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Harald Stauss, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology

Room 339
Phone: 575-674-2327
Department: Biomedical Sciences


Business School, Ettlingen, Germany – 1977-1982
Diploma in Industrial Business Administration
Certified by the Chamber of Commerce, Karlsruhe, Germany

Medical School, University of Heidelberg, Germany – 1983-1989

Medical Computer Sciences, Universities of Heidelberg and Heilbronn, Germany – 1989-1991

MD thesis in Pharmacology, University of Heidelberg, Germany – 1991
Role of the kidney in primary hypertension: a renal transplantation study in rats

Habilitation thesis in Physiology, Humboldt-Universität (Charité), Berlin, Germany – 1999
Frequency response characteristic of sympathetic-mediated vasomotor waves

Final examination of a 4-year medical residency in physiology, Berlin, Germany – 2001
Certified by the Berlin State Medical Board of Registration, Germany.

Research Interests

  • Dynamic properties of sympathetic modulation of vascular tone

This research was among the first to demonstrate that vascular smooth muscle responds relatively sluggish to sympathetic α-adrenergic stimulation and that this sluggish vascular response determines the frequency of blood pressure Mayer waves (blood pressure oscillations at a frequency of 0.1 Hz in humans). These studies culminated in the discovery that enhanced blood pressure variability (e.g., caused by loss of baroreflex function) contributes to cardiac hypertrophy.

  • Role of endothelium-derived nitric oxide on blood pressure variability

This research discovered that endothelium-derived nitric oxide significantly contributes to blood pressure variability. The importance of these studies was that they created a scientific basis for the use of blood pressure variability to indirectly assess endothelial (dys)function.

  • Myogenic vascular function and autoregulation of blood flow

These studies demonstrated that a loss of myogenic vascular function in the cerebral circulation can contribute to the development of hemorrhagic stroke:

  • Non-invasive assessment of cardiovascular function

The HemoLab software that I developed for this purpose is freely available to anyone and is currently used world-wide by many investigators (

  • Effects of vagal nerve stimulation on metabolic, hemodynamic, and inflammatory regulation

This research demonstrated that vagal nerve stimulation has differential effects on blood glucose levels depending on whether afferent or efferent pathways are activated by VNS. Furthermore, these studies demonstrated that chronic vagal nerve stimulation in hypertensive rats prevents deterioration of vascular function, possibly through anti-inflammatory actions.

Professional Accomplishments & Memberships

Professional Accomplishments

2016-current     Grant Reviewer for SPARC NIH special emphasis study section

2014                   Grant Reviewer for CICS NIH study section

2014                   Grant Reviewer for the “European Research Council” (European Funding Agency)

2008, 2012        Grant Reviewer for “Agence National de la Recherche” (French Funding Agency)

2011-2013         Chair of the “Chapter Advisory Committee” of the Am. Physiol. Society

2008                   Elected Board Member “The Open Hypertension Journal”.

2008                   Peer Reviewer NASA Biospecimens Sharing Panel

2007                   Editorial Board Member, American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory

2007                   Editorial Board Member, Pflügers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology

2005                   Elected Secretary and Treasurer, The Iowa Physiological Society

2005                   Appointed Guest Faculty at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

2004                   Elected President, The Iowa Physiological Society

2004                   Elected Chair of the Physiology Section of the Iowa Academy of Science

2004                   Peer Reviewer NASA HHS Cardiovascular Operations Panel

2003                   Elected Fellow, Council of High BP Research, American Heart Association

2002-2008         Special Editor American Journal of Physiology: Reg., Integr. And Comp. Physiol.

2001                   Member, Advisory Panel for Clinical Science

2001-2003         External Scientific Grant Reviewer for The Wellcome Trust, UK

1994                   Feodor-Lynen-Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation


since 2003         Iowa Physiological Society (President, Secretary and Treasurer)

since 2003         Iowa Academy of Science (Physiology Section Chair)

since 1998         American Physiological Society (Chair of the Chapter Advisory Committee)

1994-2015         American Heart Association (Fellow since 2003)

1993-2015         German Institute for High Blood Pressure Research

1991-2002         German League for Hypertension Research

1995-2002         German Cardiology Society

1997-2002         German Physiological Society

Selected Publications

  1. Stauss HM and Kregel KC. Frequency response characteristic of sympathetic-mediated vasomotor waves in conscious rats. Am J Physiol 271: H1416-H1422, 1996.
  2. Stauss HM, Persson PB, Johnson AK, and Kregel KC. Frequency response characteristic of autonomic nervous system function in conscious rats. Am J Physiol 273: H786-H795, 1997.
  3. Stauss HM, Anderson EA, Haynes WG, and Kregel KC. Frequency response characteristics of sympathetically-mediated vasomotor waves in humans. Am J Physiol 274: H1277-H1283, 1998.
  4. Martinka P, Fielitz J, Patzak A, Regitz-Zagrosek V, Persson PB, and Stauss HM. Mechanisms of Blood Pressure Variability-induced Cardiac Hypertrophy and Dysfunction in Mice with Impaired Baroreflex. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 288: R767-R776, 2005.
  5. Stauss HM, Gödecke A, Mrowka R, Schrader J, and Persson PB. Enhanced blood pressure variability in eNOS-knock-out mice. Hypertension 33: 1359-1363, 1999.
  6. Stauss HM, Nafz B, Mrowka R, and Persson PB. Blood pressure control in eNOS knock-out mice: comparison with other species under NO blockade. Acta Physiol Scand 168: 155-160, 2000.
  7. Stauss HM and Persson PB. Role of nitric oxide in buffering short-term blood pressure fluctuations. News Physiol Sci 15: 229-233, 2000.
  8. Kolb B, Rotella DL, and Stauss HM. Frequency response characteristics of cerebral blood flow autoregulation in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292: H432-H438, 2007.
  9. Langager AM, Hammerberg BE, Rotella DL, and Stauss HM. Very low frequency blood pressure variability depends on voltage-gated L-type Ca++-channels in conscious rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292: H1321-H1327, 2007.
  10. Stauss HM, Petitto CE, Rotella DL, Wong BJ, and Sheriff DD. Very low frequency blood pressure variability is modulated by myogenic vascular function and is reduced in stroke-prone rats. J Hypertens 26: 1127-1137, 2008.
  11. Stauss HM, Rarick KR, Deklotz RJ, and Sheriff DD. Frequency response characteristics of whole body autoregulation of blood flow in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 296: H1607-H1616, 2009.
  12. Laude D, Elghozi JL, Girard A, Bellard E, Bouhaddi M, Castiglioni P, Cerutti C, Cividjian A, Di Rienzo M, Fortrat JO, Janssen B, Karemaker JM, Leftheriotis G, Parati G, Persson PB, Porta A, Quintin L, Regnard J, Rudiger H, and Stauss HM. Comparison of various techniques used to estimate spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity. The EuroBaVar Study. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 286: R226-R231, 2004.
  13. Stauss HM, Moffitt JA, Chapleau MW, Abboud FM, and Johnson AK. Baroreceptor reflex sensitivity estimated by the sequence technique is reliable in rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 291: H482-H483, 2006.
  14. Pierce GL, Casey DP, Fiedorowicz JG, Seals DR, Curry TB, Barnes JN, Wilson DR, and Stauss HM. Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Reflecting Distance Estimation from Peripheral Waveforms in Humans: Detection of Age- and Exercise Training-Related Differences. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 305(1): H135-H142, 2013.
  15. Stauss HM. Heart rate variability: just a surrogate for mean heart rate? Hypertension 64: 1184-1186, 2014.
  16. Chapleau MW, Rotella DL, Reho JJ, Rahmouni K, and Stauss HM. Chronic Vagal Nerve Stimulation Prevents High-Salt Diet-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction and Aortic Stiffening in Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol: 311(1):H276-285, 2016.
  17. Meyers EE, Kronemberger A, Lira V, Rahmouni K, and Stauss HM. Contrasting effects of afferent and efferent vagal nerve stimulation on insulin secretion and blood glucose regulation. Physiological Reports 4(4):1-9, 2016.
  18. Stauss HM. Differential Hemodynamic and Respiratory Responses to Right and Left Cervical Vagal Nerve Stimulation in Rats. Physiological Reports 5(7):1-10, 2017.
  19. Nizamutdinov D, Mukherjee S, Deng C, Stauss HM, and Shapiro LA. Gulf War agents pyridostigmine bromide and permethrin cause hypersensitive nociception that is restored after vagus nerve stimulation. Neurotoxicology 69: 93-96, 2018.
  20. Stauss HM, Stangl H, Clark KC, Kwitek AE, and Lira VA. Cervical vagal nerve stimulation impairs glucose tolerance and suppresses insulin release in conscious rats. Physiological reports 6: e13953, 2018.

Full List of Published Work