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NEWFELPRO's successful stories: Otto Barak and the pathophysiology of diving

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Otto Barak, from the University of Novi Sad, is one of the first senior researchers in the incoming scheme who successfully implemented his project „Investigating the pathophysiology of acute and chronic damages associated with SCUBA diving and the procedures to counteract them (SCUBAfix)“. Otto, who has a PhD in physiology, did his project at the School of Medicine of the University of Split until May 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Željko Dujić. At the time, he was the first NEWFELPRO's researcher at the University of Split.

The goal of the proposed project was to observe what manoeuvres may ameliorate the damages associated with self contained under water breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving. First they investigated the impact of pre-dive exercise and repetitive diving on the incidence of arterialization, endothelial function, and vascular inflammation. Otto's hypothesize was that repetitive diving alone will cause cumulative damages while including exercise before diving will reduce them. You can see Otto in action in NEWFELPRO's promotional video:


During his project, Otto held a presentation in Boston in March 2015 and he attended a training course on transcranial doppler technology led by Prof. Philip Ainslie. He also published two articles based on the results of his project:

Madden D1, Barak O, Thom SR, Yang M, Bhopale VM, Ljubkovic M, Dujic Z. The impact of predive exercise on repetitive SCUBA diving. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2014 Nov 4. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12213.

Barak OF, Madden D, Lovering AT, Lambrechts K, Ljubkovic M, Dujic Z. Very Few Exercise-Induced Arterialized Gas Bubbles Reach the Cerebral Vasculature. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Sep;47(9):1798-805. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000625.

Upon finishing his project, Otto plans to do a data analysis of the experiments done during the project and he plans on continuing his research with the research team from Split's School of Medicine in the upcoming years.