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Bill Yates PhD

  • Vice Chancellor for Research Protections
  • Professor of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience

Received a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Florida, and subsequently completed postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University in New York City.  I then became a faculty member at Rockefeller University for four years prior to relocating to the University of Pittsburgh in 1994.  I am currently a Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience, and also hold several administrative roles, including Co-Director of the Research Conduct and Compliance Office and Vice-Chair of the School of Medicine’s Curriculum Committee.  I also am Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

I am involved in teaching undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.   Since 1998, I have taught Human Physiology through the Honors College, and provide a number of lectures in the Systems Neurobiology course for neuroscience graduate students.  I also am extensively involved in the teaching of two medical school courses: Medical Neuroscience and Cardiology.  Through my role as Co-Director of the Research Conduct and Compliance Office, I also provide lectures on research ethics, including the use of animals in biomedical research and best practices for reporting data in journal articles.  I also have served several administrative roles related to teaching, and am currently Vice-Chair of the Medical School’s curriculum committee.   I was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010 in recognition of my contributions to teaching.

    Education & Training

  • Post Doc - Rockefeller University, New York
  • PhD - Neuroscience, University of Florida
Research Interests

My lab’s research has focused on vestibular influences on autonomic regulation. An important component of that work has been the study of the neural basis of nausea and vomiting, particularly that resulting from vestibular stimulation (motion sickness). We are one of the few groups that is actively studying the transformation of neural signals in the pathways that generate emetic responses.   We also investigate the role of the vestibular system in regulating blood distribution in the body during changes in posture and movement.  A third long-standing research theme is multisensory integration by the vestibular system.  We have demonstrated that somatosensory and visceral signals from all body regions shape the responses of vestibular nucleus and cerebellar neurons to inputs from the inner ear.  As part of this work, we also demonstrated the neural mechanisms through which somatosensory inputs can substitute for lost vestibular inputs. 

Courses Taught
Organ Systems Physiology
Systems Neurophysiology