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Jason Pilarski

Jason Pilarski, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office: Life Sciences 136A

(208) 282-5422



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Curriculum Vitae


Lab: Life Sciences 127

Development of the breathing associated nervous system.


BIOL 5500/3308 and 5500L - Oral Histology and Embryology
BIOL 5550/3312 and 5550L - Head and Neck Anatomy

Biographical Sketch

In the context of my academic life, I have been studying the physiology and neurobiology of sensory and motor systems since 1998 with a special emphasis on the peripheral and central control of breathing behaviors in birds and mammals since 2003. Currently, I maintain an NIH-funded project that aims to understand the structure and function of brain stem rhythm-generating neural networks with particular emphasis on developing animals. The long-term goal of my research team is to understand how brain stem motor circuits that control life sustaining autonomous breathing patterns develop, mature and maintain rhythmic activity in the context of health and disease.


Ph.D. Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
M.S. Exercise Physiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
B.S. Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Postdoctoral fellow, Physiology of breathing-related neural circuits, University of Arizona, Tuscan, AZ

Selected Publications

Pickett, K.L., Stein, P.S., Vincen-Brown, M.A., Pilarski, J.Q. Role of inhibition in the development of respiratory rhythm and pattern in the zebra finch brainstem. Dev Neurobiol. 2018 Aug 29. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22632. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30160056

Vincen-Brown, M.A. Revill, A.E. and Pilarski, J.Q. Activity-dependent plasticity in the isolated embryonic avian brainstem following manipulations of rhythmic spontaneous neural activity Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, March 2016; doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2016.03.013. Epub 2016 Mar 26

Wollman, L.B., Haggerty, J., Pilarski, J.Q., Levine, R.B., and R.F. Fregosi. Developmental nicotine exposure alters cholinergic control of breathing frequency in neonatal rats. Developmental Neurobiology, 2016; doi: 10.1002/dneu.22380. [Epub ahead of print]

Vincen-Brown, M.A., Whitesitt, K. C., Quick, F.G., Pilarski, J.Q. Studying respiratory rhythm generation in a developing bird: Hatching a new experimental model using the classic in vitro brainstem-spinal cord preparation. Respiration Physiology & Neurobiology, 2015; doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Aug 24

Jaiswal, S.J., Wollman, L.B., Harrison, C.M., Pilarski, J.Q., Fregosi, R.F. Developmental nicotine exposure enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in motor neurons and interneurons critical for normal breathing. Developmental Neurobiology, 2015; doi: 10.1002/dneu.22318. Epub 2015 Jun 29

Jaiswal, S.J., Pilarski, J.Q., Fregosi, RF. Developmental nicotine exposure alters AMPA neurotransmission in the hypoglossal motor nucleus and preBötzinger complex of neonatal rats. J Neuroscience 2013 Feb 6: 33(6):2616-25