College of Nursing and Health Sciences

2003 Distinguished Alumnus: Michael Berry


Dr. Berry received his master's degree in Physical Education from Southeastern in 1978 and continued on at Southeastern for one year as a physical education instructor teaching health, methods, and activities classes. He left Southeastern to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at Texas A&M University. Then in 1984, he accepted a position as a research associate at the University of North Caroline and then with the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1985, Dr. Berry joined the faculty of Wake Forest University as the coordinator for undergraduate programming in Health and Exercise Science and coordinator for the Human Performance Lab there. Over the years at Wake Forest, he additionally became coordinator for graduate programming in the same field, as well as the director of the Human Performance Lab, positions that he holds today.

Dr. Berry has been a prolific researcher co-authoring over 100 abstracts and publications on such topics as the physiological effects of wearing running tights, the influence of speed, grade, and mass during simulated off road bicycling and the influence of stride on the ventilator threshold in trained runners, along with many, many other much more technical subjects.

His research and knowledge in the study of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been included in two books on training and exercise physiology published by Human Kinetics Publishers. He is a reviewer of such scholarly publications as The Journal of Applied Physiology, the International Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, just to name a few.

Many of Dr. Berry's studies have been supported through millions of dollars in grants from such notable organizations as the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Aging. Over the years he has been presented several prestigious awards and honors including the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence Award and a post-doctoral Research Fellowship at UNC. He was also named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.