Even if we don't think about it, we all continuously breathe from birth until death. The Hodges Lab is a vibrant group of scientists dedicated to understanding how our brains unconsciously control breathing. We are keenly interested in how blood pH and carbon dioxide are sensed by the brain, and how these mechanisms may fail in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), or are altered in developmental lung diseases like Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD). Along with our close collaborators in the Forster Lab, we are also determined to better understand how opioids depress ventilation and other vital physiological functions, and testing novel drugs that may reverse these effects.


Dr. Matt Hodges completed his BA in Biology at Carleton College in Northfield, MN (1998), before joining Dr. Bert Forster's Lab, first as a technician and then as a PhD student (2000) in the Physiology Department at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Upon completing his PhD (2004), he joined the lab of Dr. George Richerson as a post-doc at Yale University's School of Medicine. He then rejoined the Physiology Department at MCW (2009) as a faculty member, where he serves as the Principal Investigator of the lab. 

Scientific Projects

We use a variety of scientific approaches to understand how the brain regulates breathing in health and disease. We use direct cellular recordings and state-of-the-art single-cell RNA sequencing to uncover the genetic determinants of brain cells that sense pH and CO2. We also test how repeated seizures or neonatal hyperoxia affect the control of breathing by studying unique knockout and transgenic rats coupled with pharmacological manipulations. We are dedicated to harnessing our technical abilities to mitigate or eliminate respiratory dysfunction and sudden unexpected death. 


Many trainees have contributed to the ongoing work in the Hodges Lab. Currently, we have a post-doctoral associate Dr. Gary Mouradian, PhD, a Visiting Scholar Dr. Paul Martino, lab technician Maddie Kilby and graduate students Anna Manis and Matt Dillard that drive our science forward. We also work closely with Dr. Bert Forster and his lab, including Lab Manager Suzanne Neumueller and PhD student Nick Burgraff. We welcome additional interested graduate students, post-docs and technicians (click link below).