Donald C. Bolser

ProfessorPhoto of Dr. Bolser

Department of Physiological
Box 100144
1333 Center Drive
Gainesville, FL  32610-0144
Office: 352-294-4026
Fax: 352-392-5145


  • BS, Biology, Florida Institute of Technology
  • PhD, Physiology, University of South Florida, 1985

Honors and Awards

  • Member, American college of Chest Physicians Panel on Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Cough, 2011
  • Invited speaker at the Third American Cough Conference in New York, NY, presented “Basic Science Year in Review”., 2011
  • Co-Chair, organizer and invited speaker at the 2010 Experimental Biology meeting symposium Airway Protective Behaviors: Cough and Swallow. Presented “Functional organization of brainstem mechanisms controlling cough and swallow”, Anaheim, CA, 2010
  • Invited Speaker at the NIH workshop Integrative Neural Systems Underlying Vital Aerodigestive Tract Functions. Presented “Neurogenesis and coordination of cough and pharyngeal swallow in the cat”, Madison, WI, 2010
  • Invited speaker at the Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group meeting Impact of Modeling in Biomedical Research, in Bethesda, MD, presented “Computational modeling: A skeptic’s view”, 2009
  • Invited speaker at the Second American Cough Conference in New York, NY, presented “Basic science year in review”, 2009
  • Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, 2008
  • Invited speaker at the 4th International Symposium on Respiratory Diseases in Shanghai, China, presented “Centrally-acting antitussives”, 2007
  • Invited speaker at the First American Cough Conference in New York, NY, presented “Why do older generation antihistamines make cough better?”, 2007

Grant Support

Brainstem Respiratory Neuron Interactions
9/1/11-8/31/16 Co-I (Bruce Lindsey, PI, University of South Florida), NIH R01 NS019814

Central Mechanisms of Airway Protection
9/1/10-8/31/14 PI and Project Director, NIH R01 HL103415

Neurogenesis of Cough
9/15/08-6/30/12 PI and Project Director, NIH R33 HL89104

Research Interests

Cough is the most common reason why sick patients visit physicians in the US. This defensive reflex is the most common manifestation of tobacco- and non-tobacco-related pulmonary diseases. Furthermore, cough suppressant (also called antitussive) drugs are among the most commonly prescribed in the world. Significant gaps exist in our understanding of how cough is produced and how this defensive reflex is inhibited by antitussive drugs. The long-range goal of research in our laboratory is to delineate the how the nervous system produces and regulates cough. We use antitussive drugs as tools to determine how the cough system is controlled. As such, our work also will expand our knowledge of the mechanisms by which these drugs inhibit cough. Our current approach incorporates the use of multiple extracellular electrode array technology to investigate the behavior of spontaneously active and recruited neurons in the brainstem during cough. Determination of the identity and functional relationships between these neurons will allow modeling of the configuration of the brainstem cough network. Perturbation of the behavior of these neurons with antitussive drugs will allow us to identify the mechanism by which cough suppressants act to inhibit this behavior.

Recent Publications

Additional publications here


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