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Psychological Sciences Faculty

Robert PhillipsRobert Phillips

Research Associate Professor, Behavioral Neurosciences

Mailing Address:
Department of Psychological Sciences
Purdue University
703 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081 USA

Campus Address:
Psychological Sciences, Room 3140

E-mail: rphillip@psych.purdue.edu
Telephone: (765) 494-6268



Degree: Ph.D. Purdue University, 2000

Research Interests:

Dr. Phillips’ research focuses on the autonomic nerve circuits with which the brain coordinates gastrointestinal tract functions and regulates food intake.

Recently, he has concentrated on how these nerve circuits change and become impaired with age. Phillips’ focus on the aging of the circuitry controlling digestion and ingestion addresses important health problems of the elderly and simultaneously provides a unique perspective to better understand the neural pathways that control food intake.

Recent Publications:

Phillips, R. J., Walter, G. C., Ringer, B. E., Higgs, K. M., & Powley*, T. L. (2009). Alpha-synuclein immunopositive aggregates in the myenteric plexus of the aging Fischer 344 rat. Experimental Neurology, 220, 109-119.

Miranda, A., Mickle, A., Medda, B., Zhang, Z., Phillips, R. J., Tipnis, N., Powley, T. L., Shaker, R., & Sengupta*, J. N. (2009). Altered mechanosensitive properties of vagal afferent fibers innervating the stomach following gastric surgery in rats. Neuroscience, 162, 1299-1306.

Walter, G. C., Phillips, R. J., Baronowsky, E. A., & Powley*, T. L. (2009). Versatile, high-resolution anterograde labeling of vagal efferent projections with dextran amines. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 178, 1-9.

Powley, T. L. & Phillips, R. J. (2009). Energy homeostasis: Visceral control. In: L. R. Squire (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (pp. 1053-1058). Oxford: Academic Press.

Phillips, R.J., G.C. Walter, and T.L. Powley (2010) Age-related changes in vagal afferents innervating the gastrointestinal tract. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 153:90-98.

Phillips, R.J., and T.L. Powley (2012) Macrophages associated with the intrinsic and extrinsic autonomic innervations of the rat gastrointestinal tract.  Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 169:12-27.

Powley, T.L., J.M. Gilbert, E.A. Baronowsky, C.N. Billingsley, F.N. Martin, and Phillips, R.J. (2012) Vagal sensory innervation of the gastric sling muscle and antral wall: implications for gastro-esophageal reflux disease? Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 24:e526-e537.

Lee, B.H., L. Yan, Phillips, R.J., B.L. Reuhs, K. Jones, D.R. Rose, B.L. Nichols, R. Quezada-Calvillo, S.H. Yoo, B.R. Hamaker (2013) Enzyme-synthesized highly branched maltodextrins have slow glucose generation at the mucosal α-glucosidase level and are slowly digestible in vivo. PLoS One, 8:e59745. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059745.

Phillips, R.J., C.N. Billingsley, and T.L. Powley (2013) Macrophages are unsuccessful in clearing aggregated alpha-synuclein from the gastrointestinal tract of healthy aged Fischer 344 rats. The Anatomical Record, 296:654-669.

Powley, T.L., E.A. Baronowsky, J.M. Gilbert, C.N. Hudson, F.N. Martin, J.K. Mason, J.L. McAdams, and Phillips, R.J.(2013) Vagal Afferent Innervation of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 177:129-142.

Phillips, R.J., F.N. Martin, C.N. Billingsley, T.L. Powley (2013) Alpha-synuclein expression patterns in the colonic submucosal plexus of the aging Fischer 344 rat: implications for biopsies in aging and neurodegenerative disorders? Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 25:e621-e633.

Powley, T.L., R.K. Mittal, E.A. Baronowsky, C.N. Hudson, F.N. Martin, J.L. McAdams, J.K. Mason, Phillips, R.J. (2013) Architecture of vagal motor units controlling

         striated muscle of esophagus: peripheral elements patterning peristalsis? Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 179:90-98.

Phillips, R.J., C.N. Hudson, T.L. Powley (2013) Sympathetic axonopathies and hyperinnervation in the small intestine smooth muscle of aged Fischer 344 rats. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, 179:108-121.