Work in the Gillis lab is focused on the vertebrate heart and the mechanisms that regulate it’s function and ability to remodel in response to a physiological stressor. Current projects include characterizing the capacity of the hagfish heart to work in anoxia (no oxygen), examining developmental plasticity in the alligator heart, and determining the influence of bitumen (crude oil) exposure on cardiac histology and function in salmonid fish.Learn More
Keyword: Cardiovascular Disease
Prof. Dawson studies the impact of inherited changes in heart muscle proteins to understand what is going wrong in patients with heart diseases so that we can develop specific strategies to treat the problem. His research takes the research from molecules to organisms, studying the biochemistry of proteins and the development and physiology of zebrafish with changes in their hearts reflecting those seen in people with diseases.
Prof. Dawson's education research focuses on learning outcome assessment in general and the development, implementation, and assessment of critical thinking through higher education science curricula in particular.
My human research program has three primary areas of interest.
First, we are using single-unit muscle sympathetic nerve recordings to understand the organization and regulation of the sympathetic nervous system in response to a stress. We have shown (PMID: 30388036) the capacity for differential control of postganlionic sympathetic single units directed towards skeletal muscle.
Second, we are determining the mechanisms responsible for inter-individual variability in blood pressure responses to exercise. We have made key contributions to determining the role of genetic variants and muscle strength in this area (PMID: 30206938; 29135658).
Third, we study the clinical utility of exercise rehabilitation and are currently conducting a exercise training study in patients with Parkinson's.