Professor Murray Esler
Professor Murray Esler's principal research contribution has been the development of isotope dilution methodology to study the human sympathetic nervous system, and the appication of this tool in the investigation of the sympathetic neural physiology of circulatory control, aging, exercise and mental stress responses, and the neural cardiovascular pathophysiology of obesity, orthostatic intolerance, panic disorder and depressive illness, cardiac failure and essential hypertension.
This research was pivotal to the emergence of the field of human cardiovascular neuroscience. The demonstration of a high level of activation of the cardiac sympathetic outflow in patients with heart failure provided the theoretical backdrop for the evaluation of beta-adrenergic blockers in this condition. More recently, the demonstration of activation of the renal sympathetic outflow in essential hypertension was the stimulus for the development of a new therapy for hypertension, radio-frequency ablation of the renal sympathetic nerves with a purpose-designed renal artery catheter.