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Reeves (John T.) Papers
MSS 0695  
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: John T. Reeves Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0695
    Physical Description: 6.8 Linear feet (17 archives boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1949-2004
    Abstract: The papers of John T. Reeves, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine, pediatrics and surgery in the School of Medicine at Colorado University. The papers document his medical and scientific contribution to high altitude, neonatal, and molecular and cellular pulmonary circulation research from 1969-2004.


    John "Jack" T. Reeves was born on November 17, 1928 in Hazard, Kentucky. Reeves attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a B.S. in biology in 1950. He continued with his education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, receiving his M.D. in 1954. He spent some time as a resident at Cincinnati General Hospital before relocating to the University of Colorado Medical Center from 1957-1961. During his residency at the Center, he developed a working relationship with Robert Grover, a physician and high altitude physiologist at the cardiac catheterization laboratory. He spent eleven years at the University of Kentucky (1961-1972), including one year with Geoffrey Dawes, prominent respiratory physiologist at Oxford's Nuffield Institute for Medical Research. By 1970, he was named professor of medicine. During his years at Kentucky, he studied fetal lung circulation in animals, specifically newborn cattle. In 1972, Reeves moved to Denver at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where he remained for almost thirty-two years as professor of medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine with involvements in surgery/emergency medicine. He was granted emeritus status in 1994, upon retirement from both the pediatrics and medicine departments and received teaching awards for his second year medical school pathophysiology courses, 1982-1994.
    Considered by many of his colleagues to be an interdisciplinary scientist, Reeves' research not only involved high altitude studies, but neonatal medicine, anesthesiology, and biology. Some of his first high altitude studies, he conducted with Peter Hackett, answered questions about ventilatory acclimatization using mountaineers in Nepal. He later continued ventilation testing in Pike's Peak, Colorado, in a series of high altitude tests from 1982-1985. From 1999-2001, he was also involved in a study about altitude acclimatization in women, a subject that had not been explored fully in scientific analysis.
    From 1985-1987, Reeves participated in the Operation Everest II research project in a simulated altitude chamber in Natick, Massachusetts. He was responsible for performing cardiac catheterizations to better understand circulatory function at high altitude. The accumulated data would result in numerous published articles and awards including the American Thoracic Society Research Achievement Award in 1996.
    His research from over thirty-five years resulted in approximately 400 peer reviewed journal articles and several chapters in eleven published books. The topical distribution of his articles covers over fourteen disclipines, including pulmonary hypertension, altitude illness, cardiac output, metabolism, and circulatory control. One of his notable efforts is the history book Attitudes on Altitude: Pioneers of Medical Research in Colorado's High Mountains (2001), a narrative compilation of pioneers of high altitude medicine, edited with Robert Grover. He also wrote a non-scientific book titled Literary Gems: A Reading List of Great Short Books (1998).
    Reeves was a member of the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Laboratory at the Colorado University School of Medicine, where he played a signficant role in the establishment of the Colorado Center for Altitude Medicine and Physiology. He also served as the research director of the former Colorado Altitude Research Institute in 1992, an association developed for public awareness education of high altitude safety.
    John Reeves died on September 15, 2004, in Denver, Colorado.
    Hopkins, Susan and Peter D. Wagner. "New Directions in Exercise Physiology: John T. Reeves", Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, Volume 151, Issues 2-3, April 28, 2006.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of John T. Reeves, professor emeritus of pediatrics and surgery and high altitude physiologist, document his scientific and exploratory research in the areas of high-altitude adaptation and pulmonary circulation. The materials include correspondence, high altitude medicine research and studies, professional associations, conferences, and biographical materials. The bulk of the collection consists of published and unpublished writings including drafts, correspondence, and research information. The files also contain a portion of administrative files from the Colorado Altitude Research Institute (CARI) in 1992.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series, arranged chronologically, contains letters written to and from John Reeves to colleagues and friends. Correspondents include Thomas Hornbein, Robert Grover, and Robert Schoene. The dates range from 1949-2004.
    The WRITINGS BY JOHN REEVES series contains both published articles and book chapters written individually by Reeves and with collaborators. The series is arranged in two subseries: A) Books and B) Articles.
    A) The Books subseries consists of correspondence between author and publisher and between collaborators; typescript drafts; and research materials. The files include the publication materials for the history of altitude research book, Attitudes on Altitude: Pioneers of Medical Research in Colorado's High Mountains (2001) - edited by John Reeves and Robert Grover. The folders are arranged chronologically by publication date.
    B) The Articles, organized chronologically, represent published and unpublished reprints and articles authored by Reeves and others between 1967-2005. The files contain correspondence related to publication, typescripts, and copies of original articles.
    The materials in the RESEARCH PROJECTS AND GRANTS are multi-participants studies to individual scientific subject based analysis. The files document Reeves' involvement with medical expeditions to Pike's Peak, Operation Everest II, and Nepal. The series is arranged in three subseries: A) Pike's Peak Expedition, B)Operation Everest II, and C) Other Research.
    A) The research conducted for a Pike's Peak (Colorado) expedition in 1982 tested high altitude factors affecting ventilation and acclimatization. The materials include drafts of scientific papers composed from the results of the testing, grant proposals, and miscellaneous recorded data. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
    B) John Reeves participated as a principal investigator in Operation Everest II, a second study simulation of high altitude ascension involving test subjects in a controlled decompression environment from 1985-1986 at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts. The materials include heart rate, hemodynamics, and oxygen uptake data; slides; and miscellaneous data charts. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
    C) The Other Miscellaneous Research subseries includes data collected from altitude sickness research in Nepal, exercise tests on horses and cattle, and pulmonary hypertension. The material is arranged alphabetically.
    The Colorado Altitude Research Institute (CARI), founded 1988, was established to educate the public and state health, tourism, and ski officials on high altitude awareness and safety. Reeves succeeded Robert Schoene as director in 1992. The materials include administrative files during the tenure of Reeves, comprising correspondence, committee meeting minutes, newsletters, and organizational reports. The collection also includes surveys and studies observed by committee members with subsequent published material.
    The CONFERENCES series, arranged alphabetically by title of conference, documents Reeves' travel to conferences and seminars. The series contains correspondence, brochures, and notes.
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS represent two subseries of biographical materials and subject files. The materials include photographs, articles about Reeves, newsletters for NADIYA, and a program plan for the Colorado Center for Altitude Medicine and Physiology.
    The Audiorecordings includes audiocassette tapes with recorded interviews by John Reeves of high altitude medicine colleague Huang Shao-Yung.


    The sound recording located in Box 17, Folder 14 is restricted. Researchers must request a listening copy to be produced.

    Preferred Citation

    John T. Reeves Papers, MSS 695. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Altitude, Influence of
    Altitude sickness
    Mountain sickness -- Research -- Colorado -- History
    Schoene, Robert B., 1946- -- Correspondence
    Grover, Robert F., 1924- -- Correspondence
    Hornbein, Thomas F., 1930- -- Correspondence
    Reeves, John T. -- Archives