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Prof. Dr. Dr. Walter Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Dr. Schmidt
Prof. Dr. Dr. Schmidt
Director of the Department of Sports Medicine / Sports Physiology
University of Bayreuth, Germany

Scientific focus

Exercise and environmental physiology, altitude adaptation, and anti-doping research

Main focus: 

  • Development of a method and device to facilitate blood volume measurements in humans 
  • Implementation of the novel method to quantify the effects of endurance training and altitude training measures as well as talent identification 
  • Adaptation to acute and chronic altitude and to altitude training 
  • Development of indirect methods to detect blood manipulations 
  • Metabolism and antibiotics-antibacterials function during exercise and training
  • Methods to determine energy expenditure during rest and exercise
Academic career


  • 1974 – 1979 Biology and Sports, University of Hannover, Germany 
  • 1984 PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Exercise Physiology; Medical University, Hannover, Germany 
  • 1991 Habilitation in Physiology; Medical University, Hannover, Germany

Professional experience 

  • 1980 - 1984: Assistant Research Physiologist, Dept. of Sports Physiology, Medical University, Hannover, Germany 
  • 1984 - 1991: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sports Physiology, Medical University, Hannover, Germany 
  • 1985/86: Guest Professor, Dept. of Physiology, Universidad del Valle, Cali/Colombia 
  • 1991 - 1993: Associate Professor, Dept. of Sports Physiology, Medical University, Hannover, Germany 
  • 1993 - 1995: Associate Professor, Dept. of Sports Medicine, Benjamin Franklin Hospital, Free University of Berlin, Germany 
  • 1995 – today: Professor for Sports Medicine, Dept. of Sports Medicine/Sports Physiology, University of Bayreuth, Germany 
  • 2009 – today: Head of the Institute of Sports Sciences, University of Bayreuth

Field Studies 

  • 1987–1990 and 1993–1996: Dept. of Physiology, Universidad del Valle, Cali/Colombia 
  • 1991, 1997, 2010: Bolivian Institute of High Altitude Biology, La Paz, Bolivia 
  • 1997, 2000, 2010: Dept. of Physiology, Universidad Nacional, Bogota, Colombia
  • 2001 – 2002: Dept. of Physiology, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile 
  • 2005 Australian Institute of Sport

Society Memberships

  • German Society of Sports Medicine and Prevention
  • German Physiological Society 
  • American College of Sports Medicine 
  • International Society of Mountain Medicine 
  • European College of Sports Sciences


  • Anti-Doping Committee of the German Institute of Sports Sciences
  • Scientific Board of the German Society of Sports Medicine and Prevention

Editorial Board Memberships 

  • Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin
  • Medicina Sportiva


  • High Altitude Medicine and Biology
  • Journal of Applied Physiology 
  • European Journal of Applied Physiology 
  • International Journal of Sports Medicine 
  • British Journal of Sports Medicine 
  • Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 
  • Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 
  • Scandinavian Journal of Sports Medicine
Reference list

(peer reviewed articles)
Selected references in the field of "red blood cell" and "blood volume"

  • Schmidt, W.; Prommer, N.:
    Impact of alterations in total hemoglobin mass on VO2max. Exercise and Sports Science Reviews 38(2): 68-75, 2010.
  • Mørkeberg, J.; Sharpe, K.; Belhage, B.; Damsgaard, R.; Schmidt, W.; Prommer, N.; Gore C.J.; Ashenden, M.J.:
    Detecting autologous blood transfusions: a comparison of three passport approaches and four blood markers. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Prommer, N.; Thoma, S.; Quecke, L.; Gutekunst, T.; Völzke, C.; Wachsmuth, N.; Ni-ess, A.; Schmidt W.
    Total haemoblobin mass and blood volume in elite Kenyan runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(4): 791-797, 2010.
  • Schmidt, W.; Prommer, N.:
    Effect of various training modalities on blood volume. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport 18(Suppl.1): 59-71, 2008.
  • Garvican, LA, Martin, DT, Clark, SA, Schmidt, W, Gore CJ:
    Variability of erythropoietin response to sleeping at simulated altitude : A cycling case study. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2: 327-331, 2007
  • Prommer, N.; Ehrmann U.; Schmidt, W.; Steinacker, J.M.; Radermacher, R.; Muth, C.-M.
    Total haemoglobin mass and spleen contraction: a study on competitive apnea divers, non-diving athletes and untrained control subjects. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 101(6): 753-9, 2007.
  • Prommer, N.; Schmidt, W.
    Loss of CO from the intravascular bed and its impact on the optimised CO rebreathing method. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 100(4): 383-91, 2007.
  • Prommer, N.; Heinicke, K.; Viola, T.; Cajigal, J.; Behn, C.; Schmidt, W.:
    Long-term intermittend hypoxia increases O2-transport capacity but not VO2max. High Altitude Medicine and Biology 8(3): 225-35, 2007.
  • Schmidt W, Prommer N:
    The optimized CO-rebreathing method – A new tool to detect blood manipulations. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 95: 486-495, 2005
  • Heinicke K, Heinicke I, Schmidt W, Wolfarth B:
    A three week traditional altitude training increases hemoglobin mass and red cell volume in elite biathlon athletes. Int. J. Sports Med. 26: 350-355, 2005
  • Schmidt W, Heinicke K., Rojas J., Gomez J.M., Serrato M., Mora M., Wolfarth, B., Schmid A., Keul J.:
    Blood volume and hemoglobin mass in endurance athletes from moderate altitude. Med Sci Sports Exerc 34: 1934-1940, 2002.
  • Heinicke K, Prommer N, Cajigal J, Viola T, Behn C, Schmidt W:
    Long-term intermittent exposure to hypoxia results in increased hemoglobin mass, reduced plasma volume, and elevated erythropoietin levels in man. Eur J Appl Physiol 88: 535-543, 2002.
  • Schmidt W.:
    Effects of intermittent exposure to high altitude on blood changes. High Alt Med Biol 3: 167-176, 2002.
  • Heinicke K., Wolfarth B., Winchenbach P., Biermann B., Schmid A., Huber G., Friedmann B., Schmidt W.:
    Blood volume and hemoglobin mass in elite athletes of different disciplines. Int J Sports Med 22: 504-512, 2001.
  • Schmidt W., Biermann B., Winchenbach P., Lison S., Böning D.:
    How valid is the determination of hematocrit values to detect blood manipulations? Int J Sports Med 21: 133-138, 2000.
  • Schmidt W., Rojas J., Böning D., Bernal H., Garcia S., Garcia O.:
    Plasma-electrolytes in natives to hypoxia after marathon races at different altitudes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 31: 1406-1413, 1999.
  • Schmidt W., Bub A., Meyer M., Weiß T., Schneider G., Maassen N., Forssmann W.G.:
    Is urodilatin the missing link in exercise-dependent renal sodium retention? J. Appl. Physiol. 84: 123-128, 1998.
  • Schmidt W., Correa R., Böning D., Ehrich J.H.H., Krüger C.:
    Oxygen transport properties in malaria infected rodents - a comparison between in¬fected and non infected erythrocytes. Blood 83: 3746-3752, 1994.
  • Schmidt W., Spielvogel H., Eckardt K.U., Quintela A., Peñaloza R.:
    Effects of chronic hypoxia and exercise on plasma erythropoietin level in natives living permanently at high altitude. J. Appl. Physiol. 74: 1874 - 1878, 1993.
  • Schmidt W., Eckardt K., Hilgendorf A., Strauch S., Bauer C.:
    Effects of maximal and submaximal exercise under normoxic and hypoxic conditions on serum erythropoietin level. Int. J. Sports Med. 12: 457 - 461, 1991.
  • Schmidt W., Dahners H.W., Correa R., Ramirez R., Rojas J., Böning D.:
    Blood gas transport properties in endurance trained athletes living at different altitu¬des. Int. J. Sports Med. 11: 15 - 21, 1990
  • Schmidt W., Maassen N., Trost F., Böning D.:
    Training induced effects on blood volume, erythrocyte turnover and haemoglobin oxygen binding properties. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 57: 490 - 498, 1988.