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The long-term goal of my research is to understand the regulation of neurotrophic factor expression in target tissues of the peripheral nervous system (blood vessels, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle) and to determine the consequences of altered neurotrophic factor expression with aging and disease. I currently have two projects ongoing in my laboratory. One of these projects examines changes in neurotrophic factor expression and motor innervation in skeletal muscle following exercise training in rats. A second project underway examines changes in neurotrophic factor expression and autonomic innervation in cardiovascular tissues with development of high blood pressure. Dr. Spitsbergen's research is supported by grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.