Regis Vollmer is Professor Emeritus of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. He received a B.A. in Biology from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Houston, College of Pharmacy in 1975. Dr. Vollmer served as a research scientist at the Squibb Institute for Research, Princeton, N.J. from 1975 to 1977. Since 1977, Dr. Vollmer has been a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Vollmer’s academic training and expertise is in pharmacology with a focus on the treatment of cardiovascular disease, particularly drugs used in the treatment of hypertension. Therapeutic agents that he has investigated include centrally active antihypertensive agents, inhibitors of the renin angiotensin system and directly acting vasodilators. He currently teaches in the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, and Dental Medicine in the subject areas of cardiovascular pharmacology, cardiovascular anatomy and physiology and central nervous system anatomy and physiology.
Research conducted in Dr. Vollmer's laboratory is directed at the study of sympathetic nervous system control of cardiovascular function. Specific research projects have focused on the interplay of the renin angiotensin system and sympathetic neuronal function as influenced by antihypertensive drugs and dietary sodium intake. Various conscious and anesthetized animal models are being used to evaluate cardiovascular hemodynamic parameters including cardiac output, regional blood flows and resistances, blood pressure and heart rate. In thermoregulatory studies, indwelling temperature transmitters and thermocouples are being used to assess heat generation and dissipation.
Research projects in two areas are currently in progress. The first project is designed to assess the impact of anti obesity agents on the sympathetic neuronal regulation of the heart, blood vessels and adipose tissue (both brown and white fat). The second project involves the investigation of the role of oxytocin in salt appetite, food intake and temperature regulation. The experimental model being utilized for these experiments is an oxytocin knockout mouse. Oxytocin is known to suppress appetite and a working hypothesis is that animals unable to produce oxytocin may show major differences in their ingestive behavior and responses to anti obesity agents.
Neural control of thermoregulation and the role of oxytocin in ingestive behavior.
Zhang G, Gao X, Song YK, Vollmer R, Stolz DB, Gasiorowski JZ, Dean DA, and Liu D Hydroporation as the mechanism of hydrodynamic delivery. Gene Therapy 11:675-682., 2004.
Liu F, Lei J, Vollmer RR, and Huang L. Mechanism of liver gene transfer by mechanical massage. Molecular Therapy 9:452-457, 2004.
Amico JA, Vollmer RR, Karam JR, Lee PR, Li X, Koenig JI, and McCarthy MM Centrally administered oxytocin elicits exaggerated grooming in oxytocin null mice. Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior. 78(2):333-339, 2004.
Mantella RC. Vollmer RR. Rinaman L. Li X. Amico JA. Enhanced corticosterone concentrations and attenuated Fos expression in the medial amygdala of female oxytocin knockout mice exposed to psychogenic stress. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative & Comparative Physiology. 287:R1494-504, 2004.
Rinaman L, Vollmer RR, Karam J, Phillips D, Li X, Amico JA. Dehydration anorexia is attenuated in oxytocin-deficient mice. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative & Comparative Physiology. 288: R1791-R1799, 2005.
Anxiety and Stress Response in Oxytocin Deficient Mice
J. Amico, PI
R. Vollmer & L. Rinaman, Co-Investigators