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Robert S. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Robert S. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
  • Joint Appointment in Medicine

Research Interests

Environmental health sciences; Cardiopulmonary physiology; Cardiopulmonary control; Carotid body; Morphology and function; Chemotransduction; Reflex mechanisms; Acetylcholine; Catecholamines; Gene-based differences in ventilatory response; Hypoxia more


Dr. Robert S. Fitzgerald holds a joint appointment in medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Fitzgerald’s five-decade research career has focused on cardiopulmonary physiology, particularly cardiopulmonary control. The workings of the carotid body have been a specific area of interest for many years.

An elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Dr. Fitzgerald also is an elected member of the Alpha Chapter of the Delta Omega Public Health Society.

He earned his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Chicago and joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1967. more


  • Joint Appointment in Medicine
  • Joint Appointment in Physiology

Departments / Divisions

Research & Publications

Lab Website: Robert Fitzgerald Laboratory

Selected Publications

Fitzgerald RS. "Carotid body." The 5-Minute Anesthesia Consult. 2012;24-25.

Fitzgerald RS, Cherniack NS. "Historical perspectives on the control of breathing." Compr Physiol. 2012 Apr;2(2):915-32. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c100007.

Fitzgerald RS, Shirahata M, Chang I, Kostuk E, Kiihl S. "The impact of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on neurotransmitter release from the cat carotid body." Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2011 May 31;176(3):80-9. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Fitzgerald RS, Shirahata M, Chang I. "The impact of adenosine and an A2A adenosine receptor agonist on the ACh-induced increase in intracellular calcium of the glomus cells of the cat carotid body." Brain Res. 2009 Dec 8;1301:20-33. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.08.100. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Mechanisms of Cardiopulmonary Control (183.638.01)
  • The Cardiopulmonary System Under Stress (183.642.01)

Activities & Honors


  • Fellow, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, 1990
  • Member, Delta Omega Public Health Society (Alpha Chapter), Johns Hopkins University, 1981
  • U.S. Public Health Service Fellow, 1962 - 1963
  • Arno B. Luckhardt Fellow, University of Chicago, 1960 - 1961
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