About Dr. Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell recently joined the University of Florida as a Preeminence Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Physical Therapy and McKnight Brain Institute. He directs the new UF Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation (CRRR) and Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE) Training Program. The CRRR and BREATHE Training Program are devoted to understanding and treating impaired breathing and airway defense (swallowing and cough) in neuromuscular disorders that compromise movement
Dr. Mitchell was among the first to recognize the importance of neuroplasticity in respiratory motor control. Areas of active investigation include: cellular and molecular mechanisms of long-lasting phrenic motor facilitation following intermittent hypoxia, the ability to harness intermittent hypoxia-induced plasticity to treat respiratory and non-respiratory paralysis following spinal injury, compensatory respiratory plasticity in ALS, cell-based strategies to treat breathing deficits in motor neuron disease, and the impact of inflammation on spinal respiratory motor plasticity. Investigations span from studies of cell/molecular mechanisms through translation to humans with traumatic and neurodegenerative disorders.
He has been recognized for research and teaching accomplishments, including a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, Pfizer Research Award, Steenbock Professor of Behavioral and Neural Science, and distinguished lectureships from the Society for Neuroscience, American Physiological Society and American Spinal Injury Association.
The Swallowing Systems Core plays an integral role in the CRRR and BREATHE Training Program. Drs. Mitchell and Plowman share interests in restoring bulbar functions in animal models and patients with ALS.