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Butler Group - Assoc Professor Jane Butler

Respiration is the most crucial action performed by human skeletal muscles.  It requires coordinated activation of respiratory ‘pump’ muscles and upper airway dilator muscles all the time: when we are awake, asleep, speaking, eating or exercising. Our research aims to provide (i) new understanding of the basic mechanisms of the neural control of human breathing and the interactions that occur between the cortical, medullary, and reflex inputs to the respiratory motoneurones, (ii) insight into the changes that can occur in neural connections in pathological conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea, and (iii) methods to improve coughing in people with high level spinal cord injury.  Because neural drive is elevated in many respiratory diseases, our longer term aim is to understand the changes that occur with respiratory disorders, which may lead to new diagnostic methods and treatment approaches.

Principal Research Fellow, NeuRA
Senior Research Fellow, NHMRC
Associate Professor, UNSW
T: +612 9399 1608
E: j.butler@neura.edu.au

Jane Butler (PhD) graduated in 1999 from UNSW, worked at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami supported by a NHMRC post-doctoral fellowship, and has returned to Australia in 2002 to continue her research at NeuRA.

She has a broad interest in the control of human motoneurones in health on disease with a focus on the control of respiration.

Current studies include investigation of the behaviour of single motor units in respiratory muscles during normal breathing and in patients with respiratory disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea, and methods to improve coughing after spinal cord injury.

She also studies the changes in the motor pathway that occur during normal movement and fatigue.

Control of coughing and expiratory muscles in spinal cord injury

Respiratory complications are the major cause of death for people with spinal cord injuries.

Control of the neural drive to human breathing muscles

Our recent studies of the control of breathing muscles have shown a strong link between neural drive and mechanical action of the muscle.

Control of the neural drive to human breathing muscles in disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that affects more than 4% of the population and can lead to symptoms from daytime drowsiness to high blood pressure.

Studies of voluntary and involuntary control of human breathing

Breathing is a complex motor task that needs to be coordinated at all times while we eat, speak, exercise and even during sleep.

Research team 
Dr Jane Butler's picture
Assoc Professor Jane Butler
Principal Research Fellow, NeuRA
Senior Research Fellow, NHMRC
T: +612 9399 1608
E: j.butler@neura.edu.au
Anna Hudson's picture
Dr Anna Hudson
Senior Research Officer
Early Career Research Fellow, NHMRC
T: +612 9399 1841
E: a.hudson@neura.edu.au
Dr Julian Saboisky's picture
Dr Julian Saboisky
Research Officer
T: +612 9399 1841
E: j.saboisky@neura.edu.au
Ms Claire Boswell-Ruys's picture
Dr Claire Boswell-Ruys
Research Officer
T: +612 9399 1067
E: c.boswell-ruys@neura.edu.au
Billy Luu's picture
Dr Billy Luu
Research Officer
T: +612 9399 1841
E: b.luu@neura.edu.au
Dr Martin Heroux's picture
Dr Martin Heroux
Research Officer
T: +612 9399 1842
E: m.heroux@neura.edu.au
Ms Rachel McBain's picture
Rachel McBain
PhD Student
T: +612 9399 1834
E: r.mcbain@neura.edu.au
Ben Kwan's picture
Dr Ben Kwan
PhD Student
T: +612 9399 1809
E: b.kwan@neura.edu.au

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