Student Successes

Ren-Jay Shei

Ph.D. in Human Performance

What degree are you working toward?

I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Performance with a major in Exercise Physiology from the School of Public Health-Bloomington.  My current research investigates how interventions targeting the respiratory system affect pulmonary function, respiratory muscle function, and physical performance.  Specifically, we are currently investigating how a nutritional intervention affects pulmonary function and symptom scores in asthmatics and also in healthy, elite athletes.  We are also concurrently investigating whether training the respiratory muscles can improve lung function and physical performance while exercising with a load on the thoracic cavity, such as a backpack or ballistic vest, which is common in military and law enforcement personnel.

Why did you choose graduate school at IU Bloomington?

I chose IU-Bloomington for graduate school because of the quality of the faculty, staff, students, and facilities.  My advisor has been the perfect fit for me, and the department and school have been supportive and encouraging.  The resources that are available here at IUB are unmatched, and no matter what issues you may come across, there is always an outstanding resource or person in place to guide you along.

What’s been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

I am very proud of the work that I completed for my Master's thesis study, which dealt with pacing strategies and performance in highly trained cyclists.  The study demonstrated that even during maximal effort time trials, cyclists operate with a reserve capacity which is accessible when they are deceived, thus bypassing a central control mechanism within the brain that regulates exercise intensity.  Moreover, this intervention appears to be robust, as they are able to retain this improvement despite being debriefed about the prior deception, suggesting that the upper tolerable limit set by the central control mechanism is reset based on the prior experience.

What do you enjoy most about life in Bloomington?

My favorite thing about life in Bloomington is how it is so easy to get plugged in and become a part of the community.  Bloomington is a truly unique place, with that Midwest, small-town charm that is characteristic of the region.  I love being able to walk into a local restaurant, sit at the bar, and have a nice lunch while shooting the breeze with the owner of the establishment.  The people of this town make it easy to cultivate relationships like these that truly make Bloomington feel like home.