Donald C. Bolser, PhD

Donald C. Bolser, PhD
Department of Physiological Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine

Research InterestsBolser headshot
Cough is the most common reason why sick patients visit physicians in the US. This defensive reflex is the most common manifestation of tobacco- and non-tobacco-related pulmonary diseases. Furthermore, cough suppressant (also called antitussive) drugs are among the most commonly prescribed in the world. Significant gaps exist in our understanding of how cough is produced and how this defensive reflex is inhibited by antitussive drugs.

Dr. Bolser’s research has focused on the neurogenesis of reflexes that protect the airway from aspiration, in particular cough and swallow. His group has discovered the existence of a novel control system for airway protection in the brainstem that coordinates the expression of airway defensive behaviors and breathing. This coordinating mechanism must accommodate very different motor patterns for breathing, cough, swallow and other airway protective behaviors.

Degrees and Training

  • BS in Biology, Florida Institute of Technology
  • PhD in Physiology, University of South Florida