Our lab is interested in the neurobiology of visceral sensory integration. Our work deals with a portion of the brain that regulates vital organ function called the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Peripheral afferents from the vital organs (e.g. heart, lungs, gut) directly contact NTS neurons. Areas of particular focus include the gating of glutamate release by activation of TRPV1, contrasting control of evoked and spontaneous transmission and the impact of vagal nerve stimulation. High fat diet alters NTS sensory transmission.
Arterial baroreceptors (BR) encode stretch of arteries with each cardiac cycle. This dynamic information is transmitted to second order neurons in the NTS. We study these NTS neurons and synaptic transmission in brain slices using dyes to visualize the central terminal boutons of BRs within NTS.Read more
Areas of interest
- synaptic transmission
- B.S., University of California, Irvine 1971
- M.S., San Diego State University 1973
- Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch 1978