Dr. Justin Lawley is originally from Wales and received his initial training in exercise science at the School of Sport Health and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, North Wales, UK. Drawn by the reputation for complex integrative physiology, Dr. Lawley joined Dr. Benjamin Levine’s team whereby they performed the first experiments documenting the impact of simulated and real microgravity on intracranial pressure. Moreover, they have invasively measured intracranial pressure during prolonged periods of hypobaric hypoxia and are currently undertaking a series of studies to reveal the genetic and physiological effects of xenon supplementation in a bid to explain the speculative gains in red cell mass and exercise performance by Russian athletes.  Dr. Lawley interests lie in understanding the fundamental human physiology of adaptation to stress (exercise, hypoxia, cold, heat and zero gravity) and utilizing this knowledge to improve human health and performance.

Justin is an avid thrill seeker and enjoys outdoor activities such as: rock and ice climbing, skiing, mountain biking and fell running.


Other (2009), Kinesiology
Graduate School
Other (2013), Physiology

Research Interest

  • Adaptation to, and Medical Consequences of, Exposure to Extreme Environments
  • Cerebrovascular Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Unexpected reductions in regional cerebral perfusion during prolonged hypoxia.
Lawley JS, Macdonald JH, Oliver SJ, Mullins PG J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2016 Aug
Cerebral spinal fluid dynamics: effect of hypoxia and implications for high-altitude illness.
Lawley JS, Levine BD, Williams MA, Malm J, Eklund A, Polaner DM, Subudhi AW, Hackett PH, Roach RC J. Appl. Physiol. 2016 Jan 120 2 251-62
Restoration of Pulsatile Flow Reduces Sympathetic Nerve Activity Among Individuals With Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices.
Cornwell WK, Tarumi T, Stickford A, Lawley J, Roberts M, Parker R, Fitzsimmons C, Kibe J, Ayers C, Markham D, Drazner MH, Fu Q, Levine BD Circulation 2015 Dec 132 24 2316-22
Normobaric hypoxia and symptoms of acute mountain sickness: Elevated brain volume and intracranial hypertension.
Lawley JS, Alperin N, Bagci AM, Lee SH, Mullins PG, Oliver SJ, Macdonald JH Ann. Neurol. 2014 Jun 75 6 890-8
Investigation of whole-brain white matter identifies altered water mobility in the pathogenesis of high-altitude headache.
Lawley JS, Oliver SJ, Mullins PG, Macdonald JH J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 2013 Aug 33 8 1286-94

Honors & Awards

  • First Award Fellowship
    Fellow of the National Space Biomedical Space Research Institute, NASA (2013-2016)
  • Young Investigator Award
    Wilderness Medical Society (2013-2016)