Research in the laboratory of Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D., centers on interactions between the heart and the lungs under various conditions, such as hypoxia, high altitude and exercise, and in various populations, including aging populations and those with heart failure and lung disease.
Specifically, Dr. Johnson's research team is interested in how cardiovascular function influences breathing and how breathing may in turn influence cardiovascular function. These interactions include neurohumoral, mechanical, hemodynamic and genetic interactions.
- Ventilatory limitations in coronary disease. Dr. Johnson currently serves as the program director and principal investigator of a study of pulmonary limitations in chronic heart failure, funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Heart and lung interactions during exercise. In collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Dr. Johnson is the program director of an investigation of activity, energy balance and exercise.
- Technology innovation for patients with coronary disease. An additional area of focus is on creating new technologies to improve patient health. This includes developing and testing wearable technology such as "smart socks" to track patients' health statuses during chronic heart failure, and collaboration with companies making wearable monitoring technology, such as Jawbone.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Johnson's research is to improve treatment for patients with pulmonary conditions, heart disease or both by contributing to a better understanding of how these systems interact with and influence each other. He also works toward prevention of cardiopulmonary diseases through development of more effective exercise regimens and diagnostic technologies.