Patrick Mueller, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physiology
5263 Scott Hall
540 E. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 577-1559

Research Interests: Neurohumoral control of the circulation, physical activity and inactivity:

A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Nonetheless rates of physical inactivity, and inactivity related diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension continue to increase at an epidemic rate.  Furthermore, a sedentary lifestyle is now considered a chronic disease process that can be improved by regular physical activity. The long term goal of these studies is to understand the central nervous system mechanisms by which physical inactivity increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease.  One approach to testing this hypothesis has been to examine the extent to which physical inactivity (vs. regular exercise) alters the regulation of neurons involved in control of sympathetic outflow.  In particular, recent studies have demonstrated that physical activity produces differential alterations in a specific population of neurons in the brainstem, namely the rostral ventrolateral medulla.  These neurons are critical for blood pressure regulation and over activity of these neurons is believed to contribute to pathophysiological conditions involving sympathetic nervous system over activity.  Ultimately, the goal of the research in my laboratory is to learn more about how the brain controls the heart and blood vessels and therefore, its role in determining arterial blood pressure and organ blood flow. In particular, I am interested in how the brain adapts its control of the cardiovascular system to various physiological and pathophysiological states.  In a recent study published by the Journal of Comparative Neurology and covered by The New York Times, my collaborators and I found that inactivity can change the structure and function of a brain region involved in blood pressure regulation.  These experiments are intended to provide a greater understanding of the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle on cardiovascular health and define potential therapeutic targets for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. 

CBS Radio News - interview

Radio interview with David Ross on RossFire (Seattle)

 A complete list of Dr. Mueller's publications can be found at PubMed-Mueller

Last update: 02/13/2017 by CRC.