Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., FACC, FACSM, FAPS, FAHA, is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of the Division of Cardiology. He holds the Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Sciences. He is the founding Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where he also holds the S. Finley Ewing Jr. Chair for Wellness and the Harry S. Moss Heart Chair for Cardiovascular Research.

Originally from New York, Dr. Levine holds a bachelor's degree in human biology from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. He then received advanced training through a cardiology fellowship at UT Southwestern, where he trained under the renowned cardiovascular physiologists Gunnar Blomqvist, 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 the 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, and 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 four Spacelab missions (SLS-1, SLS-2, D-2 and Neurolab), the MIR space station, and recently as the principal investigator on a large cardiovascular experiment aboard 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 record of funding by the NIH, NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), for which he became Team Leader of the Cardiovascular Section in 2007. An advisor to NASA’s flight surgeons on cardiovascular medical issues, he has translated his work with astronauts 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 has published more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, reviews, book chapters, and technical papers, and is currently serving on the editorial boards of numerous journals. He also is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society, and has served as vice president and a member of the Board of Trustees of ACSM, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Autonomic Society.


Medical School
Harvard Medical School (1982)
Stanford University (1983), Internal Medicine
Stanford University (1985), Internal Medicine
Shinshu University School of Medicine (1986), Environmental Physiology
UT Southwestern Medical Center (1989), Cardiology

Research Interest

  • Aging and Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)
  • Bedrest and Spaceflight
  • Cardiovascular Response to Exercise Training
  • Cerebral Flow and Syncope (Fainting)
  • High Altitude Research


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

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 J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2014 Sep 64 12 1257-66
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 D, Levine BD Am. Heart J. 2012 Dec 164 6 869-77
Effect of rowing ergometry and oral volume loading on cardiovascular structure and function during bed rest.
Hastings JL, Krainski F, Snell PG, Pacini EL, Jain M, Bhella PS, Shibata S, Fu Q, Palmer MD, Levine BD J. Appl. Physiol. 2012 May 112 10 1735-43
Cardiac output and sympathetic vasoconstrictor responses during upright tilt to presyncope in healthy humans.
Fu Q, Verheyden B, Wieling W, Levine BD J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2012 Apr 590 Pt 8 1839-48
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, Arbab-Zadeh A, Bhella PS, Shibata S, Palmer D, Levine BD Circulation 2010 Nov 122 18 1797-805
Cardiac origins of the postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.
Fu Q, Vangundy TB, Galbreath MM, Shibata S, Jain M, Hastings JL, Bhella PS, Levine BD J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2010 Jun 55 25 2858-68
Effect of aging and physical activity on left ventricular compliance.
Arbab-Zadeh A, Dijk E, Prasad A, Fu Q, Torres P, Zhang R, Thomas JD, Palmer D, Levine BD Circulation 2004 Sep 110 13 1799-805
Transfer function analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation in humans.
Zhang R, Zuckerman JH, Giller CA, Levine BD Am. J. Physiol. 1998 Jan 274 1 Pt 2 H233-41
"Living high-training low": effect of moderate-altitude acclimatization with low-altitude training on performance.
Levine BD, Stray-Gundersen J J. Appl. Physiol. 1997 Jul 83 1 102-12
Dexamethasone in the treatment of acute mountain sickness.
Levine BD, Yoshimura K, Kobayashi T, Fukushima M, Shibamoto T, Ueda G N. Engl. J. Med. 1989 Dec 321 25 1707-13


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Best Doctors in America
    Voted by Peers in Best Doctors, Inc. (2014)
  • Invited Speaker
    D.B. Dill Historical Lecture, ACSM Conference (2014)
  • Most Compelling Results
    NASA (2013)
  • Best Doctors in America
    Voted by Peers in Best Doctors, Inc. (2012)
  • President's Lecture
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2012)
  • Best Doctors in America
    Voted by Peers in Best Doctors, Inc. (2011)
  • Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Sciences
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2009)
  • Citation Award
    American College of Sports Medicine (2007)
  • Best Doctors in America
    Voted by Peers in Best Doctors, Inc. (2006)
  • Michael J. Joyner Teaching Award
    Royal Danish Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (2006)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Heart Association
  • American Physiological Society, Cardiovascular Section
  • Association of American Physicians
  • Association of University Cardiologists