral fellows and about 100 undergraduate students. He collaborates closely with several other faculty, currently including Curtis Smith, Barbara Morgan and Ailiang Xie. Jerry is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Physiology and currently is the CrossTalk Editor for the Journal of Physiology.


  • CrossTalk Editor: Journal of Physiology

Recent Publications (from a total of 350):

Dempsey JA, Blain GM, Amann M. Are Type III – IV Muscle Afferents Required for a Normal Steady State Exercise Hyperpnea In Humans? J Physiol, 2013 (In press).

Dempsey JA. Limits to Ventilation (For Sure!) and Exercise (Maybe?) in Mild COPD.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med Jun 15;187(12):1282-3. 2013.

Limberg JK, Morgan BJ, Schrage WG, Dempsey, JA. Respiratory influences on muscle sympathetic nerve activity and vascular conductance in the steady state. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol Jun;304(12):H1615-23, 2013.

Dempsey JA, Jacques AJ. Respiratory system response to exercise in health. In Fishman’s Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders, Fifth edition. Grippi M, Fishman J, Pack A, et al. (eds) (in press) 2013.

Xie A, Teodorescu M, Pegelow DF, Teodorescu MC, Gong Y, Fedie JE, Dempsey JA. Effects of stabilizing or increasing respiratory motor outputs on obstructive sleep apnea. J Appl Physiol Jul;115(1):22-33, 2013.

Dempsey JA. Bayliss-Starling prize memorial lecture - New perspectives concerning feedback influences on cardiorespiratory control during rhythmic exercise and on exercise performance. J Physiol Sep 1;590 (Pt 17):4129-44, 2012.

Dempsey, JA, Javaheri S. Central sleep apnea. Compr Physiol 3:141-163, 2013.

Dempsey JA, Amann M, Harms CA, Wetter TJ. Respiratory system limitations to performance in the healthy athlete: some answers, more questions! Dtsch Z Sportmed 63(6):157-162, 2012.

Forster HV, Haouzi P, Dempsey JA. Control of Breathing During Exercise. Compr Physiol 2:743-777, 2012.

Dempsey JA, Smith CA, Blain GM, Xie A, Gong Y, Teodorescu M. Role of central / peripheral chemoreceptors and their interdependence in the pathophysiology of sleep apnea. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;758:343-9. 2012.

Amann M, Blain GM, Proctor LT, Sebranek JJ, Pegelow DF, Dempsey JA. Implications of group III and IV muscle afferents for high-intensity endurance exercise performance in humans. J Physiol. 2011 Nov 1;589(Pt 21):5299-309. PMID: 21878520.

Xie A, Bedekar A, Skatrud J B, Teodorescu M, Gong Y, and Dempsey JA. The heterogeneity of obstructive sleep apnea (predominant obstructive vs pure obstructive apnea). Sleep 34: 745-750, 2011.

Research Weblinks:

Contact Details:

4245 Medical Sciences Center
1300 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: 608-263-1732
Fax: 608-262-8235

Updated On: 
Tue, 01/19/2010