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Robert Fitzgerald Laboratory
The Robert Fitzgerald Laboratory studies cardiopulmonary physiology, especially cardiopulmonary control. We have focused in particular on the operation of the carotid body and the role of acetylcholine in its functioning. We have also examined the reflex effects of carotid body stimulation in various organs as well as the reflex response of ACTH and adrenal cortical hormones to hypoxic peripheral arterial chemoreceptor stimulation. We are currently interested in the spleen, as it is the only organ other than the lung that demonstrates increased vascular resistance in response to local hypoxia.
Our research laboratory is staffed by a dedicated and experienced team of sleep scientists, fellows, technicians, engineers, and students. Currently, we are focused on the following areas:
-Novel treatments for sleep apnea using electrical and nerve stimulation and chemogenetic techniques
-Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sleep apnea and hypoxia
-Leptin and its impact on breathing and cardiovascular physiology
-Sleep disordered breathing at high altitude
-Dietary impacts on asthma
Vsevolod Polotsky Lab
The Vsevolod Polotsky Lab conducts research on pulmonary diseases, including hypoxia and sleep apnea, with a focus on their relation to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Our studies have explored topics such as the effects of age, leptin and obesity on the upper airway; the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea, insulin resistance and steatohepatitis in severely obese patients; and the impact of intermittent hypoxia on diet-induced obesity. We also have a long-standing interest in critical care pulmonary medicine and have conducted research on various aspects of murine lung injury.
Dr. Bhujwalla’s lab promotes preclinical and clinical multimodal imaging applications to understand and effectively treat cancer. The lab’s work is dedicated to the applications of molecular imaging to understand cancer and the tumor environment. Significant research contributions include 1) developing ‘theranostic agents’ for image-guided targeting of cancer, including effective delivery of siRNA in combination with a prodrug enzyme 2) understanding the role of inflammation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cancer using molecular and functional imaging 3) developing noninvasive imaging techniques to detect COX-2 expressing in tumors 4) understanding the role of hypoxia and choline pathways to reduce the stem-like breast cancer cell burden in tumors 5) using molecular and functional imaging to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment including the extracellular matrix, hypoxia, vascularization, and choline phospholipid metabolism in prostate and breast cancer invasion and metast...asis, with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer metastasis and 6) molecular and functional imaging characterization of cancer-induced cachexia to understand the cachexia-cascade and identify novel targets in the treatment of this condition. view more