Khalid El Saafien

Khalid El Saafien, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Department: Pharmacodynamics
Business Phone: (352) 392-9236
Business Email:

About Khalid El Saafien

Khalid El Saafien, Ph.D., is an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow. He conducted his graduate training at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia; where he investigated the interplay between the autonomic nervous system and the immune system in the regulation of cardiovascular physiology. Following his Ph.D., Khalid moved to Gainesville in fall 2019 to join the laboratory of Dr. Eric Krause as a Postdoctoral Associate.

Related Links:


Hypertension New Investigator Travel Award
2022 · American Heart Association
New Investigator Travel Award
2022 · Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
1st Place Winner (Poster Competition)
2021 · College of Pharmacy, University of Florida (USA)
Florey Postgraduate Travel Award
2019 · The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (Australia)
International Early Career Physiologist Travel Award
2019 · American Physiological Society (USA)
Data NCARnation Award (Oral Presentation Competition)
2018 · American Physiological Society (USA)
Australian Postgraduate Award
2017-2019 · The Commonwealth Government of Australia
Melbourne Research Scholarship
2016-2017 · The Commonwealth Government of Australia
Frances Elizabeth Thompson Trust Scholarship
2015 · University of Melbourne (Australia)

Research Profile

My research focuses on probing neural circuitry controlling and regulating blood pressure in cardiovascular disease. My research utilizes an integrative state-of-the-art approach that combines Cre-LoxP technology, virally-mediated gene transfer, in vivo optogenetics, in vivo calcium imagining, cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology to decipher neural circuity involved in the moment-to-moment control and regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular physiology.

Areas of Interest
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Integrative neuroscience
  • Systems Neurophysiology
Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)



A Novel Organ-Specific Approach to Selectively Target Sensory Afferents Innervating the Aortic Arch.
Frontiers in physiology. 13 [DOI] 10.3389/fphys.2022.841078. [PMID] 35399269.
An Angiotensin-Responsive Connection from the Lamina Terminalis to the Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus Evokes Vasopressin Secretion to Increase Blood Pressure in Mice.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 41(7):1429-1442 [DOI] 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1600-20.2020. [PMID] 33328294.
Identification of novel cross-talk between the neuroendocrine and autonomic stress axes controlling blood pressure.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. [DOI] 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0251-21.2021. [PMID] 33858944.
Targeting angiotensin type 2 receptors located on pressor neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract to relieve hypertension in mice.
Cardiovascular research. [DOI] 10.1093/cvr/cvab085. [PMID] 33723600.
Brain Angiotensin Type-1 and Type-2 Receptors in Physiological and Hypertensive Conditions: Focus on Neuroinflammation.
Current hypertension reports. 22(7) [DOI] 10.1007/s11906-020-01062-0. [PMID] 32661792.
Chemoattraction and Recruitment of Activated Immune Cells, Central Autonomic Control, and Blood Pressure Regulation.
Frontiers in physiology. 10 [DOI] 10.3389/fphys.2019.00984. [PMID] 31427987.
In renovascular hypertension, TNF-α type-1 receptors in the area postrema mediate increases in cardiac and renal sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure.
Cardiovascular research. 115(6):1092-1101 [DOI] 10.1093/cvr/cvy268. [PMID] 30358805.
The role of the blood-brain barrier in hypertension.
Experimental physiology. 103(3):337-342 [DOI] 10.1113/EP086434. [PMID] 28986948.


Jan 2023 ACTIVE
Engaging a Novel Brain Circuit Containing Angiotensin Type-2 Receptors to Relieve Neurogenic Hypertension
Role: Principal Investigator


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
2020 · The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne (Australia)
Bachelor of Science
2015 · University of Melbourne (Australia)

Contact Details

(352) 392-9236
Business Mailing:
PO Box 100487