Photograph showing a person standing outside a blue and orange dome tent in an extreme rocky, sloped environment Reaching beyond boundaries

Driven to understand extreme scenarios, our lab studies the limits of human performance and physiology, no matter where the journey takes us.


The Human Integrative and Environmental Physiology Laboratory, led by principal investigator Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D., researches human health and disease in extreme conditions, and then applies that knowledge to optimize performance and health in everyday life.

Our lab has three major branches of research:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Remote physiologic monitoring
  • Optimization of performance and health

Within these research areas, we focus on health and physiology in extreme environments and situations. Our research involves the study of healthy people in extreme conditions, such as reduced gravity or high-altitude environments, and in situations that typically involve exceptional mental or physical stress, such as high-level competition or emergency response. In addition, we study people with diseases that cause ongoing physical stress, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension and heart failure.

Our research team is driven by the desire to learn more about how unusual and extreme conditions affect physiology and how to best monitor resulting physiologic changes. Our lab uses that information to optimize health and performance for everyone.

We work to find simple and efficient ways to overcome complex challenges. This includes analyzing exhaled breath patterns to detect declining status in patients with heart failure, developing mobile health apps to serve as personal health coaches, and creating better wearable technology to help measure and improve health indexes and monitor patients to reduce hospital admissions.

About Dr. Johnson

In addition to directing the Human Integrative and Environmental Physiology Lab, Dr. Johnson is a professor of medicine and a professor of physiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Johnson is engaged in numerous clinical studies and has published hundreds of research papers. His hope is that knowledge gained through his research will lead to improved treatment options for patients with pulmonary conditions and heart disease.