Department News

Kudos to our great POD3 staff!

The internal audit of the MPB departments is currently wrapping up.  This has been going on in the background for about the last four months!  Thanks to the tremendous work of Gary Bock, Bess Cahill, Connie Huebschmann and especially Becky Bowden, we came through it in pretty good shape. The auditors identified some  minor issues but our support staff has already implemented the necessary corrective actions - you will be hearing how this may affect you in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are hoping that we will NOT be audited again for several years!

Madhur receives NIH New Innovator Award

Meena Madhur MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine with a joint appointment in MPB, she is one of 48 investigators to receive a New Innovator Award from the NIH. Dr. Madhur will use single cell multiplex cytometry to profile peripheral immune cells in hypertensive and normotensive patients with the goal of understanding how hypertension and inflammation interact to increase cardiovascular disease risk. More information can be found at the Vanderbilt News Site.

Farewell Party held for the Cone lab

We bid a fond farewell to Roger at a celebration on August 26. For those that could not make it, the picture shows Roger sporting one of the gifts from the department – he is well equipped for the next Halloween party. Roger’s last official day as a VU employee was August 31, but he retains an adjoint faculty appointment as he continues to mentor VU students and postdocs as they complete their studies. Most of his lab will move up to Michigan in early October, but some of his group will remain in Nashville for up to 18 months.   -- Roger Colbran


Dr. Richard Simerly joins MPB

Dr. Richard Simerly, formerly the Director of the Developmental Neuroscience Program and Deputy Director of the Saban Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine (UCLA) has joined Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Simerly studies axon targeting in limbic and hypothalamic neural pathways, leptin receptor signaling in developing hypothalamic circuitry, and the development of sexually dimorphic forebrain regions. His lab is moving into 747 Light Hall. 

Dr. Cone accepts Director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan

Roger Cone, the chair of MPB for the last 8 years, announced that he will be leaving this Fall for the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan where he will be the Director. Dr. Cone remarked that " has been a distinct honor and a great pleasure to serve as your chair these past 8 years." Dean of Basic Sciences Larry Marnett announced that Dr. Roger Colbran will become interim chair of MPB and a national search for a new chair will begin in the Fall. 

Dr. Erkan Karakas joins the MPB faculty

Dr. Erkan Karakas has signed on to join us as an Assistant Professor on the tenure-track some time before January 1, 2017. Erkan will develop a program focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms and regulation of calcium signaling by inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. During postdoctoral training with Dr. Hiro Furukawa at Cold Spring Harbor, Dr. Karakas published several papers in very high profile journals (e.g., Nature, Science, EMBO Journal) focused on structural analyses of the NMDA-type glutamate receptor, the major initiator of synaptic plasticity mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the CNS.