Abbott, Stephen B.
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
- BS, Physiology, Psychology, University of Sydney
- PhD, Medicine, Macquarie University
Neurobiology of the autonomic nervous system and the homeostatic control of breathing
The lab studies the neural systems that control the cardiovascular and respiratory system. Cardio-respiratory function is precisely tuned to ensure the delivery of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide across a range of physiological states. In response to sensory feedback from the body, the brain modulates lung ventilation through breathing and tissue blood flow through autonomic modulation of the circulatory system to promote cardiorespiratory homeostasis. Breakdown of this system is the cause and symptom of cardiovascular and neurological disease, such as neurogenic hypertension and Parkinson’s disease. Our goal is to identify the neural networks required for the reflex-control of cardiovascular and respiratory function, and determine the role of these systems in the changes in breathing and autonomic function observed in natural contexts (arousal state changes, stress, exercise) and animal models of cardiovascular disease (neurogenic hypertension, acute intermittent hypoxia, diet induced obesity).