Mackenzie Ott, PhD
Professor and Chair, Basic Sciences, NUHS – Florida
Dr. Mackenzie Ott is a cardio-respiratory neurophysiologist and Chair of the Basic Sciences Department at the NUHS Florida-site. She currently teaches Cell Physiology & Hematology, Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Renal Physiology as well as Evaluation & Management of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders.
Dr. Ott is a Florida native who initially attended the Florida State University as an accounting major before transferring to the University of South Florida where she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from USF’s Honors College in 2000. The subject of her undergraduate honors thesis was the history of biological warfare. She worked as an organic chemist in the environmental industry for over 6 years, working her way up to semi-volatile organics lab manager.
In 2004, she entered the biomedical sciences doctorate program at the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. During her time as a graduate research associate in the department of molecular pharmacology and physiology, she designed and conducted advanced neuro-electrophysiological experiments to investigate brainstem network circuits through which baroreceptors and chemoreceptors modulate the respiratory and cardiovascular rhythms.
Dr. Ott is proficient in surgical skills including: the administration of anesthesia, blood gas analysis, the maintenance of blood pressure, catheterization of blood vessels, and the skillful maintenance of an advanced in vivo mammalian model. Dr. Ott’s doctoral research involved advanced electrophysiological techniques including: oscilloscope operation, multi-electrode array technology and mechanics, along with multiple computational data analysis methods used to measure the responses and dynamic associations of many simultaneously recorded neurons. Dr. Ott’s dissertation research is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology.
Dr. Ott was awarded the doctorate degree in medical science in May 2010. She then completed a postdoctoral appointment investigating auditory neural networking in 2012 within the department of communication sciences and disorders. She was appointed Chair, Basic Sciences, NUHS-Florida in 2022.
Dr. Ott’s current research interests are brainstem neuronal networks responsible for the initiation of breathing, modulation of respiratory rhythms, coordination of respiratory and cardiovascular rhythms, along with baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflex modulation.
Mackenzie loves SCUBA diving, fishing, photography, her dogs: Mogwi and Zuri, the beach, antique jewelry, and shooting sporting clays!