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Michael Berry - Wake Forest University. Winston-Salem, NC, US

Michael Berry Michael Berry

Department Chair, Professor of Health and Exercise Science and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory | Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC, UNITED STATES

Berry researches the interaction between exercise and the respiratory system.


An interest in mountain climbing during his undergrad years led Michael Berry to his current research focus – the interaction between exercise and the respiratory system. He was aware that the respiratory system was a limiting factor when climbers ascended to high altitudes. However, attending graduate school in Louisiana and Texas did not afford the opportunity to do much research on this topic. So he began to focus on the control of respiration during exercise, and that led to his research on exercise and lung disease.

Berry was the principal investigator on the landmark Exercise and Disability in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This five-year study examined the role that lifestyle interventions can play in keeping COPD patients active. His teaching and research focuses on the interactions among exercise, the respiratory system and disease.

Areas of Expertise (6)


Exercise and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Effects of exercise on individuals with respiratory diseases

Delivering exercise interventions to patients with acute respiratory failure

Human Physiology






Wake Forest Health and Exercise Science professor Michael Berry works in his pulmonary research lab in Reynolds Gym. loading image Michael Berry loading image



Education (4)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Sports Science

Texas A&M University: Ph.D., Sports Science

Southeastern Louisiana University: M.A., Sports Science

Jacksonville State University: B.A., Sports Science

Media Appearances (3)

Drinking beetroot juice before exercise can boost heart function in COPD patients

The Free Press Journal  


Michael Berry said that the study findings showed overall that those patients who drank beetroot juice were able to extend their exercise time, and had reduced exercise diastolic and resting systolic blood pressures. This was the first study to demonstrate beneficial effects of dietary nitrite supplementation on exercise performance and blood pressure in patients with COPD, he further added. The study is published in the journal Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry...

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Beetroot juice improves exercise function of COPD patients, study shows

Science Daily  


"The intent of this study was to determine if acute ingestion of beetroot juice, which is rich with nitrates, prior to exercising could improve the exercise capacity of COPD patients," said Michael Berry, who is the primary investigator and lead author of the study. As chair of Wake Forest's department of health and exercise science, Berry is interested in the potential benefits of beetroot juice on physical function.

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Fell off my bike, and vowed never to get back On

The New York Times  


I remembered what Michael Berry, an exercise physiologist at Wake Forest University, once told me. With cycling, he said, it’s not if you crash, it’s when. He should know. He’s a competitive cyclist whose first serious injury — a broken hip — happened when he crashed taking a sharp turn riding down a mountain road...

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