Browse/search for groups

Neural control of cardiovascular & respiratory function

The following people are in this group:

More about this group

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the world's biggest killer with 1 in 4 people affected accounting for 13% of all deaths globally. It leads to stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease and presents one of the biggest unmet clinical needs worldwide.

Our hypothesis is that hypertension is a failure of the nervous system causing an imbalance in sympathetic versus parasympathetic activity levels. We take a multi-disciplinary approach including an analysis of the genetic basis of the autonomic nervous system to translational proof of concept human clinical trials.

We are exploring whether poor blood perfusion of the brainstem and dysfunctional astrocytic signalling and changes in neuro-vascular and vascular-neuronal coupling, can contribute to hypertension and sympathetic activity generation. Other projects are looking at brainstem inflammation, changes in respiration, and its coupling to the autonomic nervous system, as well as re-setting of homeostatic reflex sensitivity as contributors to hypertension in both animal models and humans. Our research approaches are multi-disciplinary and include using viral mediated transgenesis, optogenetics combined with novel confocal and micro-endoscopy imaging, radio-telemetry, microneurography and functional MRI.

From molecule to man, our aim is to develop much needed therapeutic ways to control arterial pressure in patients with hypertension. Our efforts are harnessing novel pharmacological, interventional and device based approaches.

This area contributes to the wider Cardiovascular Science research theme within the School of Physiology and Pharmacology.