Gregory Funk

Summary:

My laboratory is interested in the neurochemical control of breathing during perinatal development. We are trying to understand how networks of neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord produce a breathing rhythm that is reliable, able to continue virtually uninterrupted throughout life, but also highly adaptable so that it can meet metabolic demands that change over orders of magnitude. These properties reflect in large part that the activity of brainstem networks that generate this behaviour are modulated by a vast number of neurochemical systems. Despite its robust nature, at times near birth (and sleep) the respiratory network is vulnerable to instabilities that can be life-threatening. The goal of our research is to provide fundamental insight into basic mechanisms by which these chemical systems stabilize or destabilize breathing, with a focus on applying this information in the treatment breathing disorders that involve the brain (apnea of prematurity; sleep apnea; RETT syndrome).

Stories this researcher is featured in:

September 9, 2021

The passionate mentor

Greg Funk discusses his greatest contribution to science—his trainees

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December 2, 2020

Research reveals how baby’s first breath triggers life-saving changes in the brain

Discovery may help explain cases of sudden infant death syndrome.

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