Meet Distinguished Scientist Harold Schultz, Ph.D.

April 04, 2014

Image with caption: Harold Schultz, Ph.D.

Harold Schultz, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the 16 researchers and one community member who will be honored at an April 21 ceremony. The recipients include the 2013 Scientist Laureate, six New Investigators, eight Distinguished Scientists, two Research Leadership awardees, and a Community Service to Research honoree.

  • Name: Harold Schultz, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor, cellular/integrative physiology
  • Joined UNMC: 2000
  • Hometown: Bismarck, Ill.

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
My research program focuses on the physiology and molecular signaling of neurons that control cardiovascular-respiratory function in health and disease. I specialize in the study of sensory signals from baro- and chemoreceptor neurons that influence the control of sympathetic outflow and breathing. My interests have recently focused on the mechanisms of altered oxygen sensing in carotid body chemoreceptors and the impact that these chemoreceptors have on neural control of sympathetic and respiratory function in animal models of heart failure, hypertension and sleep apnea.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Elevated sympathetic outflow exacerbates cardiac stress and arrhythmias and is often associated with breathing disorders. These cardio-respiratory disturbances are hallmarks of chronic heart failure and have been implicated in the poor prognosis of the disease. Our studies have shown that the arterial chemoreflex plays an important role in the development of these cardio-respiratory disturbances during the progression of heart failure. Normalizing chemoreflex function via surgical-, drug- and exercise-related interventions has been shown in my lab to improve renal and cardiac function in animal models of heart failure, leading to increased survival, and may prove efficacious in prolonging survival in patients.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
My best advice has always been what I learned from my own experience.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I grew up on a dairy farm.
  • I enjoy gardening and fixing things around the house.
  • My favorite vacation is a day with no deadline or expectation.

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