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Dr Robert Huckstepp

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Life Sciences
024 765 75097
Research Interests

My research interests mainly focus on respiratory and cardiovascular neurobiology. Cardiorespiratory control is essential for life from before birth all the way through, except for the briefest of pauses, to death. The neural networks that control cardiorespiratory activity form a dynamic microcircuit that must continually monitor and adapt to a set of ever-changing vital parameters (such as blood gas and pH levels) to maintain homeostasis. This cardiorespiratory microcircuit therefore has many components, and is subject to numerous internal, external and sensory control mechanisms.

My research primarily focuses on the role of neurones and glia in the control of breathing, and how different groups of neurones within the respiratory network interact with one another to generate and pattern respiratory output. I am currently developing a model of sleep apnoea, to study the link between sleep disordered breathing and it's comorbidities, such as heart failure and Alzheimer's Disease.

I have collaborations: utilizing Inscopix microscopy to study the respiratory network; developing an algorithm to find apnoeas in respiratory recordings; studying biocompatibility of new compounds; investigating the effects of novel purinergic agonists/antagonists on cardiorespiratory physiology; identifying the role of tanycytes in feeding; and investigating the role of PKG1α in food reward.

In addition to my research, I am a fellow of the higher education academy and hold a Postgradute award in teaching and learning in higher education. I currently lecture on cardiovascular and respiratory physiology and neurobiology at both Warwick and UCL. Further to my teaching and research roles, I am the deputy director of Post-doctoral affairs in the School of Life Sciences at Warwick, and I sit on both the Athena Swan committee and the AWERB.

I am an honorary senior research associate at UCL, where I am a member of the
Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Neuroscience (CCMN).

I am also co-organising the XIVth Oxford Conference on modelling and control of breathing.


PhD in Biology from Warwick University
BSc (hons) in Biomedical Sciences from Durham University

Member of the Society for Neuroscience
Member of the Physiological Society
Member of the European Society of Cardiology

Research Themes:

Biomedical Science