Dr Fiona Dianne McBryde

BSc(Hons), PhD

Research | Current

My current research investigates the role of the 'selfish brain' in regulating blood pressure. We propose that the brain puts the utmost priority on maintaining its own supply of blood and oxygen, even if this occurs at a cost to other organs. For many years it has been known that the blood vessels supplying the brains of hypertensive people show signs of hypertrophy (wall thickening), and it has been assumed that this occurs in response to hyeprtension, to protect the brain from prevailing high levels of arterial pressure. We are investigating the novel possibility that impaired brain blood flow occurs early, and may in fact be a primary trigger for hypertension. Thus, we propose that cerebral perfusion is maintained at the expense of systemic hypertension.

To address these questions, inconjunction with our collaborators we have developed advanced techniques to enable us to make long term recordings of blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity and brain oxygen levels.


2013 Sir Charles Hercus Research Fellow

2013 Michael J Brody Young Investigator Award, American Physiological Society

2012 Finalist: Young Investigator Award, International Society for Hypertension 

2009 Newton International Research Fellow (Royal Society, UK)

2008 Young Investigator Research Recognition Award, American Physiological Society.

Areas of expertise

Cardiovascular, integrative and neurophysiology.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Thakkar, P. C., McGregor, A. L., Barber, P. A., Paton, J. F. R., Barrett, C. J., & McBryde, F. D. (2020). Therapeutic Relevance of Elevated Blood Pressure After Ischemic Stroke in the Hypertensive Rats. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979)10.1161/hypertensionaha.119.14219
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Pratik Thakkar, Julian Paton, Alan Barber, Carolyn Barrett
  • Thakkar, P., McGregor, A., Barber, P. A., Paton, J. F. R., Barrett, C., & McBryde, F. (2019). Hypertensive Response to Ischemic Stroke in the Normotensive Wistar Rat. Stroke, 50 (9), 2522-2530. 10.1161/strokeaha.119.026459
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton, Alan Barber, Carolyn Barrett, Pratik Thakkar
  • Guild, S.-J., Saxena, U. A., McBryde, F. D., Malpas, S. C., & Ramchandra, R. (2018). Intracranial pressure influences the level of sympathetic tone. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 315 (5), R1049-R1053. 10.1152/ajpregu.00183.2018
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sarah-Jane Guild, Rohit Ramchandra, Simon Malpas
  • Pijacka, W., Katayama, P. L., Salgado, H. C., Lincevicius, G. S., Campos, R. R., McBryde, F. D., & Paton, J. F. R. (2018). Variable role of carotid bodies in cardiovascular responses to exercise, hypoxia and hypercapnia in spontaneously hypertensive rats. The Journal of physiology, 596 (15), 3201-3216. 10.1113/jp275487
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton
  • McBryde, F. D., Liu, B. H., Roloff, E. V., Kasparov, S., & Paton, J. F. R. (2018). Hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus neuronal nitric oxide synthase activity is a major determinant of renal sympathetic discharge in conscious Wistar rats. Experimental physiology, 103 (3), 419-428. 10.1113/ep086744
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton
  • McBryde, F. D., Hart, E. C., Ramchandra, R., & Paton, J. (2017). Evaluating the carotid bodies and renal nerves as therapeutic targets for hypertension. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 204, 126-130. 10.1016/j.autneu.2016.08.002
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rohit Ramchandra, Julian Paton
  • McBryde, F. D., Malpas, S. C., & Paton, J. F. (2017). Intra-cranial mechanisms for preserving brain blood flow in health and disease. Acta Physiologica, 219 (1), 274-287. 10.1111/apha.12706
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Malpas, Julian Paton
  • Pijacka, W., McBryde, F. D., Marvar, P., Lincevicius, G., Abdala, A. P., Woodward, L., ... Paton, J. (2016). Carotid sinus nerve denervation ameliorates renovascular hypertension in adult Wistar rats. Journal of Physiology, 594 (21), 6255-6266. 10.1113/JP272708
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Paterson, Julian Paton


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 4, Room 401
New Zealand

Web links