Brain networks processing respiratory sensations

Project Details

In the respiratory system, sensory neurons are critical for the ongoing physiological control of breathing as well as protecting against potentially damaging stimuli that could adversely affect ventilation. They do so by providing inputs to complex brain networks responsible for generating respiratory sensations and resultant behaviours. Changes in the excitability of these brain networks may be important for the development of coughing, dyspnoea and hyperreactivity characteristic of many lung diseases.

In this project we are mapping the neural connections of airway sensory circuits in the central nervous system and employing physiological models using optogenetics and chemogenetics to better define how respiratory sensations are encoded in the brain.

Researchers

Dr Alice McGovern, NHMRC Research Fellow

Nicole Kerr, Laboratory Manager

Jennifer Keller, PhD student

Alexandria Driessen, PhD student

Collaborators

Associate Professor Michael Farrell

Professor Bradley Undem, Johns Hopkins University

Funding

NHMRC (2015-18): Dissecting the central organisation of cough neural networks.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD, Masters, Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

  • Mazzone SB, Undem BJ. Vagal Afferent Innervation of the Airways in Health and Disease. Physiol Rev 2016 Jul; 96(3): 975 1024.
  • Ando A, Smallwood D, McMahon M, Irving L, Mazzone SB, Farrell MJ. Neural correlates of cough hypersensitivity in humans: evidence for central sensitisation and dysfunctional inhibitory control. Thorax 2016 Apr; 71(4):323-9.
  • McGovern AE, Driessen AK, Simmons DG, Powell J, Davis-Poynter N, Farrell MJ, Mazzone SB. Distinct brainstem and forebrain circuits receiving tracheal sensory neuron inputs revealed using a novel conditional anterograde transsynaptic viral tracing system. J Neurosci 2015 May 6; 35(18): 7041-55.

See ORCiD for a listing of Stuart's publications.

Research Group

Mazzone laboratory: Respiratory Sensory Neuroscience



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Cardio-Respiratory, Biomedical Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience

Unit / Centre

Mazzone laboratory: Respiratory Sensory Neuroscience