Research in the Marian Kollarik Lab focuses on specific phenotype of visceral sensory nerves, termed nociceptive, that detect stimuli associated with impeding or actual tissue damage. Nociceptors trigger defensive reflexes and/or sensations of discomfort and pain. For example, nociceptors initiate cough, sneezing, nasal itching, bronchoconstriction and mucus hypersecretion in the respiratory system, and pain and hypersecretion in the gastrointestinal system. An increase in nociceptive activity contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases and their symptoms. Importantly, inflammation profoundly alters properties of nociceptive nerves per se, leading in general to exaggerated nociceptive responsiveness. Our research centers on this aspect of visceral nociception in allergic and non-allergic inflammation. We carry out electrophysiological and anatomical studies in isolated tissues and reflex studies in animal models.