Breathing is a critical homeostatic process, supplying the oxygen for every cell. The rate and pattern of breathing is precisely controlled by physiological and emotional inputs, which is regulated by the breathing control circuitry in the brain. Disruption of the neural control of breathing is associated with various disorders, such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and sleep apnea. However, the molecular and cellular mechanism underlying breathing, and how it goes awry in diseases is largely unknown.By molecular and genetic dissection of the breathing control circuitry, our laboratory plans to embark on the function of neural populations that control breathing rhythms and behaviors (e.g., sighing), and the pathophysiology of diseases with breathing abnormality.

The ultimate goal of our laboratory is to provide a molecular understanding of the neural control of breathing and how it goes awry in breathing disorders, which will lead to novel interventions to treat breathing arrhythmias.