My research interests focus on sleep/waking cycle control, sympathetic and parasympathetic regulation of cardiovascular and respiratory functions, and physiological alterations in the central regulatory mechanisms that occur in sleep-related diseases. My studies, performed at the Rostov State University in Russia, elucidated the role of the posterior hypothalamus and the oral nucleus of the pons in REM sleep control. At the George Washington University in Washington DC, my research focuses on the role of nicotinic, serotonergic and orexinergic neurotransmission in sympathetic and parasympathetic control of cardio-vascular and respiratory functions. Since prevalent sleep-related diseases, such as obstructive sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome, have been associated with cardiovascular abnormalities, my recent studies, using animal models and innovative optogenetic and chemogenetic approaches, elucidated underlying neurophysiological mechanisms and identified neurotransmitters and pathways that link sleep-related diseases and cardiovascular abnormalities. In addition, my research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the reduction of upper airway muscle activity that occurs in obstructive sleep apnea patients. This is pivotal to developing new targets to alleviate obstructive events in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. I have published 42 peer reviewed publications, 18 of these as a first author, and one - as a sole author.