David Fuller

Dr. Fuller’s research program is aimed at understanding how neuroplasticity in the brain and spinal cord influences the control of breathing. The overall hypothesis driving the work in Dr. Fuller’s laboratory is that appropriate induction of neuroplasticity has the potential to improve respiratory muscle control in cases of injury or disease, thereby reducing dependence on mechanical ventilators and improving the quality of life for certain patients. Dr. Fuller’s laboratory uses behavioral, neurophysiological, immunohistochemical, biochemical, and molecular methods to explore the relationship between neural plasticity and breathing. Current projects focus on 1) mechanisms of spinal plasticity induced by rehabilitative training following cervical spinal cord injury; 2) mechanisms underlying spontaneous respiratory motor recovery following cervical spinal cord injury, and 3) using gene delivery to respiratory motoneurons as a tool for improving breathing in certain disease states.

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