The Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation is administered through the College of Public Health and Health Professions under the direction of Dr. Gordon S. Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell is a world-renowned researcher and scholar, and was among the very first to recognize the importance of neuroplasticity in respiratory motor control. Current research interests focus on fundamental mechanisms of spinal respiratory plasticity induced by intermittent hypoxia, and translation of those findings to treat devastating clinical disorders that compromise breathing and non-respiratory movements. These disorders include cervical spinal injury and ALS. We work at multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from cell/molecular studies in animal models, through integrative studies of disease/injury in animal models and humans with clinical disorders.
Dr. Mitchell has run an active research laboratory that has had continuous federal funding for more than 30 years (1983), has won multiple teaching awards, and has been recognized by prestigious awards from the NIH (MERIT Award), the American Physiological Society (Julius H. Comroe Distinguished Lecturer, Fellow of the American Physiological Society), the Society for Neuroscience (Special Lecturer), the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology (Guyten Award Lecture) and the University of Wisconsin (Steenbock Chair of Behavioral and Neural Science). Dr. Mitchell has also contributed extensively through service at the University, national and international levels. For example, before becoming Center Director at the University of Florida, he served as Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin for 17 years.
The Mitchell laboratory collaborates with outstanding scientific groups in Wisconsin, Florida and other institutions with wide-ranging expertise, including rodent models and human spinal injury, stem cell biology, and ALS in rodent models and in humans, exercise physiology and respiratory neurobiology.