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Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D.


  1. Rochester, Minnesota | Phoenix, Arizona



Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D. is a professor of medicine and physiology and a consultant in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine. He has joint appointments in the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine and in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering. He is the director of the Mayo Clinical Research Unit's Energy Balance Core Laboratory and directs his own research laboratory in human integrative and environmental physiology. The majority of his research has focused on factors limiting human performance in various clinical syndromes, in athletes and under extreme environmental conditions. He has led field studies in Antarctica, funded through the National Science Foundation, and on Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro and studied unique populations such as breath-hold divers in Croatia and F-22 pilots from the U.S. Air Force. His clinical research focuses on novel methods for detection and tracking of chronic disease as well as environmental factors that may be involved in disease risk. His laboratory also works closely with consumer and medical device companies that track health status through wearable or passive sensing as well as with early-phase supplement and pharmaceutical company products. His work has been funded by the NIH, DOD, NSF, state of Minnesota and industry.

  1. Effect of high altitude
  2. Hypoxia
  1. Cardiovascular disease prevention

Research interests

  • Human performance
  • Exercise intolerance in chronic disease
  • Human adaptation to extreme environments
  • Healthy aging
  • Predicting and tracking disease decompensation
  • Noninvasive screening tools
  • Rapid health assessment
  • Heart-lung relationships
  • Lung fluid regulation

Clinical interests

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Altitude adjustment and illness
  1. 1994
    Internship - Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Div. Cardiovascular Disease; Cardiovascular Health ClinicMayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. 1994
    Fellow - Research fellow; Div. of Anesthesia Research; Respiratory Muscle LaboratoryMayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. 1990
    PhD - Respiratory Physiology and Biodynamics. Research Focus: Ventilatory control during exercise, Pulmonary system limitations during exercise.University of Wisconsin, Madison
  4. 1990
    Fellow - Pre-doctoral fellow; Dept. of Preventive MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
  5. 1983
    Internship - Phase 1-3 cardiac rehabilitation program; Dir. Larry Hamm, PhDNorth Memorial Medical Center
  6. 1983
    MS - Exercise/Cardiopulmonary Physiology. Thesis: The Relationship of Plasma Lactate Levels to Changes in Ventilation and Training Intensities.St. Cloud State University
  7. 1980
    BA - BiologyPacific Lutheran University

Awards and honors

  1. 1990
    Post-Doctoral Fellowship; Diaphragm FatigueNational Institutes of Health
  2. 1989
    Pre-Doctoral Fellowship; Pulmonary Control SystemsNational Institutes of Health
  3. 1988
    Pre-Doctoral Fellowship; Does Asthma Compromise Gas Exchange in the Elite Athlete?Wisconsin Heart Association
  4. 1983
    Exceptional performance awardDepartment of Clinical Investigation, WBAMC, US Dept. of Defense, El Paso, TX
  5. 1981
    Academic Scholarship and AssistantshipSt. Cloud State University

Professional memberships

  1. 2002 - present
    MemberInternational Hypoxia Society
  2. 2001 - present
    MemberHeart Failure Society of America
  3. 1996 - present
    MemberEuropean Respiratory Society
  4. 1994 - present
    MemberAmerican Heart Association
  5. 1989 - present
    MemberAmerican Thoracic Society
  6. 1986 - present
    MemberAmerican Physiological Society
  7. 1982 - present
    MemberAmerican College of Sports Medicine
    MemberHeart Failure Education Group, Mayo Clinic Rochester Committees
    MemberInstitutional Initiative on Aging and Lifestyle Diseases, Mayo Clinic Committees
    MemberComplementary and Integrative Medicine Program
    MemberHyperbaric & Altitude Medicine Program, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program
    DirectorGeneral Clinical Research Center, Integrative Physiology Core Lab
    MemberNIH Study Section
    AdvisorUS Military Environmental Research Program
    ReviewerUS Military Environmental Research Program
    MemberStandardizing exercise testing and training in the clinical setting subcommittee, American Thoracic Society


Research activities

See a description of research activities.