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

Leonardo Ferreira, PhD

Dr. Leonardo Ferreira is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. His research spans from experiments in individual cells to noninvasive studies in humans. He has been funded by the NIH and the American Heart Association throughout his career, and he currently directs the UF Laboratory of Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology. His research group uses an integrative approach with state-of-the-art techniques to study force production by intact muscles and single muscle fibers and examine molecular events in whole-tissue and cultured cells.


Clinical Practicum Coordinator

Emily K. Plowman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Emily Plowman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She directs the Aerodigestive Research Core (ARC), which seeks to improve the detection and clinical management of upper aerodigestive tract disorders associated with speech, swallowing, and breathing function through patient-centric research. Dr. Plowman is an internationally recognized expert in the field of dysphagia with over 60 publications and book chapters and over 20 grants to complete her innovative research.

Emily Plowman