A salient feature of almost all cardiovascular diseases, and there associated risk factors, is the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The consequences of this action are profound and impact blood pressure control, insulin sensitivity, arrhythmogenesis, and risk of sudden cardiac death. The primary aim of my research is to better understand the mechanisms that control and the functional consequences of sympathetic outflow at rest and during stress in humans with and without cardiovascular disease. To elucidate these mechanisms, I employ direct intraneural recordings of postganglionic sympathetic nerve activity, studying both multi- and single-fibre preparations. A major focus of my current work is directed at uncovering the ability of sympathetic fibres to be selectively and differentially controlled. Advancing our knowledge of these integrative mechanisms will open the doors to testing novel and clinically relevant exercise and non-exercise interventions designed to reduce sympathetic over-activation. Presently, my research is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Philip J Millar
Inter-individual variability in muscle sympathetic responses to static handgrip in young men: Evidence for sympathetic responder types?
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2017 Oct 25;:ajpregu.00266.2017
Muscle sympathetic nerve responses to passive and active one-legged cycling: Insight into the contributions of central command.
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 Sep 22;:ajpheart.00494.2017
Ischemic preconditioning does not alter muscle sympathetic responses to static handgrip and metaboreflex activation in young healthy men.
Physiol Rep. 2017 Jul;5(14):
Acute beetroot juice supplementation on sympathetic nerve activity: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proof-of-concept study.
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 Jul 01;313(1):H59-H65
Cutaneous Mechanoreceptor Feedback from the Hand and Foot Can Modulate Muscle Sympathetic Nerve Activity.
Front Neurosci. 2016;10:568
Validity and reliability of measuring resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity using short sampling durations in healthy humans.
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2016 Nov 01;121(5):1065-1073
Hypertension. 2016 Dec;68(6):1467-1474
Author's reply to da Mota and Marocolo: "The Effects of Ischemic Preconditioning on Human Exercise Performance: a Counterpoint".
Sports Med. 2016 Oct;46(10):1577-8
Isometric exercise training lowers resting blood pressure and improves local brachial artery flow-mediated dilation equally in men and women.
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 May 2;
Sports Med. 2016 Apr;46(4):531-44
Affiliate Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI)
Assistant Professor, Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph
Adjunct faculty, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University