Bruce Johnson '83
Mayo Clinic researcher
Bruce Johnson '83, Mayo Clinic professor of medicine.
Bruce Johnson '83, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic, travels to remote regions of the earth to study how the human body reacts to extreme conditions.
In April 2012, he led a team of scientists, staffers and expedition sponsors to Nepal, home to the world’s highest mountain peaks.
Johnson set up a clinical laboratory at Mount Everest's base camp, complete with state-of-the-art medical equipment carried by yaks. The outpost allowed Johnson to monitor participants’ heart rates, during exertion and at rest. Data from the trip could benefit patients with heart and lung diseases.
Johnson, who earned a St. Cloud State master's degree in exercise physiology, holds a doctorate in respiratory physiology and biodynamics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
As a recreational climber, Johnson is drawn toward mountainous regions, but has also studied sleep apnea among divers in Croatia and ventured twice to Antarctica to explore the limits of human endurance.
His Mayo Clinic position allows Johnson to “chase science and question accepted dogma” as he pursues insights into the body’s response to low oxygen levels. His fieldwork could lead to better treatments for fatiguing medical conditions such as sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
View Johnson's Mayo Clinic biography page.