“Engineering and nursing are similar in that they are both looking to solve specific problems through science. But nursing looks at the whole person. Given my research interest, UCLA is a great fit. Working in a school of nursing helps to ground the problems I study in the realities of people’s lives.”

While earning his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Macey was part of a research group that studied Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). His growing interest in how the brain controls breathing and blood pressure ultimately brought Dr. Macey to UCLA. In his current research, Dr. Macey studies the relationship between the brain and physical and psychological stresses in people with obstructive sleep apnea. His group uses MRI scanning in laboratories, and mobile health technology in people's homes , to test the effectiveness of physical and psychological interventions in sleep apnea, including the standard Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment and blood pressure reduction using drugs or mindfulness. His ultimate goal is help patients treat their full range of symptoms. Dr. Macey collaborates with teams in other UCLA departments and universities around the globe on brain imaging projects. He also is part of a team looking at similar questions in heart failure and in the pediatric condition of Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS).

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Obstructive sleep apnea, neuroimaging, autonomic nervous system, depression, anxiety, stress 

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Research: I study the brain in people with sleep disordered breathing. I seek to help understand how the neural regulation of body functions such breathing and cardiovascular control, and of psychological factors such as depression and anxiety are affected in people with obstructive sleep apnea. Our group typically uses brain MRI scanning to look at brain structure and function, and we relate brain changes to performance on physiologic tests of blood pressure and breathing, as well as measurements of mood and cognitive capacity. As well as adults with obstructive sleep apnea, I am part of a team looking at similar questions in heart failure, and in the pediatric condition of congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. I also regularly collaborate with faculty outside UCLA on a variety of brain imaging projects.


University of Canterbury, New Zealand, BE (hons.), 1991, Electrical Engineering

University of Canterbury, New Zealand, PhD, 1998, Electrical Engineering


Link to Bibliography