Associate Professor of Biology

B.S. - Eastern Mennonite University
Ph.D. - East Carolina University

Phone - 540-568-7135
Office - Bioscience 2028G
Fax - 540-568-3333 

Office Hours

Courses:   Human Physiology (BIO 270), Pathophysiology for Physician Assistants (BIO 516 and BIO 517), Introductory Neuroscience (BIO301).

Research Interests:  Physiology of stress responses in the neonatal brain.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a leading cause of post neonatal infant mortality in the US.  Many SIDS infants have abnormal binding to serotonergic receptors in the medulla oblongata.  Dysfunction of serotonergic autonomic control pathways here may increase the risk for SIDS by altering protective reflexes to stressors encountered 
during sleep such as hypercapnia, hypoxia, and hyperthermia. 
My primary area of research focuses on medullary serotonergic neuronal pathways and how they act as relay stations for thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses to a variety of stressful stimuli.  In this regard my lab microinjects pharmacologically active agents targeting the brainstem serotonergic nuclei while measuring behavioral and autonomic responses to a variety stressful stimuli.  Understanding how serotonin mediates autonomic responses to stress may aid the understanding of SIDS and thereby help prevent its occurrence. 

Le, NMP, Cockburn CL*, Nowell KN*, Brown JW. Activation of GABAA or 5HT1A receptors in the raphé pallidus abolish the cardiovascular responses to exogenous stress in conscious rats. Brain Research Bulletin 86 (2011) 360– 366

Le NMP*, Brown JW. Effect of Thermopreference on Circadian Thermoregulation in Sprauge-Dawley and Fisher 344 Rats.Journal of Thermal Biology 37 (2012) 309–315.

Hurney CA, Brown JW, Griscom HP, Kancler EN, Wigtil CJ, Sundre DL. Closing the Loop:Involving Faculty in the Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning Skills of Biology Majors. of College Science Teaching. July 2010

Brown JW, Sirlin EA, Benoit AM, Hoffman JM, Darnall RA.  Activation of 5-HT1A receptors in medullary raphe disrupts sleep and decreases shivering during cooling in the conscious piglet. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Dec 19

Hoffman JM, Brown JW, Sirlin EA, Benoit AM, Gill WG, Harris MB, and Darnall RA. Activation of 5-HT1A receptors in the paragigantocellularis lateralis decreases shivering but not peripheral vasoconstriction during cooling in the conscious piglet.  Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 293: R518-27. 2007.

Brown JW,  Whitehurst ME, Carroll RG.  The Pre-Optic Anterior Hypothalamus (POAH) Partially Mediates The Hypothermic Response To Hemorrhage In Rats.  Brain Research 1041(1):1-10. 2005.

*undergraduate researcher

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