Physics, Biophysics and Decompression Sickness

Jens-Christian Meiners, Ph.D., a professor of physics and biophysics at the University of Michigan, focuses his laboratory’s research on mechanics of biological systems, primarily the dynamical properties of DNA and DNA–protein complexes. Meiners and his team are currently working on tissue mechanics and tissue damage through gas bubbles in the spinal cord, or spinal cord decompression sickness (DCS), which won him the 2019 DAN/R.W. “Bill” Hamilton Memorial Dive Medicine Research Grant.

man diving in cave using a reel

Looking Into the Lungs

During medical school Peter Lindholm joined a laboratory researching aviation, space and underwater physiology, where he developed a passion for breath-hold dive physiology, about which he wrote his doctoral thesis. As one of the physicians for the Swedish Sports Diving Federation (SSDF), he was involved in developing breath-hold dive protocols and training the first instructors of competitive breath-hold diving. After clinical training as a radiologist, Lindholm moved to San Diego, California, where he leads a research group focused on dive physiology and dive medicine.

Lindholm conducts a breath-hold experiment with standardized lung volumes and invasive measurements of cardiac output and arterial blood gases.

Better Enabling Human Survival

In her work, Rachel Lance, Ph.D., focuses on extreme environments, particularly the effects of explosions. “The human body is fascinating, especially when it fails,” she says. “We are not naturally equipped to survive in a deep underwater environment, so I am fascinated with the idea of finding ways to do so anyway. Perhaps it’s my naturally rebellious side.”

female researcher tests a long ship model in a swimming pool

What Does It Mean?

A PROFESSOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE and researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Stephen Thom holds medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Rochester. He previously led various clinical programs, including hyperbaric and emergency medicine, and a research lab at the University of Pennsylvania. What is your academic background? My medical specialty […]

Peter Buzzacott’s Research Journey

WHEN DID YOU START DIVING? I got certified in 1992 on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. For the next five years I dived in Turkey, Thailand, and on the shipwrecks of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, Scotland — all over …