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

  • UF Term Professorship, 2017
  • UF Research Foundation Professorship, 2016
  • 2017-2020 UF Termed Professor
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 2013-2017
  • Member, Animal Care and Experimentation committee, American Physiological Society, 2016
  • External referee, Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium, 2016
  • Member, NIH study section for P50 Clinical Research Center grant, 2013
  • Member, American college of Chest Physicians Panel on Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Cough, 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
  • Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, 2008
  • Editorial Board of Journal of Applied Physiology, 2005 – present

Invited Talks

  • Invited speaker Fifth American Cough Conference. Presented “Central control of cough and swallow: observations from animal models and clinical relevance”, Reston, VA. 2017
  • Invited speaker at the symposium “Physiopathological mechanisms of airway protection: cough and swallow reflexes” at the Mediterranean Neuroscience Society meeting in Malta. Presented “Role of the dorsal medulla in the neurogenesis of cough”, St. Julians, Malta. 2017
  • Invited speaker at the 2016 Pharmaceutical Intelligence and Research Group Annual meeting, presented “Airway protection: What is it, why should we care about it, and what can we learn?” Boca Raton, FL. 2016
  • Invited speaker at the 2015 Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group Multiscale Modeling Consortium meeting, presented “Value of computational modeling in understanding human pulmonary defensive reflexes”, NIH, Bethesda, MD. 2015
  • Invited speaker at the 2015 NHLBI Systems Biology Grantees Meeting presented “Modeling brainstem neural circuits responsible for the production of repetitive coughing: gain, phase timing, and implications for the mechanism of action of cough suppressant drugs”, NIH, Bethesda, MD. 2015
  • Invited speaker at the Fourth American Cough Conference in New York, NY, presented “Regulation of repetitive coughing: lessons from CO2”. 2015
  • Invited speaker at the 13th Oxford Conference on Breathing in Sydney, Australia, presented “Role of the nucleus of the tractus solitarius (NTS) in the generation of cough and swallow”. 2014
  • Invited speaker at the 8th Annual Symposium on Cough in London, UK presented “The Role of the Dorsal Medulla in the Generation of Cough and Swallow”. 2014
  • Invited speaker at the 2nd International symposium Cough It Up in Martin, Slovakia, presented “Role of the Medial Medullary Reticular Formation in the Control of Airway Protection”. 2014
  • Invited speaker at the 7th Annual Symposium on Cough in London, UK, presented “Central Interactions Regulating Cough and Blood Pressure”. 2012
  • Invited speaker at the XIIth Oxford Conference, Breathing, Emotion, and Evolution in Almelo, The Netherlands, presented “Central Regulation of Airway Protection”. 2012
  • Invited speaker at the 1st International symposium Cough It Up in Martin, Slovakia, presented “Regulation of Airway Protection”. 2012
  • Invited speaker at the Third American Cough Conference in New York, NY, presented “Basic Science Year in Review”. 2011

Grant Support


  • 9/30/16-9/29/19
    PI and Project Director, (Co-Is KF Morris, T Taylor-Clark, Univ South Florida; GS Mitchell, DF Fuller, PW Davenport, LR Reznikov, E Gonzalez-Rothi UF; T Pitts, Univ Louisville), NIH OT3 ODO023854, “Functional mapping of peripheral and central circuits for airway protection and breathing”, cumulative total costs $7,993,434.
  • 4/1/16-3/31/21
    PI (Co-PI, KF Morris), NIH R01 HL131716-01, “Modeling the role of the NTS in the neurogenesis of airway defensive behaviors”, total costs $2,969,263.


  • 4/1/12-3/31/17
    Co-I (PI, Paul Davenport), NIH R01 HL109025, “Mechanisms of Swallow Control of Breathing”, total direct costs to DCB $490,893, total direct costs $2,942,686.
  • 9/1/10-8/31/15
    PI and Project Director, NIH R01 HL103415, (Co-Is KF Morris, BG Lindsey). “Central Mechanisms of Airway Protection”, direct costs to DCB $1,063,666, total direct costs $1,733,544.
  • 10/1/13-3/31/15
    PI (Teresa E. Pitts, Co-PI, Warren E. Dixon, Co-PI), Florida Department of Health James and Esther King Biomedical Research Fund, “An External Device for the Rehabilitation of Airway Protective Behaviors”, direct costs to DCB $98,422, total direct costs $98,422.
  • 9/15/08-5/31/12
    PI and Project Director (Kendall F. Morris, Co-PI, Paul W. Davenport, Co-I, Bruce G. Lindsey, Co-I), NIH R33 HL89104, “Neurogenesis of Cough”, direct costs to DCB $1,155,238, total direct costs $1,662,730.

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



Updated 3 Dec 2018