A number of research projects are ongoing which are mutually supportive at different technical levels investigating the functioning of nerve, muscle and epithelial cells, at molecular, cellular, organ and whole animal levels. They are focussed on:-
Professor O Halloran's primary research interest is the control of breathing in health and disease. His research group utilise experimental models of common human respiratory diseases such as COPD and sleep apnoea to explore the physiological and pathophysiological effects of hypoxia on the respiratory system.
Primary research is the neuro-humoral control of the kidney and how it is deranged in renal and cardiovascular diseases.
The regulation of intracellular shuttling of ion transporters in epithelial cells and the deficiencies in hypertension.
The genome manipulation technologies of zinc finger nucleases and virus vectors in the study of the genetic disorders cystic fibrosis and cystinosis.
The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of salt reabsorption in the kidney.
Ion channels involved in detecting skin temperature and other stimuli, and their roles in sensory perception and pain.
The composition and function of intracellular calcium channel complexes, particularly in the contexts of cardiovascular disease, myopathies and cancer.
Invivo cadiovascular physiology & pharmacology with a focus on endothelium and vascular function.
These areas of studies are undertaken at a basic scientific level but all impact, to a greater or lesser degree, on the cardiovascular system and its regulation and may contribute to understanding the progression of a range of cardiac and vascular diseases. Thus, these areas of research are poised to take advantage of post-genomic era and to open up investigations in translational research.
The roles that metabotropic glutamatergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptor signalling play in modulating function within central neurones and in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Down Syndrome primarily using electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques.
In recent years, I have been involved in the development of human studies of the integrated cardiovascular and metabolic responses to dietary challenges such as water drinking. Our laboratory is currently examining the effects of high-sugar drinks on cardiovascular and metabolic responses, a topic of considerable relevance given the large increase in the consumption of such drinks in the Western diet in recent years.
Investigating the direct local impact of oxidative stress on renal medullary and cortical perfusion using pharmacological and physiological approaches to inhibit or exaggerate renal oxidative stress.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterised by debilitating symptoms such as abdominal pain bloating and altered bowel habit and affects 10-20% of the world’s population. As current therapeutic strategies are limited by side effects and safety issues, new avenues of research in this field are highly desirable.