Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., FACC

Professor of Internal Medicine,
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Levine is the founder and Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where he also holds the S. Finley Ewing Chair for Wellness and the Harry S. Moss Heart Chair for Cardiovascular Research. He is Professor of Internal Medicine/Cardiology and Distinguished Professor of Exercise Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Levine earned his B.A. magna cum laude in human biology from Brown University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Medical Center followed by a cardiology fellowship at UT Southwestern where he trained under the renowned cardiovascular physiologists Gunnar Blomqivst, M.D. and Jere Mitchell, M.D. Dr. Levine founded the IEEM in 1992 which has become one of the premier laboratories in the world for the study of human clinical and integrative physiology. His global research interests center on the adaptive capacity of the circulation in response to exercise training, deconditioning, aging, and environmental stimuli such as spaceflight and high altitude. A Henry Luce Foundation and Fulbright Scholar, he received the Peter van Handel Award from the United States Olympic Committee (for outstanding research), the Research Award from the Wilderness Medical Society, the Honor Award from the Texas Chapter of American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the Citation Award from the National ACSM for his body of work. A consummate clinician and teacher as well as a scholar, he was elected to the Association of University Cardiologists, the American Association of Physicians, received the Michael J. Joyner International Teaching Award from the Danish Cardiovascular Research Academy, and has been selected as one of the “Best Doctors” for cardiovascular medicine in Dallas and America multiple times by his peers.

Dr. Levine is a renowned sports cardiologist who sees athletes with cardiovascular medical problems from around the world and serves as a consultant to the NCAA, the NHL, the NFL, the USOC, USA Track and Field, and other athletic organizations. He has been a key contributor to the guidelines for the management of athletes with heart disease since 1994. Dr. Levine also has a unique background in space medicine, serving as a co-investigator on 4 Spacelab missions (SLS-1, SLS-2, D-2 and Neurolab), the MIR space station, and recently was the PI of a large cardiovascular experiment on the International Space Station (ISS), called the “ICV”. He was also awarded by NASA the “most Compelling Results from the ISS” in 2013. He has a long, sustained track record of funding by the NIH, NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), for which he was Team Leader of the Cardiovascular Section in 2007 to 2017 advising NASA’s flight surgeons on cardiovascular medical issues. His work with astronauts has translated into one of his other areas of clinical expertise, namely patients with syncope (fainting) and orthostatic intolerance (the inability to stand up and withstand the effects of gravity on Earth). Dr. Levine is currently the director of a Program Project grant that explores the “Mechanisms of Exercise Intolerance in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction: Precision Therapy Based on Patient Specific Pathophysiology”.

Dr. Levine has published 398 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, book chapters, and technical papers, and is currently serving on the editorial boards of numerous journals, Dr. Levine is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society; he served as VP and member of the Board of Trustees of ACSM, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Autonomic Society, elected member of the prestigious medical society the Association of American Physicians, and awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award (Translational Domain) by the American College of Cardiology in 2020.

Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Physiology Autonomic Function Laboratory
Medical Director, Sports Cardiology Clinic
Medical Director, Syncope and Autonomic Dysfunction Clinic
Director, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine
Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas

Education

  • Brown University, Providence, RI - B.A. Biology - 1978
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA - M.D. Medicine - 1982
  • Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA - Internal Medicine Residency - 1985
  • Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Japan - Environmental Physiology Fellowship - 1986
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX - Cardiology Fellowship - 1989
Highlighted Publications
  • Effect of pulsatile and nonpulsatile flow on cerebral perfusion in patients with left ventricular assist devices.

    Cornwell WK, Tarumi T, Aengevaeren VL, Ayers C, Divanji P, Fu Q, Palmer MD, Drazner MH, Meyer DM, Bethea BT, Hastings JL, Fujimoto N, Shibata S, Zhang, R, Markham DW, Levine BD. Effect of pulsatile and nonpulsatile flow on cerebral perfusion in patients with left ventricular assist devices.   J Heart and Lung Transplantation, 33(12):1295-303, 2014. PMID:  25307621. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25307621/

  • Restoration of pulsatile flow reduces sympathetic nerve activity among individuals with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices

    Cornwell WK 3rd, Tarumi T, Palmer D, Drazner MH, Meyer DM, Bethea BT, Hastings JL, Fujimoto N Shibata S, Zhang R, Markham DW, Fu Q, and Levine BD. Restoration of pulsatile flow reduces sympathetic nerve activity among individuals with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices. Circulation, 132(24):2316-22, 2015. PMID: 26510698. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26510698/

  • Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age-A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Howden E, Sarma S, Lawley J, Opondo M, Cornwell W, Stoller D, Urey M, Adams-Huet B, Levine BD. Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age-A Randomized Controlled Trial: Implications for Heart Failure Prevention. Circulation, 137(15):1549-1560, 2018. PMID:  29311053, PMCID: PMC5893372. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29311053/

  • Cardiac remodeling in response to 1 year of intensive endurance training

    Arbab-Zadeh A, Perhonen M, Howden E, Peshock RM, Zhang R, Haykowsky MJ, Adams-Huet B, Levine BD. Cardiac remodeling in response to 1 year of intensive endurance training. Circ., 130(24):2152-61, 2014. PMID:  25281664; PMCID: PMC5698012. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25281664/

  • The Impact of Lifelong Exercise “dose” on Left Ventricular Compliance and Distensibility.

    Bhella PS, Hastings JL, Fujimoto N, Shibata S, Carrick-Ranson G, Palmer MD, Boyd KN, Adams-Huet B, Levine BD.  The Impact of Lifelong Exercise “dose” on Left Ventricular Compliance and Distensibility. JACC, 64(12):1257-66, 2014. PMID: 25236519; PMCID: PMC4272199. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25236519/

  • Cardiovascular Effects of 1 year of Alagebrium and Endurance Exercise Training in Healthy Older Individuals.
    Fujimoto N, Hastings JL, Carrick-Ranson G, Shafer KM, Shibata S, Bhella PS, Abdullah SM, Barkley KW, Adams-Huet B, Boyd KN, Livingston SA, Palmer MD, Levine BD. Cardiovascular Effects of 1 year of Alagebrium and Endurance Exercise Training in Healthy Older Individuals.  Circ Heart Fail, 6(6):1155-64. 2013. PMID: 24130005; PMCID: PMC3984945. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3984945/
  • Effects of age and aerobic fitness on myocardial lipid content.

    Sarma S, Carrick-Ranson G, Fujimoto N, Adams-Huet B, Bhella PS, Hastings JL, Shafer KM, Boyd K, Palmer D, Szczepaniak EW, Szczepaniak LS, Levine BD.  Effects of age and aerobic fitness on myocardial lipid content.  Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 6(6):1048-55, 2013.  PMID: 24036384; PMCID: PMC3923455.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3923455/

  • Cardiovascular Effects of 1 Year of Progressive Endurance Exercise Training in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.

    Fujimoto N, Prasad A, Hastings JL, Bhella PS, Shibata S, Palmer MD, Levine BD.  Cardiovascular Effects of 1 Year of Progressive Endurance Exercise Training in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction. Am Heart J 2012; 164(6):869-877, 2012.PMID: 23194487; PMCID: PMC3727249. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23194487/

  • Cardiac output and sympathetic vasoconstrictor responses during upright tilt to presyncope in healthy humans.
    Fu Q, Verheyden B, Wieling W, Levine BD.   Cardiac output and sympathetic vasoconstrictor responses during upright tilt to presyncope in healthy humans.  J Physiol. 590 (Pt 8):1839-48, 2012.  PMID: 22331415; PMCID: PMC3573307. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22331415/
  • The Effect of Rowing Ergometry and Oral Volume Loading on Cardiovascular Structure and Function During Bed Rest.
    Hastings JL, Krainski F, Snell BG, Pacini EL, Jain M, Bhella PS, Shibata S, Fu Q, Palmer MD, Levine BD. The Effect of Rowing Ergometry and Oral Volume Loading on Cardiovascular Structure and Function During Bed Rest. J Appl Physiol, 112:1734-43, 2012.  PMID: 22345434; PMCID: PMC3785184. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22345434/
  • Cardiac origins of the Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

    Fu Q, VanGundy TB, Galbreath M, Shibata S, Jain M, Hastings JL, Bhella PS, Levine BD. Cardiac origins of the Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol. 55(25):2858-68, 2010. PMID:20579544; PMCID: PMC2914315.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20579544/

  • Cardiovascular effects of 1 year of progressive and vigorous exercise training in previously sedentary individuals older than 65 years of age.
    Fujimoto N, Prasad A, Hastings JL, Bhella PS, Shibata S, Palmer MD, Levine BD.  Cardiovascular effects of 1 year of progressive and vigorous exercise training in previously sedentary individuals older than 65 years of age.  Circulation, 122(18):1797-805.  2010. PMID: 20956204, PMCID: PMC3730488.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20956204/
  • Human muscle sympathetic neural and haemodynamic responses to tilt following spaceflight.

    Levine BD, Pawelczyk JA, Ertl AC, et. al.  Human muscle sympathetic neural and haemodynamic responses to tilt following spaceflight.  J of Physiol, 538:331-340, 2002. PMID: 11773340; PMCID: PMC2290017.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11773340/

  • Autonomic Neural Control of Dynamic Cerebral Autoregulation in Humans.

    Zhang R, Zuckerman JH, Iwasaki K, Wilson TE, Crandall CG, Levine BD.  Autonomic Neural Control of Dynamic Cerebral Autoregulation in Humans.  Circulation, 106:1814-1820, 2002. PMID: 12356635. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12356635/

  • Determinants of erythropoietin release in response to short term hypobaric hypoxia.

    Ge RL, Witkowski S, Zhang Y, Alfrey C, Sivieri M, Karlsen T, Resaland GK, Stray-Gundersen J, and Levine BD.  Determinants of erythropoietin release in response to short term hypobaric hypoxia.  J of Applied Physiol, 92:2361-2367, 2002.  PMID:12015348. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12015348/

  • Transfer function analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation in humans.
    Zhang R, Zuckerman JH, Giller CA, Levine BD. Transfer function analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation in humans.  Am J Physiol 274 (Heart Cir. Physiol.43):H233-H241,1998. PMID: 9458872. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9458872/
  • Individual variation in response to altitude training.
    Chapman RF, Stray-Gundersen J, Levine BD. Individual variation in response to altitude training. J Appl Physiol 85:1448-1456, 1998. PMID: 9760340.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9760340/
  • Living-high training low: effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance.

    Levine BD, Stray-Gundersen J.  Living-high training low:  effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance.  J Appl Physiol 83(1):102-112, 1997. PMID: 9216951. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9216951/

  • Left ventricular pressure-volume and Frank-Starling relations in endurance athletes: implications for orthostatic tolerance and exercise performance.
    Levine BD, Lane LD, Buckey JC, Friedman DB, Blomqvist CG. Left ventricular pressure-volume and Frank-Starling relations in endurance athletes: implications for orthostatic tolerance and exercise performance. Circulation. 84(3):1016-23, 1991. PMID: 1884438.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1884438/
  • Dexamethasone in the treatment of acute mountain sickness.

    Levine BD, Yoshimura K, Kobayashi T, Fukushima M, Shibamoto T, Ueda G. Dexamethasone in the treatment of acute mountain sickness. N Engl J Med. 321:1707-1713, 1989.  PMID: 2687688.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2687688/

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