Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Prof Alexander Gourine
Prof Alexander Gourine profile picture
  • Professor of Physiology
  • Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Dr Gourine joined the UCL Department of Physiology as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2000. He was awarded the Physiological Society's Wellcome Trust Prize in 2004 for his contribution to understanding the mechanisms underlying the chemosensory control of breathing. In 2006, Dr Gourine was awarded the Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Sciences (renewed in 2011 and 2016). He is currently a Professor of Physiology within the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology (NPP). His research focuses on the central nervous control of circulation and breathing, and the physiological mechanisms that regulate cerebral blood flow and maintain the brain metabolic homeostasis. In 2014, Prof Gourine, together with Prof Trapp, established the UCL Centre for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Neuroscience (CCMN). The Centre brings together several UCL and external (QMUL) research groups, as well as a network of international collaborating laboratories, and provides a vibrant and stimulating environment for research and professional development of PhD students, junior researchers, and clinical scientists. Dr Gourine’s research is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation.
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary
Brain energy metabolism and regulation of cerebral blood flow

The high metabolic rate of the brain, associated with the activities of billions of nerve cells processing information, requires constant and optimal nutrient and oxygen supply, as well as the effective elimination of metabolic waste products, which is ensured by complex physiological mechanisms controlling systemic and cerebral circulation. Sustained efficacy of these mechanisms maintains neurological health and promotes brain longevity. There is growing evidence that a reduction in blood flow to the brain, resulting in impaired delivery of metabolic substrates, damages nerve cells and the connections between them, leading to cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. We study the fundamental biological processes that ensure the nutritional support of nerve cell activity, effective elimination of carbon dioxide as a major brain waste product, and the mechanisms activated in conditions of metabolic emergency, such as when oxygen supply to the brain is reduced. We investigate how brain blood flow is fine-tuned to support dynamic changes in local neuronal circuit activity and how it is regulated to protect neuronal networks from deleterious changes in carbon dioxide concentration and oxygen availability. This research is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Autonomic control of the heart during exercise

The brain controls heart function by sending commands through specialized nerves. These brain-heart connections are vital to produce rapid changes in heart rate and determine how hard the heart works, which is essential for our daily activities and especially during physical activity and exercise. The efficacy of communication between the brain and the heart increases as a result of exercise training and contributes to optimizing exercise performance. In contrast, during the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, as well as normal aging, the activities of these nerves decline. This impairs communication between the brain and the heart, rendering the heart unable to rapidly respond to changes in behavioral/physical demands and limiting our ability to exercise. Our studies aim to determine the physiological principles underlying adaptive and maladaptive alterations in the efficacy of communication between the brain and the heart that develop in response to exercise training and during the progression of cardiovascular disease. Since maintaining physical activity is essential for every aspect of physical, emotional, and cognitive health, we also aim to identify how these nervous mechanisms can be activated to enhance the ability to exercise, increase quality of life, and promote cardiovascular health across the lifespan. This research is supported by the British Heart Foundation.
Academic Background
1995   Doctor of Philosophy Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
1994   Master of Science Belarusian State University
Some IRIS profile information is sourced from HR data as explained in our FAQ. Please report any queries concerning HR data shown on this page to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk.
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by