Research Lab Bench
Gary Mouradian, PhD

Gary Mouradian, PhD

Assistant Professor


  • Physiology

Contact Information


Dr. Mouradian received his BA from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2009. In 2014 he obtained his PhD in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin. His PhD work was focused on understanding the role of peripheral carotid body O2 chemosensors and their role in 1) maintaining eupneic breathing and 2) gain modulation of the central CO2 chemosensors. He used a combination of whole-animal physiology and RNA Sequencing. He then completed four years of postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado in Denver and MCW, where he studied the role of oxidative stress in lung diseases (pulmonary hypertension, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia). He synthesized his passion and interests in neural control of breathing with lung biology to garner the prestigious Parker B. Francis Award. This award paved the way for a faculty position which led to the start of his independent laboratory in February of 2022 where he directs research focusing on how lung disease impacts the neural control of breathing via damage to vagal fibers that innervate the lung.

Professional Affiliations

  • 2011-present: American Physiological Society (APS)
  • 2014-present: American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Mentoring and Training

Dr. Mouradian is a proponent of assisting his lab members define and reach their own career goals. Within the confines of funded research, he helps identify opportunities that will help his people grow professionally in the manner they define. He maintains availability for trainees and staff and believes that his success is determined by the success of his lab members. We are hiring graduate students, postdocs, and staff. Feel free to reach out via email at

Please see the Mouradian lab website for additional information about our group and research.

Honors and Awards

2023 – Neuroscience Research Center Award
2022 – MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher
2020 – CNS Section Research Recognition Award, American Physiological Society
2019 – Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrant Professional Opportunity Award, American Physiological Society
2019 – Data Sciences International Physiologic Omics Award, American Physiological Society
2018 – Parker B. Francis Award

Research Interests

Breathing does not simply “happen.” An interconnected network of three key components within the body works together in a dynamic and refined manner. These three components include, 1) the lungs, where O2 and CO2 move in and out of the blood, respectively, 2), the area in the brainstem that controls when and how we breathe is the controller, and 3), sensors throughout the body that relay feedback to the brainstem respiratory control network regarding how well the system is doing. Nerves course throughout the body, including the lung, that relay this sensory feedback to the brainstem respiratory control network. Thus, damage to one or more components can cause insufficient or problematic breathing.

The Mouradian Lab is investigating the specific biological factors within the lungs that underly functional changes to the neural control of breathing in chronic lung diseases in adults (COPD) and extremely premature (born <28 weeks gestation) (Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)).

We are focused on two primary lines of research:

  1. Vagal sensory neurons. The lung is highly innervated with subsets of vagal sensory fibers that target anatomically distinct regions in the lung and provide feedback to the brainstem’s respiratory control network. Are these fibers damaged in lung disease? Do they contribute to breathing control problems that often manifest in chronic lung diseases?
  2. Neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs). NEBs are clusters of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells often found at branch points along the conducting airway. They are sensitive to O2, CO2, nicotine, and other factors, with a role in amplifying allergic airway responses. They are also highly innervated and regularly found hyperplastic in patients succumbing to respiratory diseases including BPD and COPD. What is the functional role of NEBs regarding the control of breathing? Are sensing modalities enhanced/diminished in chronic lung disease?

Research Experience

  • Neural control of breathing
  • Lung biology
  • Vagal afferent signaling
  • Respiratory diseases (COPD, BPD, Pulmonary Hypertension, SIDS)
  • Patch clamp electrophysiology
  • Single Cell & Bulk Tissue RNA Sequencing

Methodologies and Techniques

We model BPD and COPD in transgenic mouse lines coupled with whole body plethysmography and respirometry to measure breathing. We use optogenetics and chemogenetics to turn on/off specific cell types in vivo (DREADDs and DTR), AAV microinjection into the ganglia for cell-specific labelling or lesioning, RNA Scope and immunofluorescence for tissue and cellular visualization, and patch-clamp with or without single cell RNA Sequencing.