Research Study Opportunities

Dr. Cherry in the Hyperbaric Center conducting a research study

Healthy, Physically Fit Non-Smoking Males Aged 18-40 may be Eligible to Participate in an Altitude Research Study

Hiker ascending mountain

Doctors at Duke are studying the effects of altitude on genes.

You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 40 years, non-smoker
  • Are physically fit
  • Match the characteristics of mountaineers who we are also studying

The research study requires:

  • A screening visit that includes blood samples and an exercise test
  • 6 days in total, 3 in an altitude chamber
  • Blood samples
  • Muscle biopsies

You will be compensated for participation in the study.

Call Mike Natoli at 919-668-0017 for more information or e-mail:

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Keto graphic showing different ketogenic foods

A study is being conducted in the hyperbaric chambers of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center. The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of the ketogenic diet on oxygen toxicity in divers.

Participants may be male or female, between 18 and 50 years of age, in good health and physically active. Previous diving experience or experience with hyper/hypobaric exposure is not necessary. Each participant must complete a medical questionnaire prior to the study. Subjects will be compensated.

Introductions to the Hyperbaric Center are available at |

Please contact Michael Natoli at the Duke Hyperbaric Center Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at or 919-668-0017.

Normal Volunteers Wanted

Doctors at the Hyperbaric Center's console

For an Altitude Diving Research Study at Duke University Medical Center’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology

Physically fit healthy non-smoking volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40 years are needed for a research study at Duke University Medical Center’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology. The study will involve altitude exposure and diving. Prior to the study, subjects must come to the laboratory (4-5 hours) for a screening visit which includes a physical exam, an exercise test, orientation, and scheduling for the study day. The studies, lasting from 26-62 hours, take place on successive days separate from the screening.   Subjects will be compensated. For more information, please contact or 919-668-0017.

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Healthy Volunteers Needed To Participate in a Diving Study

Divers swiming in the ocean

This study will evaluate a monitoring system to detect and prevent low oxygen events in divers using rebreathers.

Volunteers must be:

  • 18 to 40 years of age
  • Non-smokers with no heart or lung disease
  • Not pregnant

Study Requirements:

  • A total of two outpatient visits
  • Ability to cycle continuously for 30 minutes
  • One visit will take place inside a hyperbaric chamber

For more information, please contact Mike Natoli ( or Rachel Lance ( or via phone at 919-684-6726.

During a swim or dive have you experienced symptoms of swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE)?

Collage of water activities, swimming, diving, rafting

Have you become short of breath, coughed up pink sputum or been taken to a hospital for treatment of pulmonary edema experienced during or after a swim or dive? Doctors at the Duke University Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology are performing a research study to determine whether this can be prevented using the drug sildenafil. Triathletes, divers and swimmers who have experienced SIPE are needed to participate in this exercise study in water.

Based on preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence, sildenafil (Viagra®) taken may help prevent SIPE. This Navy funded study is designed to test the effectiveness of sildenafil.

Prior to the study, subjects will be interviewed by phone. Those who are selected will come to Duke for a physical exam, tests and orientation. There will be 2 experimental days, each requiring 2-3 hours, 7 or more days apart (it will be possible to return home between tests). On each day subjects will perform a 40-minute cycle exercise while immersed to the neck in cold water.

Subjects will be paid for completion of the study and travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Subjects must be 18-45 years of age, physically fit (be able to exercise constantly for 40 minutes), and have no physical impairment that would prevent them from participation.

For more information, please e-mail, call Mike Natoli at 919-684-6726 or visit the Sipe Prescreening Questionnaire website.

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