Our group focuses on the mechanisms that enable the body to deliver oxygen to the right places at the right time,
whilst maintaining a normal level of acidity in the blood and allowing for appropriate activities at all times.
How the brain coordinates delivery of oxygen to the tissues, excretion of waste carbon dioxide, and at the same time, maintains a nearly constant acid base balance in the face of environmental challenge is a question that remains of fundamental importance. Disorders of these physiological functions can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, asthma and many other diseases. Alongside cancer and mental illness, neuroscience, and the maintenance of blood pressure and breathing in particular, remains an unsolved mystery. Research in our laboratories aims to understand how nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other in order to maintain a normal circulatory system and respiratory system so that these challenges are met.
What impact will this research have?
Specifically, we are currently investigating how the brain responds to low oxygen levels, how neurotransmitters that have long durations of action play a role in controlling respiratory and cardiovascular function, and how the breathing network is controlled. To achieve our goals, we use a wide variety of techniques including molecular biology, cell culture, electrophysiology, pharmacology and many other approaches.