Department of Physiological Sciences
1333 Center Drive
Gainesville, FL 32610-0144
Office: (352) 294-4048
Fax: (352) 392-5145
- B.A. , Psychobiology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1980
- M.S., Kinesiology, University of Washington, Seattle, 1984
- Ph.D., Physiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, 1990
- Postdoctoral Training, Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Honors and Awards
- 2012 Pfizer Award for Veterinary Research Excellence, Gainesville, FL
- 2010-2014 Director Florida Veterinary Scholar Program, Gainesville, FL
- 2003 CE Cornelius Young Investigator Award, Gainesville, FL
- 2002 Robert J Boucek Research Award, American Heart Association, Stuart, FL
- 1996-97 Central Investment Research Enhancement Award, Iowa City, IA
- 1991-93 NIH National Research Service Award, Iowa City, IA
- Identification of novel brain pathways or molecules involved in the integration of anticipatory, stress, sensory and/or hormonal signals necessary for the regulation of cardiorespiratory function.
- Identification of brain pathways altered by genetic predispositions, epigenetic modifications, and/or peripheral damage in hypertension and heart failure.
- Research methods employed include systems physiology, immunohistochemistry, virally mediate neural transfection, MRI neural imaging, molecular biology and/or extracellular recording from single neurons in the brain.
Ongoing projects include:
- Investigating the impact of prenatal nicotine exposure on the predisposition to develop cardiovascular disease later in life. This includes an evaluation of changes in the maternal gut microbiome during nicotine exposure and associated shifts in metabolite content impacting postnatal central control of blood pressure in males versus females.
- Evaluating the impact on blood pressure of chemogenetic activation or inhibition of targeted regions of the brain linked with the hypothalamic orexin system in both normotensive and hypertensive animals.
- Investigating central autonomic changes in heart failure, including the role of the gut microbiome-brain axis.
- FL DOH
- 1997-present: Animal Systems II: Cardiovascular Physiology, Coordinator and Lecturer
- 1997-present: Animal Systems II: Musculoskeletal Physiology, Coordinator and Lecturer
- 1997-present: Mammalian Physiology, Course Coordinator 2009-2017, Lecturer
- 2010-present: Florida Veterinary Scholar Summer Program
- Hernandez ME, Watkins JM, Vu J, Hayward LF, DOCA/salt hypertension alters Period1 and orexin-related gene expression in the medulla and hypothalamus of male rats: Diurnal influences. Autonomic Neuroscience, 210:34-43, 2018.
- Zubcevic J, Watkins J, Perez PD, Colon-Perez LM, Long MT, Febo M, Hayward L., MEMRI reveals altered activity in brain regions associated with anxiety, locomotion, and cardiovascular reactivity on the elevated plus maze in the WKY vs SHR rats. Brain Imaging Behavior, Nov 27 [online], 2017.
Last updated 6 Dec 2018