Rochester, Minnesota Clinical Profile


The laboratory of Michael J. Joyner, M.D., is interested in how humans respond to various forms of physical and mental stress during activities such as exercise, hypoxia, standing up and blood loss.

Dr. Joyner and his team study how the nervous system regulates blood pressure, heart rate and metabolism in response to these forms of stress. They are also interested in how blood flow to muscle and skin responds to these stressors. These responses are studied in young healthy subjects, healthy older subjects and people with conditions such as heart failure.

Finally, Dr. Joyner is personally interested in the role of integrative approaches in science as a powerful tool to integrate and critique data from reductionist approaches.

Focus areas

  • Convalescent plasma. Dr. Joyner is leading a national program sponsored by the U.S. Government to coordinate the collection and distribution of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease.
  • Blood flow during exercise. Blood flow to exercising skeletal muscle can increase 50 to 100 times above resting values. Dr. Joyner's group is interested in the mechanisms that drive this increase in flow.
  • Blood pressure regulation. Blood pressure is regulated by complex interactions among the nervous system, heart and blood vessels. Dr. Joyner's group is interested in how these interactions are affected by the sex and age of the subject.
  • Blood glucose regulation. Glucose levels in the blood are tightly regulated to guard against hypoglycemia. Dr. Joyner and his collaborators are studying the novel idea that sensors in the body that respond to hypoxia also control blood glucose.
  • Breathing in heart failure. In heart failure, breathing during exercise can be excessive. Dr. Joyner and his collaborators have novel data suggesting that signals from the exercising muscle are driving ventilation in heart failure.
  • Physiology of elite athletes. Elite athletic performances are experiments in nature on the limits of human physiology. Dr. Joyner uses data from real-world competitions to understand the limits of human physiology.
  • Cognitive impairment and heart disease. Cognitive impairment is associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Joyner and his collaborators are studying how aging and fitness influence brain blood vessels in humans.

Significance to patient care

By studying normal physiology and how it is affected by aging, sex and disease, Dr. Joyner and his colleagues gain insight into what body systems are potential therapeutic targets for intervention. Their research also provides insight into the many complex mechanisms that operate together to keep us healthy and able to adapt to the demands of life — or fail in a way that makes us unable to adapt.

Professional highlights

  • Principal investigator, Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients With COVID-19, FDA, 2020
  • Principal Investigator, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute R35 Outstanding Investigator Award, 2018.
  • D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 2018
  • Walter B. Cannon Lecture, American Physiological Society, 2013
  • Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lecture, American Physiological Society, 2011
  • Fulbright Specialist Grant, Fulbright Scholar Program, 2011
  • Distinguished Investigator, Mayo Clinic, 2010
  • Citation Award, American College of Sports Medicine, 2009
  • Frank R. and Shari Caywood Professor of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, 2009
  • Michael de Burgh Daly Prize Lecture, Physiological Society (U.K.), 2007
  • Joseph B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture, American College of Sports Medicine, 2004


Primary Appointment

  1. Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering
  2. Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  3. Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Anesthesiology


  1. Resident Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Resident Anesthesiology, Programs in Rochester, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  3. Internship Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  4. MD - Medicine University of Arizona
  5. BS - Nutrition and Food Science University of Arizona

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