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)

  • McBryde, F. D., Abdala, A. P., Hendy, E. B., Pijacka, W., Marvar, P., Moraes, D. J. A., ... Paton, J. F. R. (2013). The carotid body as a putative therapeutic target for the treatment of neurogenic hypertension. Nature Communications, 4.10.1038/ncomms3395
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton
  • Hart, E. C., Mcbryde, F. D., Burchell, A. E., Ratcliffe, L. E. K., Stewart, L. Q., Baumbach, A., ... Paton, J. F. R. (2013). Translational examination of changes in baroreflex function after renal denervation in hypertensive rats and humans. Hypertension, 62 (3), 533-541. 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01261
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton
  • Abdala, A. P., McBryde, F. D., Hendy, E. B., Paton, J. F. R., Marina, N., Gourine, A. V., ... Sobotka, P. A. (2012). Hypertension is critically dependent on the carotid body input in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Journal of Physiology, 590 (17), 4269-4277. 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.237800
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julian Paton


Contact details

Primary location

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

Web links