In Memoriam: Robert Fitzgerald PhD, 1932-2022

Dear ISAC Community

It is with sadness and deep respect for Dr. Robert Fitzgerald that we share the news of his passing on April 20 at the age of 90. Bob was one of the ISAC (International Society of Arterial Chemoreceptors) founders in 1987, together with Carlos Eyzaguirre (USA), Sal Fidone (USA), Sukhamay Lahiri (USA) and Donald McDonald (USA). He was intensely committed to the Arterial Chemoreceptors Society and to its research on the carotid body and its importance in cardiovascular homeostasis. He was also deeply dedicated to the Environmental Health and Engineering Department at John Hopkins School of Public Health, in its goals of furthering scholarship and education for fellows, graduate and undergraduate students.

Bob’s academic training began at the University of Notre Dame and his undergraduate degree in engineering and classical languages was conferred by Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1954. Following a Master’s degree in philosophy he obtained his PhD degree from the University of Chicago in physiology in 1963. Further degrees in theology followed his PhD degree training at Woodstock College. Bob joined the departments of Environmental Medicine at John Hopkins as a part-time postdoctoral fellow in 1963 and was appointed assistant professor in 1967. While Bob was completing his postdoctoral training, he was a member of a Jesuit monastery in Baltimore. His 55 years as an academician at the Environmental Health and Engineering Department, John Hopkins School of Public Health, include a promotion to professor in 1978, services as associate chair from 1980 to 1988, acting director of the Division of Toxicological Sciences and interim Chair of the Department in 1990-1992.

Scientifically, Bob was a pioneer and a world-renowned expert in carotid body research, especially for establishing the hypercapnic sensitivity of the carotid body, and the cholinergic hypothesis of chemotransduction. He was an elected fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (1990). Bob was interviewed in an instalment of the American Physiological Society Living History of Physiology series, about his upbringing, Jesuit studies and how he eventually became interested in physiology (

Bob’s resiliency as an academic scholar and scientist and through several personal health issues was remarkable. Perhaps one of Bob’s memorable attributes was that there was no gray area in his opinions, you always knew where he stood on an issue and he delighted in debating and arguing the fine points of science or his passion for baseball and soccer.

Dr. Fitzgerald is survived by his son Akira Shirahata Fitzgerald, who is a professional soccer player, and his loving partner Angela Ruddle, who was with him last eleven years of his life. Bob’s second wife, Dr. Machiko Shirahata, was also deeply committed with research on the carotid body field and with the ISAC community, until her death in 2016.

The International Society thanks Bob for his invaluable contribution for Arterial Chemoreception and express the deepest condolences to his Family.

Emilia C Monteiro, Silvia V Conde

Dr Machiko Shirihata, Akira Shirihata Fitzgerald, Dr Robert Fitzgerald

ISAC XXI – Virtual Kickoff Meeting Awards 28 Jun 2021

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the ISAC Science in Pandemics Awards.


  1. Preliminary Observations of Chemosensitivie Thermal Microdomains in Rat Carotid Body Type 1 CellsRyan J Rokoczy, C. Chiebrel and C. S. Wyatt
  2. Role of Leptin TRPM7 signaling in Carotid bodies in the Pathogenesis of Sleep Disordered Breathing in Obesity
    Lenise J. Kim (Polostsyk lab)

Honorable Mention:

  1. Sympathetic Control of Carotid Body Excitability in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
    Igor S.A. (Paton Lab)

ISAC XXI Virtual Kickoff Meeting June 28, 2021

Dear ISAC colleagues and friends,

The last time we saw each other was in 2017 in Baltimore in the US.

We want to have a face-to-face conference in 2022, 27th-30th June, but we don’t want to be away that long.

So, we invite you to join us at the Virtual ISAC 2022 Pre-Meeting that will be held on the 28th of June of 2021 by Zoom.

In this Virtual ISAC 2022 Pre-Meeting we will have a plenary lecture and a 2-hour session for young scientists (Students and young Post-docs) to present their work.

We therefore invite students and young post-docs to submit their abstracts until the 18th of June. Eight abstracts will be selected for a 10 min presentation + 5 min discussion. Two awards of 500$ will given to the 2o best works/presentations.

Please send your abstract to:

This will be a great opportunity to see each other, to discuss science and to listen the “new members” of our community.

Let’s gather online for the ISAC Meeting 2022!

With best wishes

Emilia Monteira and Silvia Conde


Dear colleagues and Friends,

It is with great disappointment that we postpone again the ISAC meeting. The scientific committee of the ISAC meeting feels that we will not have sanitary conditions to do the Meeting in June-July of this year. We still have a lot of COVID cases in the world and the vaccination will not be finished by then. Also, people are not confident to travel these days and there are a lot of restrictions to travel between continents.

We will not move to a virtual meeting since we also feel that this kind of meetings do not promote the interaction between people and completely alter the feeling and environment of the ISAC. If the pandemic situation changes, we will consider doing the meeting later this year, if not we will maintain the same dates next year.

Warm Regards and Keep safe!

Emilia Monteiro and Silvia Conde


27 July 2020

Dear colleagues and friends,

It is with great disappointment that we need to postpone again the ISAC2020. We had several drawbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the expected next wave in the winter, as some sponsors and speakers have cancelled. We are confident that next summer everything will be normalized and that in general people will be more comfortable travelling than nowadays.

The ISAC2020, now ISAC2021, will be held in the same location from 28th of June to the 1st of July of 2021 at the same location – CEDOC, NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas in Lisbon, Portugal.

We will maintain exactly the same Meeting Program/Schedule and we will soon contact all the speakers to confirm their availability for these dates.

Warm Regards and Keep safe!

Emilia Monteiro and Silvia Conde