Sherpa Children

Research Expedition to Nepal, October 2016

The team of researchers involved in the pediatric study of Nepal 2016.


Dr. Ali McManus, Dr. Daniela Nowak-Flück, Audrey Kirby, and Laura Morris had the unique opportunity of taking the research lab to Nepal in October 2016. This undertaking was the first large scale research expedition for Dr. McManus and PERL to be involved with, and completed alongside a team of inter-institutional researchers from around the world organized by Dr. Chris Willie and Dr. Phil Ainslie from the Centre for Heart, Lung, and Vascular Health. Dr. McManus set forth with two goals for this expedition:

  1. The entire research team at The Pyramid International Laboratory/Observatory high altitude scientific research centre at the base of the Nepali side of Everest in the Khumbu Valley.

    To determine resting cerebral blood flow and ventilation in Sherpa children living at high altitude

  2. To characterize the effects of progressive exercise to exhaustion on ventilation and cerebral blood flow velocity in Sherpa children at high altitude

This study successfully included 59 Sherpa children between the ages of 6 and 14 years. This participation occurred in two locations. After flying into Kathmandu, Nepal and then connecting to Lukla, Nepal, the pediatric team trekked to Thame, Nepal and then to Kunde, Nepal. It was in Thame and Kunde where the pediatric researchers set up temporary research labs to which participants walked up to 3 hours to visit.

This investigation has provided novel insight into the physiological effects of exercise and potential mechanisms underlying the regulation of brain blood blood flow at rest and during exercise in a paediatric population native to high altitude.



Rieger MG, Nowak- Flück D, Morris LE, Niroula S, Sherpa KT, Tallon CM, Stembridge M, Ainslie P.N., McManus A.M. (2018). UBC-Nepal Expedition: Cerebrovascular responses to exercise in Sherpa children residing at high altitude. High Altitude Medicine & Biology, 20(1): 45-55.

Flück D, Morris LE, Niroula S, Tallon CM, Sherpa KT, Stembridge M, Ainslie PN, McManus AM (2017). UBC-Nepal Expedition: Markedly lower cerebral blood flow in high altitude Sherpa children compared to children residing at sea-level. Journal of Applied Physiology. 123(3): 1003-1010.

Willie CK, Stembridge M, Hoiland RL, Tymko MM, Tremblay JC, Patrician A, Steinback C, Moore J, Anholm J, Subedi P, Niroula S, McNeil CJ, McManus A, MacLeod DB, Ainslie PN (2018).UBC-Nepal Expedition: An experimental overview of the 2016 University of British Columbia Scientific Expedition to Nepal Himalaya. PLoS One. 13(10): e0204660.


A few photos from the expedition…


This expedition was funded by the following organizations: