Dr Mike Stembridge




​​Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (Cardiovascular Physiology)​

Telephone number: 029 2041 6593
Email address: mstembridge@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Mike is a research fellow in cardiovascular physiology within the Cardiff Centre for Exercise and Health. His research aims to explore how the cardiovascular system of adolescents and adults adapts to two main stimuli: (i) exercise and (ii) hypoxia. His work focuses on both the acute and chronic effects of these stimuli to understand how physiological systems adapt to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This aim has led to the development of three specific areas of research:

  1. The short- and long-term effects of high altitude exposure on cardiovascular structure and function and the consequences for exercise capacity.
  2. The effects of exercise training on cardiovascular adaptation during specific periods of adolescence.
  3. The long-term consequences of ultra-endurance exercise for the 'Athlete's Heart'

Mike also applies the knowledge generated through his research programme to our undergraduate and postgraduate degree pathways through his involvement in taught lectures and academic supervision. 

Research / Publications

    Research/ Publications

    Mike's research has two primary areas that investigate how the cardiovascular system adapts to both (i) exercise training and (ii) hypoxic exposure. The interaction between these primary areas is also of specific interest, given the importance of exercise capacity in adapting to an environmental stressor such as high altitude hypoxia. 

    In relation to high altitude, Mike is especially interested in the divergent pathways of adaptation taken by high altitude native populations, and the mechanisms underpinning their remarkable adaptation to one of Earth's most inhospitable environments. Recent work in Nepal (2016) has aimed to investigate the role of the cardiovascular system in the superior exercise capacity of Sherpa at high altitude. Subsequent expeditions planned for 2018 will examine whether South American populations exhibit the same physiological adaptations as Himalayan Sherpa, and explore how their cardiovascular system changes when they fail to adapt (chronic mountain sickness).

    The second arm of Mike's work investigates the role of exercise training in shaping the cardiovascular system to promote life-long health and well-being. Of specific interest is the potential for 'windows of opportunity' during childhood that may represent a time in development that is most likely to bring about significant physiological adaptation. If periods of accelerated cardiac adaptation exist in line with surges in growth hormones (e.g. puberty), these time periods would represent a unique opportunity to shape cardiovascular heath for the remainder of life. This work aims to determine whether cardiac structure and function show greater adaptation to exercise training during pre-, circa- or post-adolescence

    Over the last two years, Mike as acquired over £100k of funding to support the appointment of two full-time PhD students.

    Refereed Academic Journal Articles

    Boulet LM, Lovering AT, Tymko MM, Day TA, Stembridge M, Nguyen TA, Ainslie PN & Foster GE. (2017). Reduced blood flow through intrapulmonary arteriovenous anastomoses during exercise in lowlanders during acclimatization to high altitude. Exp Physiol.

    Hoiland R, Bain AR, Tymko MM, Rieger MG, Howe CA, Willie CK, Hansen AB, Fluck D, Wildfong KW, Stembridge M, Subedi P, Anholm JD and Ainslie PN (2017). Adenosine receptor dependent signaling is not obligatory for normobaric and hypobaric hypoxia-induced cerebral vasodilation in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985), Jan 12:jap 00840.2016.

    Tymko MM, Tremblay JC, Hansen A, Howe C, Willie CK, Stembridge M, Green D, Hoiland R, Subedi P, Anholm J and Ainslie P (2016). The effect of alpha1-adrenergic blockade on post-exercise brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation at sea-level and high-altitude. J Physiology.

    Bain AR, Ainslie PN, Hoiland RL, Barak OF, Cavar M, Drvis I, Stembridge M, MacLeod DM, Bailey DM, Dujic Z  & Macleod DB (2016). Cerebral oxidative metabolism is decreased with extreme apnoea in humans; impact of hypercapnia. J Physiology.

    Boulet LM, Stembridge M, Tymko MM, Tremblay JC and Foster GE (2016). The effects of graded changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide tension on coronary blood velocity independent of myocardial energy demand. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 311 (2) P326-36.

    Black JM, Stohr E, Stone K, Pugh CJ, Stembridge M, Shave R and Esformes JI (2016). The effect of an acute bout of resistence exercise on carotid artery strain and strain rate. Physioligical Reports, Sept; 4(17).

    Williams AM, Shave RE, Stembridge M and Eves ND (2016). Females have greater left ventricular twist mechanics than males during acute reductions to preload. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 311 (1) P76-84.

    Armstrong C, Samuel J, Yarlett A, Cooper SM, Stembridge M and Stohr EJ (2016). The Effects of Exercise Intensity vs. Metabolic State on the Variability and Magnitude of Left Ventricular Twist Mechanics during Exercise. PLoS One, 11 (4) e0154065.

    Lord R, George K, Somauroo J, Stembridge M, Jain N, Hoffman MD, Shave R, Haddad F, Ashley E, Jones H and Oxborough D (2016). Alterations in Cardiac Mechanics Following Ultra-Endurance Exercise: Insights from Left and Right Ventricular Area-Deformation Loops. J Am Soc Echocardiography.

    Hoiland RL, Ainslie PN, Bain AR, Macleod DB, Stembridge M, Drvis I, Madden D, Barak OF, MacLeod DM & Dujic Z. (2016). Beta 1-blockade increases maximal apnea duration in elite breath hold divers. J Appl Physiol (1985), jap 00127 02016.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN, Donnelly J, McLeod NT, Joshi S, Hughes MG, Sherpa K & Shave RE. (2016). Cardiac structure and function in adolescent Sherpa; effect of habitual altitude and developmental stage. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, ajpheart 00938 02015

    Bain AR, Dujic Z, Hoiland RL, Barak OF, Madden D, Drvis I, Stembridge M, Macleod DB, Macleod DM and Ainslie PN (2015). Peripheral chemoreflex inhibition with low-dose dopamine; new insight into mechanisms of extreme apnea. AJP Reg, Int and Com Phys.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN and Shave R (2015). Mechanisms underlying reductions in stroke volume at rest and during exercise at high altitude. Eur J Spt Sci.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN, Hughes MG, Stohr EJ, Cotter JD, Tymko MM, Day TA, Bakker A & Shave RE. (2015). Impaired myocardial function does not explain reduced left ventricular filling and stroke volume at rest or during exercise at high altitude. J Appl Physiol (1985), JAP 00995 02014.

    Stohr EJ, Stembridge M & Esformes JI. (2015). In vivo human cardiac shortening and lengthening velocity is region-dependent and not coupled with heart rate: 'Longitudinal' strain rate markedly underestimates apical contribution. Exp Physiol.

    Utomi V, Oxborough D, Ashley E, Lord R, Fletcher S, Stembridge M, Shave R, Hoffman MD, Whyte G, Somauroo J, Sharma S & George K. (2015). The impact of chronic endurance and resistance training upon the right ventricular phenotype in male athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN & Shave R. (2014). Short-term adaptation and chronic cardiac remodelling to high altitude in lowlander natives and Himalayan Sherpa. Exp Physiol.

    Hoiland RL, Foster GE, Donnelly J, Stembridge M, Willie CK, Smith KJ, Lewis NC, Lucas SJ, Cotter JD, Yeoman DJ, Thomas KN, Day TA, Tymko MM, Burgess KR & Ainslie PN. (2014). Chemoreceptor responsiveness at sea level does not predict the pulmonary pressure response to high altitude. Chest.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN, Hughes MG, Stohr EJ, Cotter JD, Nio AQ & Shave R. (2014). Ventricular structure, function and mechanics at high altitude: chronic remodelling in Sherpa verses short-term lowlander adaptation. J Appl Physiol (1985).

    Tremblay JC, Lovering AT, Ainslie PN, Stembridge M, Burgess KR, Bakker A, Donnelly J, Lucas SJ, Lewis NC, Dominelli PB, Henderson WR, Dominelli GS, Sheel AW & Foster GE. (2014). Hypoxia, not pulmonary vascular pressure induces blood flow through intrapulmonary arteriovenous anastomoses. J Physiol.

    Foster GE, Ainslie PN, Stembridge M, Day TA, Bakker A, Lucas SJ, Lewis NC, Macleod DB & Lovering AT. (2014). Resting pulmonary haemodynamics and shunting: a comparison of sea-level inhabitants to high altitude Sherpas. J Physiol.

    Lewis NC, Bailey DM, Dumanoir GR, Messinger L, Lucas SJ, Cotter JD, Donnelly J, McEneny J, Young IS, Stembridge M, Burgess KR, Basnet AS & Ainslie PN. (2014). Conduit artery structure and function in lowlanders and native highlanders: relationships with oxidative stress and role of sympathoexcitation. J Physiol.

    Lord R, Somauroo J, Stembridge M, Jain N, Hoffman MD, George K, Jones H, Shave R, Haddad F, Ashley E & Oxborough D. (2014). The right ventricle following ultra-endurance exercise: insights from novel echocardiography and 12-lead electrocardiography. Eur J Appl Physiol.

    Stohr EJ, Meah VL & Stembridge M. (2014). Combined neonatal therapies for cardiac function in adulthood - live together, die alone? J Physiol 592, 825-826.

    Stone KJ, Hughes MG, Stembridge M, Meyers RW, Newcombe DJ & Oliver JL. (2014). The influence of playing surface on physiological and performance responses during and after soccer simulation. Eur J Sport Sci, 1-8.

    Utomi V, Oxborough D, Ashley E, Lord R, Fletcher S, Stembridge M, Shave R, Hoffman MD, Whyte G, Somauroo J, Sharma S & George K. (2014). Predominance of normal left ventricular geometry in the male 'athlete's heart'. Heart 100, 1264-1271.

    Hughes MG, Birdsey L, Meyers R, Newcombe D, Oliver JL, Smith PM, Stembridge M, Stone K & Kerwin DG. (2013). Effects of playing surface on physiological responses and performance variables in a controlled football simulation. J Sports Sci 31, 878-886.

    Stone, K.J., Oliver, J.L., Hughes, M.G., Stembridge, M.R., Newcombe, D.J. & Meyers, R.W.  (2011). Development of a soccer simulation protocol to include repeated sprints and agility. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.

    Turner, A, Walker, S, Stembridge, M, Coneyworth, P, Reed, G, Birdsey, L, Barter, P, Moody, J (2011). Testing Battery for the Assessment of Fitness in Soccer Players. Strength & Conditioning Journal: 33 (5), 29-39.

    Oliver, J and Stembridge, M (2011).  Use of a heart rate:ground contact index to monitor and predict middle distance running.  European Journal of Sport Science. 11 (6), 431-436.

    Invited Articles

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN and Shave R (2015). Mechanisms underlying reductions in stroke volume at rest and during exercise at high altitude. Eur J Spt Sci.

    Stembridge M, Ainslie PN & Shave R. (2014). Short-term adaptation and chronic cardiac remodelling to high altitude in lowlander natives and Himalayan Sherpa. Exp Physiol.

    Conference Presentations

    I have presented as part of symposia and submitted over 45 conference abstracts to both national and international conferences. 

    Teaching and Supervision

    PhD Supervision

    Tony Dawkins (Director of Studies); Functional and structural cardiac adaptation to exercise training; mechanisms and consequences

    Dean Perkins (Director of Studies); Cardiac adaptations to exercise training: do windows of heightened training potential exist during adolescence?

    Aimee Drane (co-supervisor); Comprehensive assessment of cardiac structure, function and mechanics in Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes).

    Lydia Simpson (co-supervisor); Sympathetic activation and cardiovascular control at high altitude in lowlanders and high altitude natives


    I currently contribute to physiology and health modules and supervision at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels that span a number of programmes. In addition, I am also undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate Teaching in Higher Education. 

    Qualifications and Awards

    • BSc Science in Health, Exercise and Sport
    • MSc Sport and Exercise Science
    • European College of Sport Science Young Investigator Award (YIA) 2014 

    External Links

    I collaborate with a number of institutions based in the UK and around the world. The most notable of these is with the Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health at the University of British Columbia in Canada.