Mazzone laboratory: Respiratory Sensory Neuroscience
Professor Stuart Mazzone
+61 3 834 46457
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. Their disordered activity contributes to symptoms such as coughing, dyspnoea and hyperreactivity which are characteristic of many lung diseases. Although respiratory sensory neurons are known to be functionally heterogeneous, very little is known about the molecular characteristics that define distinct populations. Their connectivity within the central neural circuits that modulate sensation and behaviours are also poorly described.
The Mazzone laboratory is internationally recognised for their work in the field of cough and respiratory sensation. We have led the field in describing neural processes that regulate sensory-evoked reflexes and behaviours (summarised in; Mazzone and Undem, Physiological Reviews, 2016). We recently discovered that respiratory sensory neurons originating within two embryologically distinct cranial ganglia of the vagus nerves (known as the jugular and nodose vagal ganglia) display very different neural connections within the central nervous system. We are now pursuing the functional significance of this discovery using transcriptomic profiling to better describe the molecular characteristics of respiratory sensory neurons, viral tract tracing and modern molecular physiology to understand the organisation of function circuits in the brain and human functional brain imaging to assess plasticity in the central nervous system in patients with disease. We have a keen interest in how these pathways change during influenza viral infections and other causes of lung morbidity and more recently we have become interested in how vagal sensory neurons actively regulate viral-induced lung inflammation.
In the media
Prof Stuart Mazzone talks coughing with ABC Radio
Eavesdrop on Experts: The Science of Coughing
The good cough and the bad cough: Treating coughs in a more targeted way
Team leaders: Dr Alice McGovern and Dr Aung Aung Kywe Moe
Dr Alice McGovern, NHMRC Research Fellow
Research interests: Neuroinflammatory cross talk in viral infections, Mapping CNS pathways mediating respiratory sensations, Sensory neuron transcriptional profiling.
Dr Aung Aung Kywe Moe, Postdoctoral Researcher
Research interests: Advanced genetic models and molecular physiology, functional brain imaging in humans, Developmental and disease plasticity in sensory pathways.
- Matthew Trewella, Laboratory Manager
- Jennifer Keller, PhD student
- Alexa Prawdiuk, PhD student
- Robert Behrens, MPhil student
Associate Professor Jason Ivanusic
Professor Janet Keast
Professor Andrew Allen
Professor Gary Anderson
Dr Kirsty Short, University of Queensland
Dr Andrea Harrington, Flinders University
Associate Professor Mathias Dutschmann, Florey Institutes
Associate Professor Matthew Ritchie, WEHI
Associate Professor Michael Farrell Monash University
Professor Bradley Undem, Johns Hopkins University
Professor Fan Chung, Imperial College London
Professor Lorcan McGarvey Queens College Belfast
See ORCiD for a listing of Professor Mazzone's publications.
- Transcriptional profiling of sensory neurons
- Brain networks processing respiratory sensations
- Human brain networks processing respiratory sensations
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Head of Research Group Professor Stuart Mazzone
Department / Centre
Unit / Centre
MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.