Brain networks processing respiratory sensations
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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.
Dr Alice McGovern, NHMRC Research Fellow
Nicole Kerr, Laboratory Manager
Jennifer Keller, PhD student
Alexandria Driessen, PhD student
Associate Professor Michael Farrell
Professor Bradley Undem, Johns Hopkins University
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.
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