Dr George Balanos MSc DPhil

Dr George Balanos

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

George is a respiratory physiologist with an interest in pulmonary blood flow and sleep disordered breathing. He is an expert in blood gas manipulation and he uses ultrasonography for non-invasive measurement of physiological variables. George is a dedicated and popular lecturer having received the Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Teaching Award four times. 


BSc, MSc (City University of New York)

DPhil (University of Oxford)


George got his first degree in 1996 at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York focusing his studies on sports injuries and injury prevention/rehabilitation. He got his MSc at the same institution in the field of exercise science and rehabilitation in 1998. George came to the UK in 1998 and he read Cardiorespiratory Physiology at the University of Oxford. He was awarded his DPhil in 2003 and he joined the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences soon after, in 2004.


George teaches Human Physiology and Exercise in the first year, Applied Exercise Physiology in the second year and Performing in Extreme Environments in the third year. He follows a research-led approach to his teaching and he operates a policy that allows students easy access to him. George puts a lot of effort in his teaching and he has been awarded the Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Teaching awards four times (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019).

Postgraduate supervision

Current students; 

  • Kelsey Joyce (Environmental Physiology)
  • Sultan Alsalahi (Cardiovascular Regulation During Exercise)
  • Emily Senior (Physical Activity as a Treatment for Sleep Apnoea)
Potential students can contact Dr Balanos by email.


  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Exercise
  • Sleep and Glucose Tolerance in Prediabetic Patients
  • Intermittent Hypoxia and Sleep Disordered Breathing
  • Control of the Pulmonary Circulation
  • Control of Breathing During Exercise
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Environmental Physiology 

George’s main research interests include the role of sleep quality and exercise in the regulation of sleep disordered breathing and glucose tolerance. He is also interested in the regulation of blood flow in humans both during exercise and in disease, and the regulation of breathing. To study these areas, George has established sophisticated ultrasound imaging techniques and to invoke perturbations in the respiratory system he is using a system that can accurately mimic conditions such as high altitude or disease states.


George’s group also studies laboratory models of intermittent hypoxia (depletion of oxygen) in order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms that are involved in sleep apnoea. He has recently completed the setup of a sleep laboratory and he is currently undertaking research that aims to link the control of breathing with the development of sleep related breathing disorders. He is also undertaking research that aims to link the quality of sleep with health and exercise performance outcomes in people.

Other activities

In his free time George enjoys cycling on dry land and spear-gun fishing in the warm waters of Greece.


Recent publications


Petzka, M, Charest, I, Balanos, GM & Staresina, BP 2021, 'Does sleep-dependent consolidation favour weak memories?', Cortex, vol. 134, pp. 65-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.10.005

Shannon, OM, Lee, V, Bundy, R, Gillings, R, Jennings, A, Stephan, B, Hornberger, M, Balanos, G, Paddick, SM, Hanson, S, Hardeman, W, Holmes, R, Garner, N, Aldred, S, Siervo, M, Mathers, JC & Minihane, AM 2021, 'Feasibility and acceptability of a multi-domain intervention to increase Mediterranean diet adherence and physical activity in older UK adults at risk of dementia: protocol for the MedEx-UK randomised controlled trial', BMJ open, vol. 11, no. 2, e042823. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042823

AlSalahi, SE, Junejo, RT, Bradley, C, Balanos, G, Siebenmann, C & Fisher, JP 2021, 'The middle cerebral artery blood velocity response to acute normobaric hypoxia occurs independently of changes in ventilation in humans', Experimental Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP089127

Voss, S, Al-Hamad, K, Samsam, W, Cherif, A, Georgakopoulos, C, Al Maadheed, M, Balanos, G, Lucas, S, Sottas, P-E, Wilson, M & Townsend, N 2020, 'A novel mixed living high training low intervention and the hematological module of the athlete biological passport', Drug Testing and Analysis, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 323-330. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.2723

Black, JK, Whittaker, AC, Tahrani, AA & Balanos, GM 2020, 'The implementation of a physical activity intervention in adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea over the age of 50 years: a feasibility uncontrolled clinical trial', BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 12, pp. 46. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-020-00195-8

Griffin, H, Al Humoud, SYY, Benson, J, Cooper, B, Coomaraswamy, K & Balanos, G 2019, 'An acute exposure to intermittent negative airway pressure elicits respiratory long-term facilitation in awake humans', Respiratory physiology & neurobiology, vol. 267, pp. 20-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resp.2019.05.016

Facer-childs, ER, Pake, K, Lee, VY, Lucas, SJE & Balanos, GM 2019, 'Diurnal Variations in Vascular Endothelial Vasodilation Are Influenced by Chronotype in Healthy Humans', Frontiers in Physiology, vol. 10, 901. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00901

Cheng, H-Y, Frise, MC, Curtis, MK, Bart, NK, Petousi, N, Talbot, NP, Balanos, GM, Robbins, PA & Dorrington, KL 2019, 'Intravenous iron delivers a sustained (8-week) lowering of pulmonary artery pressure during exercise in healthy older humans', Physiological reports, vol. 7, no. 13, e14164, pp. e14164. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14164

Friend, A, Balanos, G & Lucas, S 2019, 'Isolating the independent effects of hypoxia and hyperventilation-induced hypocapnia on cerebral haemodynamics and cognitive function', Experimental Physiology, vol. 104, no. 10, pp. 1482-1493. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087602

Alghaith, J, Balanos, G, Eves, F & White, M 2019, 'Sensitivity of the human ventilatory response to muscle metaboreflex activation during concurrent mild hypercapnia', Experimental Physiology, vol. 104, no. 3, pp. 359–367. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087224

Facer-Childs, E, Boiling, S & Balanos, G 2018, 'The effects of time of day and chronotype on cognitive and physical performance in healthy volunteers', Sports Medicine - Open, vol. 4, no. 1, 47. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-018-0162-z

Black, JK, Whittaker, AC & Balanos, GM 2018, 'Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea and physical activity in older manual workers', Journal of aging and physical activity. https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2018-0096

Talbot, N, Smith, T, Balanos, G, Dorrington, K, Maxwell, PH & Robbins, P 2017, 'Cardiopulmonary phenotype associated with human PHD2 mutation', Physiological reports. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.13224

Davies, DJ, Clancy, M, Lighter, D, Balanos, GM, Lucas, S, Dehghani, H, Su, Z, Forcione, M & Belli, A 2017, 'Frequency-Domain vs Continuous-Wave Near-Infrared Spectroscopy devices: A comparison of clinically viable monitors in controlled hypoxia', Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 967–974. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10877-016-9942-5

Review article

Joyce, KE, Lucas, SJE, Imray, CHE, Balanos, GM & Wright, AD 2018, 'Advances in the available non-biological pharmacotherapy prevention and treatment of acute mountain sickness and high altitude cerebral and pulmonary oedema', Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, vol. 19, no. 17, pp. 1891-1902. https://doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2018.1528228

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