The Laboratory of Hyperbaric Physiology of the Medical Clinic of the University of Zurich came into existence in 1960 thanks to private initiative and a readiness to undertake risks; the success- ful start was made possible with help from the French Navy and the United States Navy. A prerequisite for the development of the laboratory was also the benevolence of the authorities of the University of Zurich toward a research project from which scarcely any practical use could be expected for the land-locked country of Switzerland. The development of the laboratory and the systematic research were supported generously from 1964 by Shell Intemationale Petroleum Maatschappij of The Hague. The basic theme of the research was always the well-being and functional ability of the human being in an atmosphere of abnor- mal pressure and or abnormal composition. Many connections became obvious with respiratory physiolo- gy, circulatory physiology, and physiology at great heigts, and close contact with other special laboratories of the Medical Clin- ic proved very valuable. With a relatively small number of steady collaborators it was possible to master an extensive experimental program. Special thanks are due to Mr. Benno Schenk, who as technical head was responsible for the exact performance of all the hyperbaric experiments.