Research Profile

David Burns

Biography

David graduated top of his class, BSc (Hons) Physiology, with first class honours and was awarded the Charles Medal in Physiology from The College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork. For his doctoral studies, David pursued training in integrative physiology, exploring sensorimotor control of breathing in muscular dystrophy. As a PhD Trainee, he spent time as a Visiting Scientist at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary (2015). In 2016, David was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Physical Therapy and The Centre for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation at the University of Florida, where he returned again in 2017 to continue collaborative research with colleagues at the Centre.    

He has delivered talks at national and international meetings and symposia in Ireland, UK, USA, Canada and Australia, including proceedings of The Physiological SocietyInternational Society for Arterial ChemoreceptionOxford Control of Breathing Meeting, American Physiological Society, Irish Thoracic Society, Muscular Dystrophy Ireland and The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. He has been an invited speaker at seminar series at the University of FloridaMayo Clinic and University College Cork
  

David has authored 19 original peer-reviewed articles in international journals, including The Journal of PhysiologyExperimental PhysiologyEbiomedicine, Antioxidants and Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology and 
published 60+ conference abstracts. He received the Usha Award of the American Physiological Society in 2017. He was one of three early career researchers working in Ireland selected to attend the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany, dedicated to Physiology and Medicine. The Irish Research Council presented him with The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Award in recognition of this accolade. In 2018 and 2019, he received a medal and prize from The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland for his papers published in The Journal of Physiology (2017 & 2019). In 2020, David was a recipient of The Charlemont Grant from the Royal Irish Academy. His research is curently funded by The Physiological Society, The Duchenne Parent Project (Netherlands) and seed funding from The Department of Physiology (UCC).

David is passionate about scientific outreach and communication and has contributed to UCC Eureka Science Summer Camps, he has instructed courses in Human and Exercise Physiology for The Centre for Talented Youth (Ireland) and has contributed to UCC SEFS outreach initiatives at The BT Young Scientist Exhibition and iWish.

Research Interests

David has a primary research interest in the control of breathing in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, with wider interests in cardio-respiratory physiology in health and disease. Our laboratory utilises pre-clinical models of muscular dystrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and sleep-disordered breathing (CIH). 

Research in my laboratory is currently funded by research grants from The Physiological Society and The Duchenne Parent Project (Netherlands) and seed funding from the Department of Physiology, UCC. 

Collaborations:
Cardio-respiratory effects of exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia modelling human sleep-disordered breathing.
Ms Sarah Drummond and Prof. Ken O'Halloran (UCC).

Improving long-term patient recovery and reducing disability after COVID-19 critical illness using microRNA-based approaches.
Prof. Ken O'Halloran (UCC), Dr. Bairbre McNicholas (GUH), Prof. John Laffey (NUIG), Dr. Ronan O'Caoimh (MUH), Dr Brian McDonagh (NUIG) and Dr Katarzyna Whysall (NUIG; Lead Applicant). Funded by Health Research Board.

Breathing and Respiratory Muscle Function in Ts65Dn Mice, a murine model of Down's Syndrome
Dr. Candace Receno and Dr. Lara DeRuisseau (Le Moyne College & Syracuse University, USA).
Funded by National Institutes of Health.

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
BREATHE DMD: Boosted respiratory efficacy after therapeutic hypoxic episodes in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Funding Body: Duchenne Parent Project, The Netherlands01-JAN-2031-DEC-21€70,000.00
Improving long-term patient recovery and reducing disability after COVID-19 critical illness using microRNA-based approaches. Lead Applicant: Dr Katarzyna Whysall, NUIGHealth Research Board01-MAY-2030-APR-22€199,621.00
Charlemont Grant: Understanding fundamental aspects of breathing in pre-clinical models of DMD: Towards the development of gene therapy strategies to restore respiratory functionRoyal Irish Academy€1,950.00
The potential use of N-acetylcysteine as an adjunct therapy in muscular dystrophyThe Physiological Society01-SEP-1931-AUG-20€10,500.00

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2019)'N-acetylcysteine Decreases Fibrosis and Increases Force-Generating Capacity of mdx Diaphragm'
Burns DP, Drummond SE, Bolger D, Coiscaud A, Murphy KH, Edge D & O'Halloran KD (2019) 'N-acetylcysteine Decreases Fibrosis and Increases Force-Generating Capacity of mdx Diaphragm'. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), [Details]
(2019)'Diaphragm muscle performance in ageing: A new perspective on an old story'
David P. Burns & Ken D. O'Halloran (2019) 'Diaphragm muscle performance in ageing: A new perspective on an old story'. Experimental Physiology, [Details]
(2019)'Auxiliary compensation for diaphragm dysfunction in dystrophic disease'
Burns DP, Lucking EF & O'Halloran KD (2019) 'Auxiliary compensation for diaphragm dysfunction in dystrophic disease'. The Journal of Physiology, [Details]
(2019)'Is non-normalized respiratory electromyogram activity a reliable index of neural drive? On the surface---yes!'
David P. Burns & Ken D. O'Halloran (2019) 'Is non-normalized respiratory electromyogram activity a reliable index of neural drive? On the surface---yes!'. Experimental Physiology, [Details]
(2019)'Manipulation of gut microbiota blunts the ventilatory response to hypercapnia in adult rats'
Karen M. O’Connor, Eric F. Lucking, Anna V. Golubeva, Conall R. Strain, Fiona Fouhy, María C. Cenit, Pardeep Dhaliwal,Thomaz F.S. Bastiaanssen, David P. Burns, Catherine Stanton, Gerard Clarke, John F. Cryan, Ken D. O’Halloran (2019) 'Manipulation of gut microbiota blunts the ventilatory response to hypercapnia in adult rats'. Ebiomedicine, [Details]
(2019)'Inspiratory pressure-generating capacity is preserved during ventilatory and non-ventilatory behaviours in young dystrophic mdx mice despite profound diaphragm muscle weakness'
Burns, David P; Murphy, Kevin H; Lucking Eric F.; O'Halloran Ken D. (2019) 'Inspiratory pressure-generating capacity is preserved during ventilatory and non-ventilatory behaviours in young dystrophic mdx mice despite profound diaphragm muscle weakness'. The Journal of Physiology,   [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2019)'Breathing with neuromuscular disease: Does compensatory plasticity in the motor drive to breathe offer a potential therapeutic target in muscular dystrophy?'
O'Halloran KD;Burns DP; (2019) 'Breathing with neuromuscular disease: Does compensatory plasticity in the motor drive to breathe offer a potential therapeutic target in muscular dystrophy?'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, [DOI] [Details]
(2019)'No evidence in support of a prodromal respiratory control signature in the TgF344-AD rat model of Alzheimer's disease'
Lucking EF;Murphy KH;Burns DP;Jaisimha AV;Barry-Murphy KJ;Dhaliwal P;Boland B;Rae MG;O'Halloran KD; (2019) 'No evidence in support of a prodromal respiratory control signature in the TgF344-AD rat model of Alzheimer's disease'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Recovery of respiratory function in mdx mice co-treated with neutralizing interleukin-6 receptor antibodies and urocortin-2'
Burns DP, Canavan L, Rowland J, O'Flaherty R, Brannock M, Drummond SE, O'Malley D, Edge D, O'Halloran KD (2018) 'Recovery of respiratory function in mdx mice co-treated with neutralizing interleukin-6 receptor antibodies and urocortin-2'. The Journal of Physiology, 596 (21) [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Brainstem network pathology and impaired respiratory drive as successive signatures in a rat model of Parkinson's disease'
Burns, David P.; O'Halloran, Ken D. (2018) 'Brainstem network pathology and impaired respiratory drive as successive signatures in a rat model of Parkinson's disease'. Experimental Physiology, 2018 (103):1300-1301 [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Purinergic modulation of chemosensory drive to breathe from the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area depends upon sleep-wake and light-dark phases'
Burns DP;O'Halloran KD; (2018) 'Purinergic modulation of chemosensory drive to breathe from the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area depends upon sleep-wake and light-dark phases'. Experimental Physiology, 103 (12) [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Chronic intermittent hypoxia disrupts cardiorespiratory homeostasis and gut microbiota composition in adult male guinea-pigs'
*Lucking EF, O'Connor KM, Strain CR, Fuohy F, Bastiaanssen TF, Burns DP, Golubeva AV, Stanton C, Clarke G, Cryan JF, O'Halloran KD (2018) 'Chronic intermittent hypoxia disrupts cardiorespiratory homeostasis and gut microbiota composition in adult male guinea-pigs'. Ebiomedicine, 38 [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Genioglossus activation during maximal sniff manoeuvres: Is upper airway function relevant in the clinical assessment of inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength?'
Burns DP;O'Halloran KD; (2018) 'Genioglossus activation during maximal sniff manoeuvres: Is upper airway function relevant in the clinical assessment of inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength?'. Experimental Physiology, 103 (12) [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Antioxidant therapy for muscular dystrophy: caveat lector!'
O'Halloran, KD;Murphy, KH;Burns, DP (2018) 'Antioxidant therapy for muscular dystrophy: caveat lector!'. JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON, 596 :737-738 [DOI] [Details]
(2017)'Sensorimotor control of breathing in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy'
Burns DP, Roy A, Lucking EF, McDonald FB, Gray S, Wilson RJ, Edge D, O'Halloran KD (2017) 'Sensorimotor control of breathing in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy'. The Journal of Physiology, 596 (21) [DOI] [Details]
(2017)'Restoration of pharyngeal dilator muscle force in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice following co-treatment with neutralizing interleukin-6 receptor antibodies and urocortin 2'
Burns DP, Rowland J, Canavan L, Murphy KH, Brannock M, O'Malley D, O'Halloran KD, Edge D (2017) 'Restoration of pharyngeal dilator muscle force in dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice following co-treatment with neutralizing interleukin-6 receptor antibodies and urocortin 2'. Experimental Physiology, 102 (9) [DOI] [Details]
(2017)'Tempol Supplementation Restores Diaphragm Force and Metabolic Enzyme Activities in mdx Mice'
Burns DP, Ali I, Rieux C, Healy J, Jasionek G, O'Halloran KD (2017) 'Tempol Supplementation Restores Diaphragm Force and Metabolic Enzyme Activities in mdx Mice'. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 6 (4) [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Evidence of hypoxic tolerance in weak upper airway muscle from young mdx mice'
Burns, DP,O'Halloran, KD (2016) 'Evidence of hypoxic tolerance in weak upper airway muscle from young mdx mice'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 226 :68-75 [DOI] [Details]
(2015)'Respiratory Control in the mdx Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy'
Burns DP;Edge D;O'Malley D;O'Halloran KD; (2015) 'Respiratory Control in the mdx Mouse Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy'. Advances In Experimental Medicine and Biology, 860 [DOI] [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2020Charlemont Grant Royal Irish Academy
2019Research Award (Biomedical Science) - Medal and Prize Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
2018Research Award (Biomedical Science) - Medal and Prize Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
2018Travel Awards The Physiological Society; American Physiological Society; Irish Research Council; University of Florida; University College Cork
2018Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Award Irish Research Council
2017Usha Award American Physiological Society (Respiration Section)
2014The Charles Medal in Physiology College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork
2013College Scholar University College Cork
2008Third in category & Display Award BT Young Scientist
2007First in category BT Young Scientist
2005Commendation Award BT Young Scientist

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
American Physiological Society Member/
Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Member/
The Physiological Society Affiliate member/
International Society for Arterial Chemoreception Member/

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2013University College Cork BSc (Hons)Physiology
2018University College Cork PhDMedicine

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
International Journal Of Molecular Sciences Referee-
Journal Of Applied Physiology Referee-
Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology Referee-
Journal Of Neurotrauma Referee-
Journal Of Physiology And Pharmacology : An Official Journal Of The Polish Physiological Society Referee-

Outreach Activities

 Description

Press Release: Research paper profiled by The Physiological Society. http://www.physoc.org/press-release/2017/potential-therapy-restoring-breathing-capacity-duchenne-muscular-dystrophy-activa

Press Release: Research paper profiled by University College Cork. https://www.ucc.ie/en/research/news-events/news/ucc-research-breakthrough-could-improve-breathing-in-neuromuscular-disease.html

Radio Interview: Related to current research and selection to attend the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland (CTYI)

Eureka Science Summer Camp

Physiology Friday

Mentor to BT Young Scientist Students

UCC Open Days

Other Activities

 Description

Invited Talk: Barcroft Station, White Mountain Research Center, University of California (2019)

Invited Talk: Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (2019)

Journal Cover: The Journal of Physiology (Vol 597, Issue 3)

Selected Talk: Europhysiology 2018, London, UK. A meeting of The Physiological Society, the Scandanavian Physiological Society, the Deutsche Physiologische Gesellschaft and the Federation of European Physiological Societies.

Invited Seminar: Department of Physiology (2018), University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Selected Talk: Experimental Biology 2018, San Diego, USA.

Invited Talk: Inaugural Therapeutic Intermittent Hypoxia Retreat (2018), University of Florida, FL, USA.

Invited Seminar: Mayo Clinic (2017), Rochester, MN, USA.

Invited Seminar: Centre for Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation (2017), University of Florida, FL, USA.

Selected Talk: New Horizons in Medical Research (2017), School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. 

Invited Talk: Experimental Biology Meeting 2017, Chicago, USA.

Invited Talk: Hypoxia Research Symposium (2016), Cork, Ireland.

Selected Talk: Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Meeting 2016, Cork, Ireland.

Selected Talk: Irish Thoracic Society Scientific Meeting 2015, Cork, Ireland.

Invited Talk: Muscular Dystrophy Ireland AGM (2015), Dublin, Ireland.

Selected Talk: Experimental Biology 2015, Boston, USA.

Invited Talk: Hypoxia Research Satellite Symposium (2015), University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Selected Talk: Oxford Control of Breathing Meeting 2014, Sydney, Australia.

Selected Talk: International Society for Arterial Chemoreception (2014), Leeds, UK.

Selected Talk: Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Biomedical Sciences Meeting 2014, Dublin, Ireland.

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate & Postgraduate Teaching 
PL 2034 Physiology for Dental Students
PL 3024 Digestive Physiology
PL 3025 Literature Review, Experimental Design and Data Analysis
PL 4010 Control of Breathing in Health and Disease
PL 4020 Research Project

MH 1010 Introductory Human Biology
MH 2020 Research Methods in Medical Sciences

PF 3009 Gastrointestinal, Hepatic and Endocrine Systems
PF 3012 Respiratory, Musculoskeletal and Dermatology Systems
PF 3010 Cardiovascular, Renal and Eye Systems
PF 4014 Central Nervous System

FM 1010 Introductory Human Biology
FM 2102 Bone Metabolism, Renal Mechanisms of Homeostasis and Associated Anatomy

GM 1003 Fundamentals of Medicine III
GM 2001 Fundamentals of Medicine IV


Research Supervision
Postgraduate
Mr Kevin Murphy, MSc Thesis (2020)
Ms Romana Ahmadti, MSc Thesis (2020)

Undergraduate
Ms Lauren Noonan (2020). Recipient of Departmental Research Award. 
Ms Aoife Slyne (2020). Recipient of The Physiological Society Undergraduate Prize. Shortlisted for The Rob Clarke Award (The Physiological Society). 
Mr Ryan Harney (2020)
Mr David Cussen (2019)
Ms Caitlin O'Hehir (2018)

Erasmus
Ms Stefanie Wölfel (2020)
Yohan Blanc (2020)



Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
Professor Ken O'Halloran University College CorkIRELAND
Dr. Fiona McDonald University College CorkIRELAND
Professor Thomas Walther University College CorkIRELAND
Professor John Cryan University College CorkIRELAND
Dr. Eric Lucking University College CorkIRELAND
Dr. John Mackrill University College CorkIRELAND
Dr. Alexander Zhadanov University College CorkIRELAND
Dr. Anna Golubeva University College CorkIRELAND

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Professor Trevor Day Mount Royal UniversityCANADA
Dr Steve Crone Cincinnati Children's Hospital & University of CincinnatiU.S.A.
Katarzyna Whysall NUIGIRELAND
Dr Mai ElMallah Duke University Medical SchoolU.S.A.
Professor David Fuller University of FloridaU.S.A.
Professor Richard Wilson University of CalgaryCANADA
Professor Mark Evans University of EdinburghUNITED KINGDOM
Dr. Lara DeRuisseau Le Moyne CollegeU.S.A.

Contact details

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