A salient feature of almost all cardiovascular diseases (and associated risk factors) is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The consequences of this action are profound and impact blood pressure control, insulin sensitivity, arrhythmogenesis, and risk of sudden cardiac death. The primary aim of my research is to better understand the mechanisms that control, and functional consequences of, sympathetic outflow at rest and during stress in humans with and without cardiovascular disease. To uncover these mechanisms, my laboratory employs direct intra-neural recordings of postganglionic sympathetic traffic, studying both multi- and single-fibre preparations. Additionally, we are also interested in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the large inter-individual variability in blood pressure responses to stress, as well as testing novel interventions to reduce resting blood pressure, a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Current research interests:
- Role of the sympathetic nervous system in those with an exaggerated blood pressure response to maximal exercise;
- Effects of cannabinoids on neural control of blood pressure;
- Influence of diet on sympathetic vasoconstriction at rest and during exercise;
- Benefits of exercise in Parkinson’s disease