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The Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (MPB) is a basic science department in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The department has been consistently ranked in the top three physiology departments in the nation based on funding from the National Institutes of Health, as well NRC ranking of related graduate programs. Faculty in the department use diverse cutting edge techniques to address important research questions that span the spectrum of biomedical sciences.

To commemorate Juneteenth 2021, the MPB Graduate Student Association (GSA) has assembled a poster chronicling the history of Black Excellence in Physiology. Physical copies of the poster can be found on the 7th floor of Light Hall and RRB, on the 8th floor of Light Hall, and in 2525 West End.

The GSA has also assembled a brief video to go along with the poster, including an introduction by vice-chancellor André Churchwell, as well as testimonies from Deans André Christie-Mizell and Larry Marnett, and MPB Members Dr. Antentor “AJ” Hinton, Dr. Andrea Marshall, Dr. Heather Beasley, Tiffany Richardson, and Slavina (Slavi) Goleva.

To learn more about efforts to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion in MPB, please click here.


At Vanderbilt University, we hold the sincere belief that fostering the advancement of and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff benefits all members of our community. To bring to life our vision of inclusive excellence, we are intentional about recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse and underrepresented groups of students. We encourage individuals from all populations to apply to our graduate programs. The university does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, socio-economic background, or disability.

Recent Notable Papers from MPB labs

David Samuels publishes a paper in Critical Care Medicine: “Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups and Delirium During Sepsis.”

Mason McClatchey (Wasserman lab) has a first author paper in Diabetes: “Fibrotic Encapsulation Is the Dominant Source of Continuous Glucose Monitor Delays.”

Neuert lab has a paper in Scientific Data: “Multiplex RNA single molecule FISH of inducible mRNAs in single yeast cells.”

Jason Spaeth (Stein Lab) publishes in Diabetes: “The Pdx1 Bound Swi/Snf Chromatin Remodeling Complex Regulates Pancreatic Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Mature Islet β Cell Function.”

Cherrington lab publishes in Diabetes Obesity & Metabolism: “Peripherally Delivered Hepatopreferential Insulin Analog Insulin-406 Mimics the Hypoglycemia-sparing Effect of Portal Vein Human Insulin Infusion in Dogs.”

Reza Dastvan (Mchaourab lab) publishes a paper in Science: “Mechanism of allosteric modulation of P-glycoprotein by transport substrates and inhibitors

Quan Wang (Bingshan Li’s lab) publishes in Nature Neuroscience: “A Bayesian framework that integrates multi-omics data and gene networks predicts risk genes from schizophrenia GWAS data.”

Guillaume Kraft (Cherrington Lab) pubishes a first author paper in Diabetes: “Sympathetic Denervation of the Common Hepatic Artery Lessens Glucose Intolerance in the Fat and Fructose Fed Dog

Venters lab publishes in Scientific Data: “Epigenetic and transcriptional profiling of triple negative breast cancer.”

Dale Edgerton and Alan Cherrington published a paper in JCI Insight: “Targeting insulin to the liver corrects defects in glucose metabolism caused by peripheral insulin delivery

Curtis Hughey was the first author paper in Molecular Metabolism from the Wasserman Lab: “Dysregulated transmethylation leading to hepatocellular carcinoma compromises redox homeostasis and glucose formation

Galli/Mchaourab labs publish in PNAS: “Structural, functional, and behavioral insights of dopamine dysfunction revealed by a deletion in SLC6A3

Rachel Hallyur (Powers lab) published a paper titled “Human islets expressing HNF1A variant have defective β cell transcriptional regulatory networks”  in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The Journal of Neuroscience published a paper titled “α2A-adrenergic receptor activation decreases parabrachial nucleus excitatory drive onto BNST CRF neurons and reduces their activity in vivo” from the Winder Lab with Tracy Fetterly as the first author.

Stein lab published a paper by Holly Cyphert in Diabetes titled: “Examining How the MAFB Transcription Factor Affects Islet β Cell Function Postnatally“.

Sam Centanni (Winder lab) published a paper in Neuropsychopharmacology titled: “Endocannabinoid control of the insular-bed nucleus of the stria terminalis circuit regulates negative affective behavior associated with alcohol abstinence

Arion Kennedy (Research Assistant Professor) publishes a paper titled “High CD8 T Cell Receptor Clonality and Altered CDR3 Properties are Associated with Elevated Isolevuglandins in Adipose Tissue During Diet-Induced Obesity” in Diabetes

The Journal of Neuroscience published a paper by Nick Harris (MSTP student in the Winder Lab) titled: “Dorsal BNST α2A-adrenergic receptors produce HCN-dependent excitatory actions that initiate anxiogenic behaviors“.

Cherrington lab published a paper entitled “Enterically delivered insulin tregopil exhibits rapid absorption characteristics and a pharmacodynamic effect similar to human insulin in conscious dogs” in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Ian Williams, a graduate student in the Wasserman lab, published in Diabetes“Acute Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibition Accelerates Trans-Endothelial Insulin Efflux in Vivo” in Diabetes”

Oliver Vranjkovic (Winder lab) publishes in Neuropsychopharmacology“Ketamine administration during a critical period after forced ethanol abstinence inhibits the development of time-dependent affective disturbances”

Claxton & Mchaourab publish in PNAS“Sodium and proton coupling in the conformational cycle of a MATE antiporter from Vibrio cholerae”

Neuert lab publishes in PNAS“Distribution shapes govern the discovery of predictive models for gene regulation”