Federico Formenti
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Personal profile

Biographical details

Dr Federico Formenti is a physiologist and sport scientist. Federico obtained a D. Phil. in human physiology from the University of Oxford in 2011 under the supervision of Professors Peter A. Robbins and Keith L. Dorrington, and a Ph. D. in human biomechanics from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006 under the supervision of Professor Alberto E. Minetti. Federico was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Anaesthetics at the University of Oxford until 2016 under the supervision of Professors Andrew D. Farmery and Clive E. W. Hahn.

He is currently Reader in Physiology in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Anaesthetics, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of The Physiological Society. Federico is a Senior Editor for Experimental Physiology and ad hoc reviewer for several journals. His research interests include human responses to hypoxia, cardiopulmonary and exercise physiology, development of technology for physiological research and critical care. 

Research interests (short)

Arterial oxygen sensing

We measure arterial partial pressure of oxygen as an index of overall ventilation and perfusion in the mechanically ventilated lung. This continuous oxygen monitoring affords the real time study of dynamic cardiopulmonary physiology, providing detailed information on pulmonary gas exchange.

Collaborators: Andrew Farmery and Clive Hahn (Oxford), Anders Larsson and Goran Hedenstierna (Uppsala), Luigi Camporota, John Cronin, Jack Gallifant (KCL), Joao Soares (UC Davis)


Human responses to hypoxia

With the generous help of patients, we explored how a protein called hypoxia-inducible factor is involved in the regulation of human responses to hypoxia. We observed that mutations affecting the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway can have an impact on human respiration and metabolism at whole body level, with implications for high altitude training.

Collaborators: Keith Dorrington and Peter Robbins (Oxford), Fulvio Della Ragione and Silverio Perrotta (Naples), Andrew Murray (Cambridge)


Exercise physiology and biomechanics

We studied the energetics and biomechanics of ice skating and cross country skiing with a historical perspective; we showed how fast and how far people could travel on ice skates and cross country skis since these were first made, and how performance improved with technological and technical development. We also investigated the effect of different pedalling rates on the oxygen uptake of cycling exercise, showing that the work required to spin the lower limbs can be a substantial determinant of overall oxygen uptake.

Collaborators: Koji Ishida (Nagoya), Nicholas Stergiou (Omaha, NE)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Biomechanics, Doctor of Philosophy, Paleo-biomechanics and paleo-energetics of cross-country skiing and ice skating (3200BC to date), Manchester Metropolitan University

Physiology, Doctor of Philosophy, The role of hypoxia-inducible factor in systemic human physiology, University of Oxford

External positions

Keeley Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford


Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Omaha

2017 → …

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

1 Jan 2016 → …


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