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Jason Pilarski

Jason Pilarski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office: Life Sciences 136A

(208) 282-5422

The Pilarski Lab

We study cellular mechanisms that control and modulate breathing rhythms in the brain stem.


2006, Ph.D. Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
2000, M.S. Exercise Physiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
1993, B.S. Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

2007-2011, Postdoctoral fellow, Physiology of breathing-related neural circuits, University of Arizona, Tuscan, AZ

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Pilarski joined the Department of Biology and the Department of Dental Sciences in 2011. The long term goal of my research team is to understand how brain stem motor circuits that control life sustaining autonomous breathing patterns develop, mature and maintain rhythmic neural activity. It is also relevant to determine how these circuits respond to abnormal environments and stress. To study these topics, we use an avian embryonic model, which is uniquely tractable for experimental manipulation and provides unparalleled access to central neuronal networks throughout prenatal development. We use neuroanatomical techniques, nerve cell activities, and pharmacology to test our hypotheses in the context of understanding normal breathing behaviors and breathing-related neuropathologies in which the modification or loss of brain stem structures that control normal rhythm and motor patterns can lead to increased morbidity and mortality in neonates and adults.


BIOL 5500/3308 and 5500L Oral Histology and Embryology
BIOL 5550/3312 and 5550L Head and Neck Anatomy
Research in Oral Biology

Selected Publications

Developmental nicotine exposure alters AMPA neurotransmission in the hypoglossal motor nucleus and pre-Botzinger complex of neonatal rats. Jaiswal SJ, Pilarski JQ, Harrison CM, Fregosi RF. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 6;33(6):2616-25. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3711-12.2013.

Increased nicotinic receptor desensitization in hypoglossal motor neurons following chronic developmental nicotine exposure. Pilarski JQ, Wakefield HE, Fuglevand AJ, Levine RB, Fregosi RF. J Neurophysiol. 2012 Jan;107(1):257-64. doi: 10.1152/jn.00623.2011. Epub 2011 Oct 19. PMID: 22013232

Prenatal development of respiratory chemoreceptors in endothermic vertebrates. Hempleman SC, Pilarski JQ. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2011 Aug 31;178(1):156-62. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2011.04.027. Epub 2011 May 6. Review. PMID: 21569865

Developmental nicotine exposure alters neurotransmission and excitability in hypoglossal motoneurons. Pilarski JQ, Wakefield HE, Fuglevand AJ, Levine RB, Fregosi RF. J Neurophysiol. 2011 Jan;105(1):423-33. doi: 10.1152/jn.00876.2010. Epub 2010 Nov 10. PMID: 21068261

Effects of aerobic and anaerobic metabolic inhibitors on avian intrapulmonary chemoreceptors. Pilarski JQ, Solomon IC, Kilgore DL Jr, Hempleman SC. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 May;296(5):R1576-84. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.90608.2008. Epub 2009 Mar 18. PMID: 19297545 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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