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APS members are doing amazing things. We asked David Poole, PhD, DSc, FACSM—one of our esteemed member-researchers—to tell us about his work and its implications on our understanding of life and health. He also shares why he’s passionate about travel and promoting science and education abroad.

What do you do? Describe your work for a lay audience.

DCP: I am a scientist and educator in the departments of Kinesiology and Anatomy & Physiology, at Kansas State University. Together with Dr. Tim Musch, I direct a cadre of graduate students and colleagues in the Clarenburg Cardiorespiratory Laboratory. Our research focusses on understanding the fundamental processes controlling skeletal muscle oxygen delivery and use during exercise. 

Give it context. How will your work benefit humanity or our understanding of life?

DCP: Oxygen transport pathway limitations in heart failure, diabetes and lung disease erode a person’s quality of life, exacerbating mortality and morbidity.  Using mouse, rat, dog, horse and elephant animal models and through studies in humans, we have unveiled the dynamics of blood-tissue oxygen transport during exercise. Our original data-based capillary function model has driven a paradigm shift in our understanding of microvascular function. Identifying novel targets for pharmacological and behavioral interventions.  Our long-term goal is to promote an accurate understanding of these processes especially in higher education and translate them into enhanced scientific discovery and patient care.

What outside of science inspires you? What would you be doing if not science? Describe your passion.

DCP: Born in Kenya, raised in Wales and now “adopted’ by the U.S., travelling is in my genes. After college, I backpacked the length of Africa from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt. I had many amazing experiences—treed by lions in Zambia, burned quite severely in Kenya’s Lake Bogoria hot springs, and jailed in post-Idi Amin’s Uganda for the color of my skin. But, just as memorable and far more pleasant, along countless trails and in remote villages I met incredible people, many with an unparalleled thirst for education and discovery. Since then, I have promoted science and education initiatives especially in East Africa. My goal is to expand these activities—both on site and remotely—through networking and supporting local action groups in Africa, Europe and the U.S. APS’ new Center for Physiological Education will be central to that endeavor.

I also enjoy playing semi-competitive squash, kayaking, cycling and travelling with my wife, Katherine, and son, Kelton.

David C. Poole, PhD, DSc, FACSM, is a university distinguished professor and Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars at Kansas State University. He was the 2018 APS Adolph Distinguished Lecturer, the American College of Sport Medicine’s 2021 Wolffe Memorial Lecturer and the 2022 History of Physiology lecturer at Experimental Biology in Philadelphia. David currently serves as Chair of the Environmental & Exercise Physiology section of APS.