With most forms of neural injury or disease, people suffer from inadequate breathing, swallowing difficulties and the inability to prevent aspiration. Our researchers are developing new therapies to enhance breathing and swallowing ability for those with neurological disorders.
Research at the MBI
The MBI unites basic and clinicial researchers committed to understanding the biology and pathophysiology of breathing and airway defenses. Research focus areas include preclinical basic research on respiratory biology and translational research using animal models and humans with neuromuscular disorders that compromise breathing. Principles derived from studies of respiratory function have already proven relevant in other motor systems such as walking, arm movements, speech and swallowing.
Led by director Gordon Mitchell, Ph.D., the BREATHE center (formerly the Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation, or CRRR) aims to facilitate world class research, both basic and clinical, focused on understanding the physiological challenges of maintaining respiratory motor control in both health and disease. This research can impact a range of disorders, including (but not limited to) spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease, stroke, muscular dystrophy, chronic cough and TBI. With ventilatory failure being the major cause of death in most traumatic, ischemic and neurodegenerative neuromuscular disorders, the CRRR is poised to make a lasting impact on restoring health in these disease populations.