Wenker, Ian C
Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology
- BS, Biology, Xavier University
- MS, Neuroscience, Wright State University
- PhD, Neurobiology and Physiology, University of Connecticut
Old Medical School
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Neural control of cardiorespiratory function in health and disease
I am an integrative neuroscientist, broadly trained in the neurophysiology of the brainstem, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. My research focuses on how neural circuitry, ion channels and membrane receptors, and cellular communication (both neuronal and glial) coordinate organismal homeostasis, with particular attention paid to the cardiovascular and breathing systems. These systems are crucial for human health, as their failure can lead to death, and their maladaptation results in hypertension, heart failure, sleep apnea, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and many other pathologies.
My research program’s current focus is to unravel the mechanisms of SUDEP. The causes of SUDEP are poorly understood. To better understand this phenomenon, I employ newly developed mouse models that reproduce the pathology experienced by epilepsy patients, including SUDEP. My laboratory uses techniques to chronically monitor seizures using video/EEG, perform various brain stimulation protocols, and have access to novel genetic approaches applicable to epilepsy research. Furthermore, we combine these approaches with respiratory monitoring, telemetric blood pressure recording, optogenetics, and chemogenetics to understand cardiorespiratory pathology in health and disease.