Modelling sensory neuron-epithelial interactions
In the respiratory system, sensory neurons are positioned in close proximity to epithelial cells, creating an epithelial-sensory neuron functional unit. Infection, injury or damage to the epithelium, common in many pulmonary diseases, results in the release of chemical mediators that may dramatically alter sensory neuron function. Describing these processes in more detail may deliver better therapeutic targets for treating disordered sensory neuron function in disease.
In this project we are developing novel human based in vitro models of the epithelial-sensory neuron functional unit using human stem cell derived sensory neurons co-cultured at air liquid interface with human epithelial cells. These preparations will allow us to study the chemical and physical interactions between sensory neurons and epithelial cells, and to model the effects of viral, allergen or chemical exposure of the epithelium on sensory neurons.
Dr Alice McGovern, NHMRC Research Fellow
Nicole Kerr, Laboratory Manager
Jennifer Keller, PhD student
Alexandria Driessen, PhD student
Associate Professor Mirella Dottori
Dr Graham Mckay
Dr James Hudson, The University of Queensland
Professor Fan Chung, Imperial College London
Dr Lorcan McGarvey, Queens College Belfast
NHMRC (2015-18): Dissecting the central organisation of cough neural networks.
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.
- 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.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.