John Osborn

Professor, Department of Surgery
Director, Minnesota Consortium for Autonomic Neuromodulation


Dr. Osborn is interested role of the autonomic nervous system in long-term control of cardiovascular function and the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases. The primary focus of his laboratory the role of renal nerves in the pathogenesis and maintenance of hypertension. This is motivated by clinical trials of targeted sympathetic ablation in humans using medical devices. Dr. Osborn’s laboratory is investigating the mechanisms of organ specific sympathetic nerve activity in the maintenance of neurogenic hypertension as a translational platform for development of novel antihypertensive therapies in the very near future. Dr. Osborn is Director Minnesota Center for Autonomic Neuromodulation which is leading a 7-center global study of the effects of vagal nerve modulation on physiological systems in human subjects.

Dr. Osborn’s research efforts are concentrated on therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. He has made important contributions to our understanding the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Dr. Osborn is also an internationally recognized expert in the development of autonomic neuromodulation therapies.

Research Summary

Research in my laboratory is directed towards gaining an integrative understanding of the role of the central nervous system in the long-term regulation of arterial pressure and the pathogenesis of hypertension. At the present time we are investigating how circulating hormones, such as angiotensin II and aldosterone, are monitored by specialized sites within the brain called circumventricular organs. We are investigating how these regions influence ongoing sympathetic nerve discharge and ultimately the regulation of arterial pressure. Our long-term goal is to understand, in a quantitative way, the role of such hormonal-sympathetic interactions in normal physiology and the pathophysiology of hypertension. Specifically, we are studying how such interactions are influenced by alterations in dietary salt in hopes of understanding the neurogenic basis of salt-dependent hypertension. A variety of experimental approaches are employed to address these issues including state-of-the-art long-term monitoring of cardiovascular hemodynamics and application of cellular/molecular neurobiological techniques. We have also initiated a collaborative project with the Department of Mathematics to begin developing new mathematical models of how the nervous system regulates cardiovascular function over long periods of time.


BS, Michigan State University
Major: Physiology
PhD Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Post Doctoral Fellowship,
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering



3-138 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building
645 21st Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Contact

Dusty Van Helden | 612-625-5250 |