Professor Vaughan Macefield
(Baker Institute, Victoria)
Cortical and subcortical control of sympathetic outflow in humans: implications for cardiovascular control in health and disease
Professor Macefield holds a conjoint Professorship in the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW, and a conjoint Senior Principal Research Fellowship at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), where he was based as an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow from 1994–2006. He has received $11.8 million in research funding, and was awarded his DSc (UNSW) in 2017 for his work on the human sympathetic nervous system. He specialises in recording from single nerve fibres via microelectrodes inserted into the peripheral nerves of awake human subjects (microneurography), and is best known for developing the methodology for recording the firing properties of single, type-identified, sympathetic neurones supplying muscle and skin and, most recently, for developing the methodology for recording muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) at the same time as performing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. Using MSNA-coupled fMRI he has identified cortical and subcortical structures in the brain responsible for generating spontaneous bursts of MSNA in young and old healthy subjects, and for generating the increase in MSNA and blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
His current NHMRC-supported work examines the central substrates responsible for the high MSNA and blood pressure in renovascular hypertension, while another aims to identify the neural substrates responsible for the increases in MSNA and blood pressure during long-lasting muscle pain.
All welcome. Drinks and nibbles from 3:30pm, seminar starts, 4pm.