USARIEM Says Farewell to Dr. Reed Hoyt after nearly 40 Years of Civilian Service

By Maddi LangweilNovember 14, 2023

USARIEM Says Farewell to Dr. Reed Hoyt after nearly 40 Years of Civilian Service
Col. Michael Cohen, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Commander, presents Dr. Reed w. Hoyt with the Department of the Army Certificate of Retirement and Certificate of Appreciation during Hoyt’s retirement ceremony, celebrating nearly forty years of service. (Photo Credit: Maddi Langweil, USARIEM Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

When Dr. Reed Hoyt first started working at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) in the summer of 1986, he was a bright-eyed 35-year-old, eager to learn the ropes of his new position and make his mark. During the next 37 years as a Department of the Army Civilian, Hoyt really did make his mark—on USARIEM and the Warfighter. He served as a research physiologist working on projects from studying energy metabolism during sustained exercise—to creating next generation wearables and multiple patents.

Now at the age of 72, Hoyt made the bittersweet decision to retire. While he may be leaving behind a long and accomplished career, he will be taking not only the fond memories but countless awards—and contributions to over 100 publications and over 12 patents.

“I have had a great opportunity to study normal humans doing extraordinary things,” Hoyt said. “It has been a great experience.”

After obtaining degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of New Mexico, Hoyt began work in 1981 as a post-doctoral fellow and subsequently as a Research Assistant Professor while at the University of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1986, fascinated by the world of science and seeking opportunities to study whole human physiology, Hoyt found his home at USARIEM.

Hoyt came to USARIEM with deep physiology training, with a background rooted in comparative physiology. He applied his talents to human studies of energy metabolism and adaptation to extreme environmental conditions using a new “doubly labeled water” technique to measure daily metabolic energy expenditure in free-living humans. Collaborating with luminaries T. Peter Stein, James P. DeLany and Dale Scholler, he published the first doubly labeled water studies of humans in extreme environments. This work spawned a series of energy metabolism research studies outside of the laboratory.

“I have been able to work on projects related to high altitude, overheating, hypothermia and semi-starvation,” he said. “I’ve been a part of groundbreaking work with amazing people. We have established great partnerships with biomedical engineers and world class institutes.”

As Hoyt looks back on his time as a research physiologist, and for over a decade as Chief of USARIEM’s Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, he remembers his earliest experience with altitude illness. He remembers waking up at 2:00 in the morning hyperventilating with a major headache from having slept at 14,000 feet on Pikes Peak, Colorado, without adequate acclimation.

“Dr. Hoyt is a visionary physiologist who truly elevated human performance research to new heights. His groundbreaking contributions improved the health and performance of the Warfighter and shaped future science that will enhance Soldier fitness,” Col. Michael Cohen, USARIEM Commander said. “His work will pave the way for a more ready and resilient force in the years to come.”

For a few projects, Hoyt worked with partners to develop next generation wearable technologies, which serve as a heat injury prevention system and are currently being used in multiple field studies and experiments.

Now, the third-generation Federal employee will be traveling and relaxing and even going sailing. Beyond that, Hoyt may have opportunities to teach and expand the minds of young individuals.

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to work with talented people and help fulfill USARIEM’s mission through my efforts,” Hoyt said. “It has been a long and enjoyable journey.”

USARIEM is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command under the Army Futures Command. USARIEM is internationally recognized as the DOD's premier laboratory for Warfighter health and performance research and focuses on environmental medicine, physiology, physical and cognitive performance, and nutrition research. Located at the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts, USARIEM's mission is to provide solutions to optimize Warfighter health and performance through biomedical research.