BREATHE Training Program Leadership Team


Gordon S. Mitchell, PhD

Dr. Gordon Mitchell is a Preeminence Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Physical Therapy. He was among the first to recognize the importance of neuroplasticity in respiratory motor control. His current research focuses on fundamental mechanisms of spinal respiratory motor plasticity induced by intermittent hypoxia, and attempts to harness that plasticity to treat clinical disorders that compromise breathing and non-respiratory limb movements. Dr. Mitchell has run an active research laboratory with continuous federal funding since 1983.

Gordon Mitchell

Curriculum Coordinator

Leah Reznikov, PhD

Dr. Leah Reznikov is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiological Sciences. The major research interests of her lab are centered on the molecular and cellular interactions of the peripheral and central nervous systems with the airway.  Dr. Reznikov has been continuously NIH-supported since 2014 and has received several awards, including the Zoetis Award for Excellence in Research (2021) and the American Physiological Society Giles F. Filey Memorial Award (2022).

Leah Reznikov

Clinical Practicum Coordinator

Karen W. Hegland, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Karen Hegland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, where she also serves as Associate Department Chair and Program Director for the M.A. program for Speech-Language Pathology.  She is the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction, which has been federally funded since 2014.  Her research focuses on the mechanisms contributing to voice, speech, and airway protection disorders in people with neurodegenerative disease, with the long-term goal of developing innovative interventions to ultimately improve quality of life for her patients. 

Karen Hegland