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Dr Ana Paula Abdala SheikhBSc, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer

Ana Paula Abdala Sheikh

Dr Ana Paula Abdala SheikhBSc, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer

Member of

Research interests

There is considerable overlap between the neural circuits that control breathing and those that control the cardiovascular system. Often dysfunctions in these systems are connected and should be addressed as a whole. Respiratory dysrhythmias are positively associated with increased cardiovascular risk and sudden death. Some types of respiratory arrhythmia are highly prevalent, like obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). It affects between 9 to 38% of the adult population worldwide. In some elderly groups, OSA affects 90% of men and 78% of women. Most people remain undiagnosed and it is estimated that 1.5 million UK adults have OSA. There is no effective drug treatment, and the currently available treatment options are sub-optimal. My research group aims to address such unmet clinical needs.

We use preclinical models to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets to treat respiratory dysrhythmias and sympatho-vagal dysfunction. We are interested in the circuit dynamics of respiratory and cardiovascular centres, from rhythm and pattern formation to systems level. During preclinical stages, we also collaborate with mathematicians to develop realistic multiscale computational models of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which support the validation of newly identified targets. Through collaborations with a solid network of clinical researchers, we are able to take new discoveries into proof-of-principle studies in humans.

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Postal address:
Biomedical Sciences Building
University Walk
Bristol
United Kingdom