Assistant Professor, Health Science Co-Coordinator
Dr. Andrea Corcoran joined Castleton’s Department of Natural Sciences as an Exercise Science professor in the Fall of 2020. She has a broad background in the neural control of breathing and in physiology, having used several different techniques and approaches to understand the mechanisms underlying respiratory control, particularly as it relates to homeostatic regulation. Prior to joining the faculty at Castleton, she was an assistant professor of biology at Southern Vermont College.
As an undergraduate, Dr. Corcoran studied both the role of development and species on physiological responses to temperature. Her graduate work (both Masters and PhD) focused on central control, particularly as it relates to chemoreception (detecting levels of blood oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH). As a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, studying the underlying pathophysiology of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in rodent models, Dr. Corcoran performed whole-animal metabolic measurements looking at the role of serotonin and GABA in cardiovascular and respiratory responses to hypoxia, hypocapnia, hypercapnia, and temperature. Using modern and novel genetic technology, she was able to acutely and reversibly silence sets of rhombomere-specific derived serotonin neurons and investigate their role in various environmental challenges. She, along with her colleagues, discovered a crucial neurophysiological role for serotonin and serotonin receptors in autonomic regulation, dysfunction of which may be an underlying factor giving rise to SIDS.
Dr. Corcoran’s current work investigates the role of Cannabidiol (CBD) on breathing and autonomic responses in humans, and how these might be altered by varying levels of exercise. This project provides excellent opportunities for undergraduate student involvement. She currently has been awarded a start-up grant from Vermont’s Biomedical Research Network to begin this work.
- Ph.D., University of Alaska Fairbanks
- M.S., University of British Columbia
- B.S., University of British Columbia
- Dosumu-Johnson, RT, Corcoran, AE, Chang, YJ, Nattie, E, Dymecki, SM. Acute perturbation of Pet1-neuron activity in neonatal mice impairs cardiorespiratory homeostatic recovery. Elife. 7: e37857. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.37857
- Hennessy, M, Corcoran, AE, Brust, RD, Chang, YJ, Nattie, EE, Dymecki, SM. Activity of Tachykinin1-expressing Pet1 raphe neurons modulates the respiratory chemoreflex. J. Neurosci. 37: 1807-1819.
- Corcoran, AE, Richerson, CB, Harris, MB. 2015. Functional link between the hypocretin and serotonin systems in the neural control of breathing and central chemosensitivity. J. Neurophysiol. 114: 381-389.
- Brust, RD, Corcoran, AE, Richerson, GB, Nattie, EE, Dymecki, SM. 2014. Functional and developmental identification of a molecular subtype of brain serotonergic neuron specialized to regulate breathing dynamics. Cell Reports. 9: 2152-2165.
- Iceman, KE, Corcoran, AE, Taylor, BE, Harris, MB. 2014. CO2-inhibited neurons in the medullary raphé are GABAergic. Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol. 203: 28-34.
- Corcoran, AE, Commons, KT, Wu Y, Smith JC, Harris, MB, Richerson, GB. 2014. Dual effects of 5-HT1a receptor activation on breathing in neonatal mice. J. Neurosci. 34: 51-59.
- Massey, CA, Kim, G, Corcoran, AE, Haynes, RL, Paterson, DS, Cummings, KJ, Dymecki, SM, Richerson, GB, Nattie, EE, Kinney, HC, Commons, KG. 2013. Development of brainstem 5-HT1a receptor-binding sites in serotonin-deficient mice. J. Neurochem. 126: 749-757.
- Corcoran, AE, Richerson, GB, Harris, MB. 2012. Serotonergic mechanisms are necessary for central respiratory chemoresponsiveness in situ. Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol. 186: 214-220.
- Ray, RS, Corcoran, AE, Brust, RD, Nattie, E, Dymecki, SM. 2012. Egr2-neurons control the adult respiratory response to hypercapnia. Brain Research 1511: 115-125.
- Dymecki, SM, Ray, RR, Brust, RD, Corcoran, AE, Richerson, GB, Nattie, E. 2012. Response to comment on “Impaired respiratory and body temperature control upon acute serotonergic neuron inhibition”. Science 337: 646-647.
- Corcoran, AE, Andrade, DV, Marshall, LH, Milsom, WK. 2012. Developmental changes in cold tolerance and ability to autoresuscitate from hypothermic respiratory arrest are not linked in rats and hamsters. Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol. 181: 249-258.
- Ray*, R, Corcoran*, AE, Brust*, R, Kim, JC, Richerson, GB, Nattie, EE, Dymecki, SM. 2011. Impaired respiratory and body temperature control upon acute serotonergic neuron inhibition. Science 333: 637-642. (* indicates co-first authors)
- Corcoran, AE, Richerson, GB, and Harris, MB. 2010. Modulation of respiratory activity by hypocretin-1 (orexin A) in situ and in vitro. New Frontiers in Respiratory Control. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Springer New York.
- Corcoran, AE, Hodges, MR, Wu, Y, Wang, W, Wylie, CJ, Deneris, ES, and Richerson, GB. 2009. Medullary serotonin neurons and central CO2 Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol., 168: 49-58.
- Corcoran, AE and Milsom, WK. 2009. Maturational changes in pontine and medullary alpha-adrenoceptor influences on respiratory rhythm generation in neonatal rats. Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol., 165: 195-201.
- Fong, AY, Corcoran, AE, Zimmer, MB, Andrade, DV and Milsom, WK. 2008. Respiratory rhythm of brainstem-spinal cord preparations: Effects of maturation, age, mass, oxygenation. Respir. Physiol. Neurobiol., 164: 429-440.