Human systems physiology: Respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic function in response to stresses such as exercise and hypoxia
Our research centres on human systems physiology. We are interested in the effects of stresses, such as exercise and hypoxia, on metabolism and on respiratory and cardiovascular function.
Technological innovation is vital to achieving breakthroughs in this area. We have a long track record in this. Recently we have developed an airway molecular flow sensor that uses laser absorption spectroscopy to analyse the gases in the airway. This allows us to make measurements that have simply not been possible before. As well as studying the physiology of healthy individuals, we are using it to study patients in critical care, and those with diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. As well as developing new technologies, we also exploit new discoveries, made at the molecular and cellular level, in order to understand whole-body function better. Our most recent work here has related to iron homeostasis.
We are an outward looking group, with collaborative projects across the University of Oxford – in particular with the chemistry and engineering departments in the physical sciences, and with the clinical departments of medicine, anaesthesia and intensive care.
Much of the work within our group is either undertaken by graduate students working towards a doctorate or by early career postdoctoral scientists developing their careers. In many cases, the students are jointly supervised with other colleagues and this adds breadth to their research training. The laboratory has an international feel with students coming from many different countries. Recent students have been funded through Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, Felix Scholarships, Clarendon Bursaries, Wellcome Trust Studentships, as well as through funding arising from their native countries.
Join the Robbins Lab
Graduates can join through one of the many outstanding PhD programmes at Oxford, including:
- The Doctoral Training Programme at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
- The Doctoral Training Programme in Cardiovascular Science
- The Doctoral Training Fellowship Scheme for Clinicians
- A variety of programmes from Oxford’s Doctoral Training Centre
Possible sources of funding include:
The differing physiology of nitrogen and tracer gas multiple-breath washout techniques
Sandhu D. et al, (2021), European Respiratory Journal Open Research
Development of in-airway laser absorption spectroscopy for respiratory based measurements of cardiac output
SMITH N. et al, (2021), Scientific Reports
A dynamic model of the body gas stores for carbon dioxide, oxygen and inert gases that incorporates circulatory transport delays to and from the lung.
Magor-Elliott SRM. et al, (2021), J Appl Physiol (1985)
Glassy Behavior of Sticky Spheres: What Lies beyond Experimental Timescales?
Fullerton CJ. and Berthier L., (2020), Physical Review Letters, 125