Published November 23, 2011
David Pendergast, EdD, professor of physiology and biophysics, has received the 2011 Stockton Kimball Award in honor of his academic accomplishments, internationally recognized research and service to the school.
In June, William Ruyechan, PhD, recently deceased, also received the 2011 Stockton Kimball Award.
Pendergast, who will deliver the Stockton Kimball lecture this spring, is director of the UB Center for Research and Education in Special Environments (CRESE).
He is regarded worldwide for his expertise in hyperbaric medicine and exercise physiology.
In the late 1980s, Pendergast began researching diver swimming technique, buoyancy and swim aids—interests that have defined his career.
Over the last decade, he has led efforts at UB to design diver thermal protection hardware for the U.S. Navy and a total-body thermal garment to protect divers in extreme environments.
With funding from NASA, Pendergast also researched cardiovascular deconditioning and circulation in microgravity.
Recently, Pendergast has focused his research on the effects of exercise and a diver’s thermal environment on nitrogen elimination related to decompression.
In addition, he is developing strategies for optimal heat distribution during cold-water diving.
Over the course of his career, Pendergast has been awarded four patents for developing thermal regulation materials and physical training methods.
In 2006, Pendergast received the Albert R. Behnke Award for outstanding scientific contributions to advances in the undersea or hyperbaric biomedical field.
He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Olympic Team and for several local professional sports teams as well as regional clinical centers.
He has been a visiting professor at the University of Geneva and the University of Udine, Italy, and was twice named a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Germany.
Pendergast has published more than 200 papers, articles and book chapters and presented his work at many national and international conferences.
He has been associate editor and guest editor for the Journal of Applied Physiology and a reviewer for several journals and granting agencies, including NASA and National Institutes of Health.
Pendergast began his academic career in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 1977, when he was appointed assistant professor of physiology. In 1988, he was appointed professor of physiology and in 1990, professor of rehabilitation medicine.
He served as associate director of CRESE from 1991 to 2004 and was named director in 2005.
An enthusiastic teacher and mentor, Pendergast has trained numerous visiting scientists, 17 postdoctoral fellows, 10 PhD students and 25 master’s students.
He teaches in the medical school’s human physiology course and in numerous other courses for students in the health sciences.