Dr. Gold received is M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School in 1959. After internal medicine and chief medical residency at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston (1959-62), he received his research training at the Cardiovascular Research Institute, UCSF with Jay A. Nadel and Julius H. Comroe, Jr., (1962-65) and then joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School at Children’s Hospital in 1965 where he set up a new pulmonary laboratory for Dr. Alexander Nadas to study the pulmonary problems of children with congenital heart disease. He joined the faculty in the Pulmonary Division at UCSF in 1969 and became the Director of the Adult Pulmonary Laboratories, CVRI, UCSF in 1980. His major academic activities include clinical research programs, training pre and post-doctoral fellows in all four schools in systems physiology, supervision of the Adult Pulmonary Laboratories, and consulting with industry on systems physiology.
Study of the function of the respiratory system under resting conditions may provide first clues about the presence of significant respiratory disease. Study of the respiratory system during the stress of exercise, may under cover evidence of such diseases at a much earlier stage. Repeated studies can define the natural history of those diseases and the effects of therapeutic interventions. Current research, as a member of the FAMRI (Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute) Center of Excellence, PI Neal Benowitz) is designed to examine the long-term effects of second hand cigarette smoke on flight attendants. Pilot studies have demonstrated that 40% of nonsmoking flight attendants who worked on commercial airlines prior to the ban on cigarette smoking developed diffusion defects associated with airway obstruction and air trapping. During exercise, all pre-ban flight attendants show an abnormally limited increase in diffusing capacity with increased pulmonary blood flow. Current studies are designed to compare lung function at rest and during exercise in pre-ban fight attendants with post-ban flight attendants, and nonsmokers who live and work at sea level stratified by second-hand smoke exposure.