Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Research programs in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology cover the range from analysis of genes to analysis of whole organisms and fall into three broad categories:

  • Cellular & Integrative Physiology
    • This area includes the investigation of physiology and pathophysiology in experimental models ranging from cellular preparations to intact animals and humans. Current research is directed at studies of the microvascular system, cardiac system, hypoxia and oxygen transport in the respiratory system, metabolism within adipose, muscle and liver, and plasma membrane and fluid transport within the renal system. Research also encompasses various aspects of cancer biology including both in vitro and in vivo approaches.
  • Neuroscience
    • This area includes the investigation of neural function in normal and disease states, and addresses problems at different levels ranging from the regulation of nervous system genes to central nervous system mechanisms controlling arm movement in the intact animal. Current research includes the study of development, transplantation, demyelinating diseases, recovery of function following peripheral and central nervous system injury and stroke, motor and cognitive defects associated with HIV, neurophysiological, behavioral and molecular measures of early development, central mechanisms of hearing, neurotransmitters and plasticity.
  • Reproduction & Development
    • This area includes the investigation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, as well as uterine and placental function. Current studies are directed at mechanisms of hormone action, cell motility, cell-cell communication, cell and tissue differentiation and growth, cytokines and growth factors, gene expression and control of enzyme regulation in ovary, testis, sperm, hypothalamic-pituitary axis, preimplantation embryo, trophoblast/placenta and uterus. Mammalian and invertebrate reproductive models including transgenic and gene knockout mice provide fundamental information related to cell biology, endocrinology, and developmental biology.

The common thread is that all programs endeavor to understand biological function in health and disease. Nearly all faculty members have served on national advisory committees to major funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and as reviewers and editors to major scientific publications. The program provides outstanding didactic instruction and laboratory experiences that enable students to become effective teachers and independent investigators. The department offers the Ph.D. degree, and the combined M.D./Ph.D.degrees in conjunction with the School of Medicine.  An M.S. degree may be granted in appropriate circumstances.