About Gordon S Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell joined the University of Florida in 2015 as a Preeminence Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Physical Therapy and McKnight Brain Institute. He opened and directs the UF Center for Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE) and an NIH-funded graduate and postdoctoral training program of the same name. A major focus of BREATHE is to understand and treat impaired breathing and airway defense (swallowing/cough) caused by neuromuscular injury or disease. For the past three decades, Dr. Mitchell pioneered studies of neuroplasticity in the neural system controlling breathing. Areas of active investigation include: cellular and molecular mechanisms of long-lasting motor plasticity triggered by repeated exposure to low oxygen (intermittent hypoxia), the ability to harness that intermittent hypoxia-induced plasticity to treat respiratory and non-respiratory paralysis following spinal injury, mechanisms of spontaneous and induced compensation during motor neuron diseases such as ALS, cell-based strategies to treat breathing deficits, and the impact of systemic inflammation on breathing and its control. Investigations span intracellular, intercellular and physiological systems level mechanisms, and translation to humans with traumatic and neurodegenerative clinical disorders (SCI and ALS). Dr. Mitchell grew up in California where he received his B.S. (biological sciences) and PhD (Developmental and Cell Biology) degrees from the University of California at Irvine. After two years of post-doctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany, he moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he became an Assistant Professor. There, he ascended the ranks to become Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Biosciences (17 years) and director of the NIH funded Respiratory Neurobiology Training Program (14 years). He chose to leave the University of Wisconsin for the opportunity to join the University of Florida and create BREATHE (formerly known as the Center for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation, or CRRR). Dr. Mitchell has been recognized for both his research and teaching accomplishments, including a National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, the Norden Distinguished Teacher Award, the Pfizer Research Award on multiple occasions, the Steenbock Professorship for Behavioral and Neural Science, and distinguished lectureships from the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), American Physiological Society (APS), Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology (ACDP), and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA).
- Intermittent hypoxia
- Respiratory physiology
- Sleep apnea
- Spinal cord injury rehabilitation