Doctoral Dissertation Research: Oxygen Transport Phenotypes and the Different Evolutionary Trajectories of Andean Versus Tibetan Highland Native Populations

Tom Brutsaert (EXE) PI and Taylor Harman (EXE – Student) co-PI, NSF – Doctoral Dissertation. 3/15/22-2/28/23

The Andes region of South America and the Himalayas region of Asia both have populations of humans who have resided at high-altitude (3,000-5000m) for thousands of years. These populations are well-adapted to the hypoxic conditions of the mountains, but curious differences also exist for certain hematological, ventilatory, and genomic traits. This study is the first direct comparison of several of these traits (with a focus on exercise capacity and blood flow) between matched groups of Quechua from Peru and Sherpa from Nepal. The study uses the same measurement protocols in locations that are at nearly the same altitude (i.e., the city of Cerro de Pasco, Peru, and the village of Pheriche, Nepal, both at ~4,300m).