ADC Investigators

Italo Biaggioni, MD

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Dr. Biaggioni established Vanderbilt's Clinical Trials Center in 1999 to support investigators participating in multicenter trials. He is the immediate past president of the American Autonomic Society and organizes Annual Scientific Meeting of this Society. Dr. Biaggioni has 26 years of experience in clinical research, with a research focus on the interaction between neural (autonomic) and metabolic (adenosine and nitric oxide) mechanisms of cardiovascular control. Dr. Biaggioni is PI of the Autonomic Disorders Consortium.

Roy Freeman, MD

Director of the Center for Autonomic and Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Freeman and his colleagues and collaborators have developed and refined techniques, including time and frequency domain measures of heart rate, blood pressure, cerebral flow, cutaneous blood flow control, baroreflex function and sudomotor function. They have harnessed these techniques to understand the pathophysiology of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the autonomic neuropathy of HIV infection and amyloid neuropathy, MSA and PAF. Building on work carried out by the Vanderbilt Autonomic Group and in collaboration with Dr. Horacio Kaufmann in projects sponsored by the FDA orphan program and NORD, they have carried out mechanistic and therapeutic studies with the norepinephrine precursor, Dr.oxidopa, to treat neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. This agent is now in a multicenter clinical trial.

David S. Goldstein, MD, PhD


Dr. Goldstein has been investigating brain regulation of the cardiovascular system for about 40 years. He joined the NIH as a Clinical Associate in 1978. His single-authored report on whether essential hypertension features high plasma levels of norepinephrine has been cited over 500 times. He was one of the first to validate liquid chromatography with electrical detection (LCED) for measuring levels of catecholamines in human plasma. He developed and applied approaches for estimating the rate of entry of norepinephrine into the venous Dr.ainage of the arm and later the heart. Goldstein and his group reported the first neuroimaging evidence of loss of cardiac sympathetic nerves in PD, especially PD with orthostatic hypotension, in contrast with MSA.

Horacio Kaufmann, MD

Axelrod Professor of Neurology and Medicine at New York University
Director, NYU's Dysautonomia Center

Dr. Kaufmann's research over the last 20 years has focused on the autonomic abnormalities of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. He first described Lewy body pathology in the cardiac plexus and peripheral autonomic nerves in patients with PAF. In collaboration with other consortium members, he conducted the pivotal clinical trials of midoDr.ine and Dr.oxidopa in the U.S. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Autonomic Research.

Phillip A. Low, MD

Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Dr. Low was introduced to autonomic nervous system disorders about 1970. He has been a leader in the development of quantitative tests and instruments to evaluate autonomic function. He invented the quantitative sudomotor function test. He also helped develop the thermoregulatory sweat test. Additionally, he developed and validated tests of cardiovagal and aDr.energic function, combining them into a composite autonomic reflex screen. These tests have been used at the Mayo Clinic to intensively evaluate the heterogeneity of POTS, its natural history and treatment options. Over ten years ago, Dr. Phillip Low and his colleagues successfully launched the nation's first Autonomic Disorders Program Project which has been continuously funded by the NIH. This program is focused on elucidating the pathophysiology of autonomic failure /dysfunction and developing novel therapies. Dr. Low has played a leadership role in the design and implementation of national phase 3 treatment trials of orthostatic hypotension and neuropathy, especially diabetic neuropathy.