My research interests include neural and vascular mechanisms in circulatory control in health
Our laboratory focuses on the role of the autonomic nervous system in cardiovascular regulation in humans, with an emphasis on normal and disordered sleep. We are also involved in studies of vascular biology in humans, examining how changes in neural mechanisms may influence the local control of blood vessels. Our current support consists of 4 NIH RO1 grants, a Dana Foundation Award, and a NATO grant.
Specific current research activities include the following:
- Neural, vascular, and genetic mechanisms linking sleep disorders to cardiovascular disease. These studies explore the interactions between sleep apnea and cardiovascular function, with special attention to mechanisms by which sleep apnea may worsen heart failure. We are also addressing the potential mechanisms by which changes in neural and vascular function may contribute to the circadian pattern of cardiovascular events.
- Autonomic, vascular and neuroendocrine mechanisms linking obesity to cardiovascular disease.
- Mechanisms mediating sudden death risk in LQTS patients.
- Cardiovascular disease mechanisms activated by tobacco use.
- Vasovagal syncope.
Our research program utilizes an integrated physiologic approach to studying cardiovascular function, seeking to examine questions with relevance to cardiovascular disease. An emphasis is placed on applying new developments in basic biology to studies in humans. Fundamental to the successful evolution of our program are extensive collaborative interactions within and outside the institution. Current collaborations include studies with investigators at the University of Iowa and the University of Cincinatti and joint projects with academic medical centers in Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium.