Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

[Return To Index page]
photo Sean D Stocker, PhD

Renal-Electrolyte

Email: stockers@pitt.edu

Phone: 717-805-5862

Contact
Office: S975 Scaife
3550 Terrace Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
 
Phone: 717-805-5862
Fax:
E-mail: stockers@pitt.edu
Education and Training
Education
B.S., Allegheny College, 1997
PhD, University of Pittsburgh - Neuroscience, 2002
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 2005
Research Interest
Excess dietary salt intake is strongly correlated with cardiovascular disease and is regarded as a major contributing factor to the pathogenesis of hypertension. Compelling evidence indicates that dietary salt acts centrally with other factors (ie, genetic, hormonal) to elevate sympathetic nerve activity, blood pressure variability, and blood pressure. We utilize a variety of approaches that include in vivo cardiovascular monitoring, in vivo neurophysiology, in vitro electrophysiology, opto and chemogenetic tools, functional neuroanatomy, and translational studies in humans.

Project 1 (NIH R01 HL113270 and AHA Established Investigator Award). Time-controlled studies in both humans and animals indicate excess dietary salt intake elevates plasma or cerebrospinal fluid sodium concentrations to subsequently elevate sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure. A major goal of our laboratory is to identify the cellular mechanisms that permit specialized “sodium-sensing neurons” or osmoreceptors in the brain to sense changes in sodium concentration and how causes salt-sensitive hypertension.

Project 2 (NIH R01 HL128388 and AHA Established Investigator Award). Excess dietary salt intake causes target organ damage and increases the risk for adverse cardiovascular events independent of blood pressure. Recent observations from our laboratory indicate high dietary salt enhances the excitability of sympathetic circuits, exaggerates sympathetic and cardiovascular responses to various stimuli, and increases blood pressure variability. A major goal of this project is to (1) evaluate the impact of dietary salt intake on sympathetic reflexes and blood pressure variability in normotensive humans, and (2) to identify novel mechanisms underlying these adverse neurogenic effects of dietary salt using salt-resistant rodents.
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Sponsored Research/Activities
Title: Brain NaCl-sensing in salt-sensitive hypertension
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute
Grant Number: R01 HL145875
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2023
Title: PRECLINICAL EVALUATION OF ACUTE PULMONARY VASODILATORY PROPERTIES OF AERPIO's PROPRIETARY DRUG IN NORMAL AND CHRONIC MODEL OF PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION IN RATS
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: Aerpio Pharmaceuticals
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2022
Title: Stocker AHA Mentor/Mentee Award
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: American Heart Association-National
Grant Number: RES
Start Year: 2017
End Year: 2018
Title: Central Osmosensory Mechanisms in Salt-Sensitive Hypertension
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R01 HL113270
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2018
Title: Role of Piezo Channels in Bladder Function and Dysfunction
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: R01 DK119183
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2024
Title: ENaC regulation and its role in blood pressure homeostasis
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute/ National Institute of Health
Grant Number: R01 HL147818
Start Year: 2019
End Year: 2023
Title: Influence of Diet on the Development of Homeostatic Neurocircuits
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: Penn State
Grant Number: R01 DK111667
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2022
Title: Adverse Neurogenic Actions of Dietary Salt
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding Agency: University of Delaware
Grant Number: R01 HL128388
Start Year: 2016
End Year: 2020
Title: Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research - Core B
Role: Core Leader
Funding Agency: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, & Kidney Disease
Grant Number: P30 DK079307
Start Year: 2018
End Year: 2023
Notable Achievements
Fellow of the American Heart Association, 2009
American Heart Association, Established Investigator Award, 2012-2016
American Physiological Society Henry Pickering Bowditch, 2016
Chair, American Physiological Society Section Advisory and Long-Range Planning Committee, 2018-2020