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Martha L. Blair, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-6655

Fax: (585) 273-2652

Biography

Research

The goal of our research program is to understand the neural and neuroendocrine mechanisms by which blood pressure and body-fluid balance are regulated. We are particularly interested in those mechanisms that restore blood pressure and volume to appropriate levels when the cardiovascular system is challenged by conditions such as blood loss. Because anesthesia alters both sympathetic nervous system and neuroendocrine responses to cardiovascular signals, the majority of our current studies are performed in conscious, unrestrained rats with chronically indwelling vascular catheters.
Our primary research focus is on neural control of the renin-angiotensin system. Renin is a proteolytic enzyme which is secreted by the kidney and results in formation of the peptide hormone angiotensin. Renin secretion increases whenever blood pressure or blood volume decreases below normal levels. Angiotensin causes blood vessels to constrict, and has multiple additional actions which serve to elevate arterial blood pressure and defend blood volume. Our research employs physiological, pharmacological, and neuroanatomical techniques to evaluate the central nervous system and peripheral autonomic pathways that regulate renin release during cardiovascular challenges such as hemorrhage.

We have recently begun to investigate the effects of the female reproductive cycle in cardiovascular regulation. The majority of cardiovascular research has been performed in male subjects. However, recent evidence suggests that estrogen and progesterone may affect multiple facets of cardiovascular regulation. Our recent studies indicate that the ability to restore blood volume after a hemorrhage is significantly affected by the female reproductive cycle. This is an ongoing topic of research.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

1969
BA | Wellesley College
Psychology

1974
PhD | University of Washington
Physiology & Psychology

Awards

1988 - 1991
Dean's Teaching Fellow
Sponsor: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1987
Commendation for excellence in first-year medical teaching, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1985 - 1988
Mellon Foundation Fellow

1983
Manuel Goldman Award for Excellence in Medical Teaching, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1982 - 1987
Research Career Development Award
Sponsor: NIH Heart Lung and Blood Institute

1982
Commendation for excellence in first-year medical teaching, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1981
Commendation for excellence in first-year medical teaching, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1979 - 1982
Mellon Foundation Fellow

1978 - 1981
Young Investigator Award
Sponsor: NIH Heart Lung and Blood Institute

1969
Sigma Xi

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Publications

Journal Articles

2011
Hsu,JW; Yasmin-Karim,S; King,M.R.; Wojciechowski,JC; Mickelsen,D.; Blair,M.L.; Ting,HJ; Ma,WL; LeeYF;. "Suppression of Prostate Cancer Cell Rolling and Adhesion to Endothelium by 1 alpha, 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3". American Journal of Pathology. 2011; .

3/2008
Wojciechowski JC, Narasipura SD, Charles N, Mickelsen D, Rana K, Blair ML, King MR. "Capture and enrichment of CD34-positive haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from blood circulation using P-selectin in an implantable device." British journal of haematology.. 2008 Mar 0; 140(6):673-81. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

2007
Blair, M.L. "Sex-based differences in physiology: what should we teach in the medical curriculum?". Adv. Physiol. Educ. 2007; 31: 23-25.

Books & Chapters

2000
Chapter Title: Renin secretion: Old concepts and new theories (Commentary)
Book Title: Drugs, Enzymes and Receptors of the Renin-Angiotensin System
Author List: Blair, M. L.
Edited By: A. Husain and R. M. Graham
Published By: Harwood Academic Publishers2000 in Amsterdam

1991
Chapter Title: Effects of vasopressin analogue in hypertension
Book Title: Vasopressin
Author List: Sladek, C.D., M.L. Blair, and M.L. Mangiapane
Edited By: S. Jard and R. Jamison
Published By: John Libbey Eurotext Limited1991 in London

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