Dr Joseph Welch PhD, MRes, BSc (Hons)

Dr Joseph Welch

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Assistant Professor in Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology

Dr Joseph Welch is a respiratory physiologist with expertise in the neural control of breathing, respiratory neuroplasticity, respiratory muscle fatigue, and the mechanics of breathing during exercise.


  • PhD in Kinesiology, University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • MRes in Sport and Exercise, University of Derby (UK)
  • BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science, University of Derby (UK)


Dr Welch received his BSc (Hons) and MRes in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Derby (UK) before completing his PhD in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia (Canada). Dr Welch was mentored by Professor Bill Sheel; his thesis examined the consequences of diaphragmatic fatigue on sympathetic cardiovascular control and exercise tolerance in males and females. Dr Welch then moved to the University of Florida (USA), working under the mentorship of Professor Gordon Mitchell and Dr Emily Fox, to study novel therapeutic techniques that harness the respiratory systems capacity for neuroplasticity in order to restore breathing in people with spinal cord injury. Dr Welch joined the University of Birmingham as Assistant Professor in Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology in September 2022.


  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Control of Human Movement
  • Scientific and Professional Communication


  • Research theme: Rehabilitation and Motor Control
  • Special interest research groups: Integrative Physiology of Exercise, and Neuroscience and Brain Health

Research Interests:

  • Control of breathing
  • Respiratory muscle fatigue
  • Exercise physiology
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Phrenic nerve stimulation
  • Intermittent hypoxia



Reinhard PA, Archiza B, Welch JF, Banbaruj J, Guenette JA, Koehle MS & Sheel AW. (2023). Effects of hypoxia on exercise-induced diaphragm fatigue in healthy males and females. Physiological Reports, 11(2), e15589.

Molgat-Seon Y, Dominelli PB, Peters CM, Kipp S, Welch JF, Parmar HR, Rabbani T, Mann LM, Grift GO, Guenette JA & Sheel AW. (2022). Predictors of expiratory flow limitation during exercise in healthy males and females. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 54(9), 1428-1436.

Welch JF, Nair J, Argento PJ, Mitchell GS & Fox EJ. (2022). Acute intermittent hypercapnic-hypoxia elicits central neural respiratory motor plasticity in humans. The Journal of Physiology, 600(10), 2515-2533.

Vose AK, Welch JF, Nair J, Dale EA, Fox EJ, Muir GD, Trumbower RD & Mitchell GS. (2022). Therapeutic acute intermittent hypoxia: a translational roadmap to treat spinal cord injury and neuromuscular disease. Experimental Neurology, 347, 113891.

Perim RR, Sunshine MD, Welch JF, Santiago J, Holland A, Ross A, Mitchell GS & Gonzalez-Rothi EJ. (2021). Daily acute intermittent hypoxia enhances phrenic motor output and stimulus-evoked phrenic responses in rats. Journal of Neurophysiology, 126(3), 777-790.

Sutor TW, Cavka K, Vose AK, Welch JF, Davenport PW, Fuller DD, Mitchell GS & Fox EJ. (2021). Single-session effects of acute intermittent hypoxia on breathing function after human spinal cord injury. Experimental Neurology, 342, 113735.

Welch JF. (2021). Intermittent hypercapnic hypoxia: a model to study human respiratory motor plasticity? The Journal of Physiology, 599(7), 1951-1953.

Welch JF, Perim RR, Argento PJ, Sutor TW, Vose AK, Nair J, Mitchell GS & Fox EJ. (2021). Effect of acute intermittent hypoxia on cortico-diaphragmatic conduction in healthy humans. Experimental Neurology, 339, 113651.

Archiza B, Reinhard PA, Welch JF & Sheel AW. (2021). Sex differences in diaphragmatic fatigue: effects of hypoxia during inspiratory loading. The Journal of Physiology, 599(4), 1319-1333.

Koch S, Welch JF, Tran R, Ramsook AH, Hung A, Carlsten C, Guenette JA & Koehle MS. (2021). Ventilatory responses to constant load exercise following the inhalation of a short-acting ß2-agonist in a laboratory-controlled diesel exhaust exposure study in individuals with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Environment International, 146, 106182.

Welch JF, Argento PJ, Mitchell GS & Fox EJ. (2020). Reliability of diaphragmatic motor-evoked potentials induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Journal of Applied Physiology, 129(6), 1394-1404.

Welch JF, Sutor TW, Vose AK, Perim RR, Fox EJ & Mitchell GS. (2020). Synergy between acute intermittent hypoxia and task-specific training. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 48(3), 125-132.

Geary CM, Welch JF, McDonald MR, Peters CM, Reinhard PA, Leahy MG & Sheel AW. (2019). Diaphragm fatigue and inspiratory muscle metaboreflex in men and women matched for absolute diaphragmatic work during pressure-threshold loading. The Journal of Physiology, 597(18), 4797-4808.

Welch JF, Kipp S & Sheel AW. (2019). Respiratory muscles during exercise: mechanics, energetics and fatigue. Current Opinion in Physiology, 10, 102-109.

Welch JF, Archiza B, Guenette JA, West CR & Sheel AW. (2018). Effect of diaphragm fatigue on subsequent exercise tolerance in healthy men and women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 125(6), 1987-1996.

Bovard JM, Welch JF, Houghton KM, McKenzie DC, Potts JE & Sheel AW. (2018). Does competitive swimming affect lung growth? Physiological Reports, 6(15), e13816.

Welch JF, Archiza B, Guenette JA, West CR & Sheel AW. (2018). Sex differences in diaphragmatic fatigue: the cardiovascular response to inspiratory resistance. The Journal of Physiology, 596(17), 4017-4032.

Archiza B, Welch JF, Geary CM, Allen GP, Borghi-Silva A & Sheel AW. (2018). Temporal characteristics of exercise-induced diaphragmatic fatigue. Journal of Applied Physiology, 124(4), 906-914.

Archiza B, Welch JF & Sheel A.W. (2017). Classical experiments in whole-body metabolism: closed-circuit respirometry. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117, 1929-1937.

Peters CM, Welch JF, Dominelli PB, Molgat-Seon Y, Romer LM, McKenzie DC & Sheel AW. (2017). Influence of inspiratory resistive loading on expiratory muscle fatigue in healthy humans. Experimental Physiology, 102(9), 1221-1233.

Welch JF, Mildren RL, Zaback M, Archiza B, Allen GP & Sheel AW. (2017). Reliability of the diaphragmatic compound muscle action potential evoked by cervical magnetic stimulation and recorded via chest wall surface EMG. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 243, 101-106.

Querido JS, Welch JF, Ayas NT & Sheel AW. (2015). Cerebrovascular response to CO2 following 10 days of intermittent hypoxia in humans. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 86(9), 782-786.

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