Nichols and Lever Receive $1.9 million NIH Grant

Nicole Nichols

Nicole Nichols

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1.9 million MPI R01 grant to Nicole Nichols, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center investigator, and Teresa Lever, PhD, associate professor of otolaryngology at the MU School of Medicine.

Teresa Lever

Teresa Lever

The goal of their research is to understand how breathing and swallowing deteriorates in rats whose motor neurons responsible for upper airway function are selectively eliminated, and to determine if a non-invasive, individualized exercise program designed to strengthen tongue function can preserve swallowing and breathing function and coordination. This study will allow them to determine the underlying mechanism of exercise induced preservation and plasticity of upper airway function in the surviving motor neurons responsible for swallowing and breathing function and coordination. Ultimately, this project could lead to future translational studies involving people.