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Principal Investigator: James G. McCormick, PhD

James G. McCormick, PhD, Fellow of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society
Director of Aerospace, Hyperbaric, & Undersea Medicine Research
Department of Anesthesiology
Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Dr. McCormick with beluga whale at the US Navy Marine Mammal Biomedical CenterDr. McCormick entered the field of diving medicine through the study of diving marine mammals at Princeton University, the US Navy, and Wake Forest University. He is a leading world authority on hearing in the dolphin and this work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Navy.  Dr. McCormick made a major contribution to understanding the pathophysiology of decompression sickness induced inner ear deafness in navy divers. He found this disorder was due to a blood coagulopathy induced by blood-bubble interactions similar in pathophysiology to that of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes.  This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. (click image to left to view full size image)

Princeton University, National Institutes of Health Post Doctoral Fellowship in Sensory Physiology
Princeton University, PhD, Neuroscience/Psychology
Princeton University, National Institutes of Health, General Medical Sciences, Pre Doctoral Fellowship
Princeton University, MA, Neuroscience/Psychology
Bucknell University,  BS, Biology​

U.S. Navy, Biomedical Consultant, U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Biomedical Program, San Diego, California

US Navy Marine Mammal Biomedical Center, San DeigoDr. Ridgway and Dr. McCormick with dolphin at the US Navy Marine Mammal Biomedical Center (left) U.S. Navy Diving Marine Mammal Medical Center, San Diego, California. (right) Dr. Sam Ridgway and Dr. Jim McCormick at U.S. Navy Dolphin Facility, San Diego California. (click images to view full size images)

As one of the important foundations for good medical care of dolphins, Dr. Ridgway and Dr. McCormick pioneered the first humane anesthesia procedure for major surgery in the dolphin. Dr. Ridgway is the Founder of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Biomedicine Program.  Supported by the Office of Naval Research, Dr. McCormick and Dr. Ridgway are presently collaborating on the design of a special new respirator for use in medical care procedures for dolphins and sea lions. 

Dr. James G. McCormick, Program Chairman, Research Group on Space & Underwater Neurology of the World Federation of Neurology

 Dr. James Toole, Senator John Glenn and Dr. James McCormick at World Federation of Neurology Congress.Dr. Jim McCormick seen here in 1998 at an early Hyperbaric Oxygen Stroke Treatment Planning Meeting with Dr. James Toole and keynote speaker, Astronaut/U.S. Senator John Glenn.  At this time Dr. Toole was Director of the Stroke Research Center and Professor of Neurology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and President of the World Federation of Neurology. John Glenn was the fist American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962. Shortly after appearing with Dr. McCormick and Dr. Toole in 1998, he returned to space on a Space Shuttle research mission.

Meeting: World Federation of Neurology Congress on Cerebral Ischemia, Vascular Dementia, Epilepsy and CNS Injury - New Aspects of Prevention and Treatment from Space and Underwater Explorations. Silver Plate reads: "Senator John Glenn - God Speed on your STS-95 Space Shuttle Flight - World Federation of Neurology."


Past President of the North Carolina Neuroscience Society.

Advisory Work for Nobel Prize Nominating Committee (Medicine & Physiology).

Invited Guest Faculty for Tenth Annual Advanced Symposium on Hyperbaric Medicine, The University of South Carolina School of Medicine, April 15-17, 2004. Speaking on use of Hyperbaric Oxygen for treatment of Acute Stroke. 

Program Project Site Visitor for NIH, National Heart Lung & Blood Institute, for review of the Hyperbaric Medical Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. 

Member of Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society Panel to develop a National Plan for the Safety and Health of Divers in their quest for Sub sea Energy for: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration; and the National Institutes of Health, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Specialty Certification and Courses Related to Study

2006 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) & Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society Physicians Diving Medicine Certification Program.

Primary (2003) and Advanced (2004) Training Certificates in Hyperbaric Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

2005 & 2009 Clinical Trials Training, General Clinical Research Center, Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Professional Society Memberships

Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society - Fellow
Aerospace Medical Society
Aerospace Human Factors Association – Charter Member

Professional Positions 

2002-Present:  Director of Research in Aerospace, Hyperbaric & Undersea Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

1981-Present:  Founder & President, Dolphin Flight International, Critical Shipment, Air Ambulance, & Executive Air Charter for Westinghouse, Siemens, Duke Energy, Wake Forest and others.

1996-1999:  Chairman, Program Development in Aerospace and Undersea Medicine, World Federation of Neurology, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

1988-2010:  Aerospace & Undersea Medicine Consultant, Stroke Research Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

1984-1985:  Visiting Professor with Rank of Full Professor, Department of Psychology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

1968-1982:  Director of Research & PI of National Institutes of Health ENT Resident Physician Research Training Program, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

1966-Present:  Biomedical Consultant, Navy Marine Mammal Program, US Naval Space & Warfare Center, San Diego, California.

1973 - 1979 Wake Forest Medical School Neuroscience Program Chairman, Collaborating on Neuroscience Faculty Development with Medical School Dean Dr. Richard Janeway, Chair of Neurology Dr. James Toole, Chair of Neurosurgery Dr. Eben Alexander, and Chair of Radiology Dr. Douglas Maynard.

1970-1978:  Adjunct Assistant Professor of Marine Physiology, Institute of Marine and Environmental Physiology, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina.  

1969-1970:  Research Scientist, New Jersey Neuro-Psychiatric Institute, Princeton, New Jersey.

1969:  National Institutes of Health Post-Doctoral Fellow in Sensory Physiology, Auditory Research Laboratories, Department of Psychology Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.  

1966-1968:  National Institutes of Health Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Auditory Research Laboratories, Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

1965:  Biologist, National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, Primate Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1964:  Research Assistant, Dolphin Communication Research Institute, Div. Neurological Sciences, Miami, Florida. Dr. John C. Lilly, Institute Director.

1963:  Research Assistant, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Div. of Neuropsychiatry, Dept. of Experimental Psychology, Washington, DC. 


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Supporting Articles by Dr. McCormick and Other Scientists

Here is an sampling list of medical articles that explain and support the idea of using a hyberbaric oxygen chamber for emergency stroke treatment.

Last Updated: 10-10-2016
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