IEEM | Director's Letter
A Letter from Our Director, Benjamin D. Levine

Dr. Levine is a researcher and a practicing cardiologist. In addition, Dr. Levine is a Professor in the Internal Medicine Department, and Distinguished Professor of Exercise Science at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Nearly three decades ago, James Knochel, M.D., (then Chief of Medicine at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas), Doug Hawthorne (CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare System) and I met to discuss a bold plan to establish a new paradigm of clinical research by partnering the premier private, non-profit hospital in Dallas with the city’s renowned public medical school (UT Southwestern).

At the time, medicine and science were quite different than they are today. The Internet was just being established as a tool for information dissemination, and e-mail was a novelty. Stenting of coronary arteries was investigational; children rarely developed diabetes; the human genome was a mystery. The Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM), founded in 1992, was created to nurture, expand, and disseminate the philosophy of integrative physiology. The timing could not have been more auspicious. Established at the emergence of two major trends of modern science and medicine: the “omics” revolution of molecular biology, and the ascendance of large-scale clinical trials, physiology remains the essential scientific link necessary to perform true bench-to-bedside research. Indeed, the recent marked growth of “big data” and the electronic medical record has added urgency to the concept that the critical thinking skills of physiology remain vital for young physicians to link algorithms and guidelines to the care of individual patients.

The IEEM was created to fill the void left by both trends in order to focus on individual patients. Our approach is to "put things together" using the tools of a branch of science called integrative physiology, which reflects an emphasis on how the complex, individual parts of the human body are interwoven together to create a functional whole. Physiology is the true “personalized” medicine! Ultimately, our mission is to explore and define the limits to human functional capacity in health and disease, with the objective of improving the quality of life for human beings of all ages. The IEEM pursues this bold mission by creating an integrated series of world class laboratories, each with a specific research and clinical focus that provides expertise on a particular aspect of human physiology and medicine. Our extraordinary faculty, students, and staff and the labs in which they work are highlighted throughout this website.

Our mission is compelling. Medicine is at a crossroads, where helping to improve or maintain the quality of life—the ability to function optimally despite aging or disease—is as important as prolonging life. Science too is at a crossroads, where the advances at the basic and population level must be applied to human systems to allow the full promise of these exciting technologies to flourish. The Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine is the bridge between both roads and provides a unique environment for the study of “physiomics”, fostering the missions of both Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern, and training the next generation of clinical scientists.

Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., Director, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine
S. Finley Ewing Jr. Chair for Wellness at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas
Harry S. Moss Heart Chair for Cardiovascular Research
Professor of Medicine and Cardiology
Distinguished Professorship in Exercise Science
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas


Dr. Levine presents the IEEM mission focus at the reVive 2014 MAKE:FORWARD event on May 23rd, 2014.