Skip to main content

All Personnel (alphabetical)

Complete Directory of all MPB Personnel

POD 3

Administrative Team

Other administrative needs are delivered by personnel in POD 3 with special responsibility for MPB. Click on their names to access a picture.

POD3 Director: Connie Huebschmann

HR – Donna Ingram

Grant Admin – post-award: Bess Cahill, Becky Bowden, Barbara Hill

Grant Admin – pre-award: Beth Rivas, Alicia Davis

Travel – Kathy Davis

IT – Tim Dugger

 


    image_thumb

    Kristie Aamodt, BS, Brigham Young University

    MD PhD Student, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

    Powers laboratory.


      Kristie Aamodt

      Graduate Student 2011-2015

      PI: Alvin Powers, M.D.


      image_thumb

      Erica Joan Pruett Anderson, BS

      Graduate Student, Cone laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

      My research project is focused on advancing our understanding of the molecular and kinetic mechanisms of energy maintenance by elucidating if and when MC4R induced Kir7.1 signaling is required for regulation of food intake and energy expenditure.  We believe MC4R functions as a rheostat of energy maintenance by utilizing both tissue specific Gαs and Kir7.1 signaling modalities as well as unique kinetic aspects of these modalities.  I am using an in vivo  modeling system to test this hypothesis.


      image_thumb

      Julio E. Ayala, PhD

      Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      Research in the Ayala lab focuses on gut-brain interactions that regulate energy balance. Specifically, we are interested in identifying regions in the central nervous system and molecular mechanisms within those regions that mediate the effects of the gut hormone Glucagon-like peptide-1 (Glp1) and related Glp1 receptor (Glp1r) agonists on feeding behavior. Our lab combines transgenic mouse models, targeted pharmacological interventions and state-of-the-art metabolic phenotyping capabilities to address research questions. We aim to extend the technical expertise in the lab to leverage the existing imaging, circuit mapping, electrophysiology and behavioral phenotyping capabilities at Vanderbilt. Other projects in the lab focus on leveraging biochemical and pharmacological properties of the Glp1r towards the design of more effective therapeutics for obesity and diabetes


      image_thumb

      Caleigh Mariko Azumaya, BS

      Graduate Student, Terunaga Nakagawa lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are ligand-gated cation channels whose appropriate activity and regulation are integral to most central nervous system function. They mediate the majority of excitatory neurotransmission and their dysregulation has been implicated in many cognitive disorders. My research focuses on the molecular details of auxiliary subunit interactions with the AMPAR. Using biochemical and structural biology techniques, we hope to illuminate the molecular basis of interaction between these two proteins and how that relates to the auxiliary subunit’s modulation of AMPAR in vivo.

      • : 766 RRB (MRB I)


      Ashlee Bartley

      Assistant to the Chair, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


      image_thumb

      Jason R. Becker, MD

      Assistant Professor, Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      Molecular mechanisms of inherited cardiomyopathies.


      image_thumb

      Albert H. Beth, PhD

      Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      Structure, dynamics, and interactions of membrane proteins


      image_thumb

      Nathan Bingham, MD, PhD

      Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

      Pediatric Endocrinology


      image_thumb

      William Reid Bolus, BS

      Graduate Student, Alyssa Hasty laboratory, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      I study the role of eosinophils in adipose tissue homeostasis, specifically during periods of weight gain or weight loss. In particular, I seek to understand how eosinophils impact key aspects of adipose tissue physiology such as macrophage inflammatory state, vascularization, extracellular matrix remodeling, and adipocyte insulin sensitivity.

      • : Light Hall


      image_thumb

      Kayla Boortz, BS

      Graduate Student, O'Brien lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

      I work in Richard O’Brien’s laboratory and I study glucocorticoid regulation of G6pc2 expression in islet β cells.


      image_thumb

      Karin Janae Bosma

      Graduate Student, O'Brien laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

      Elevated fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) development and cardiovascular-associated mortality (CAM). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified SNPs in G6PC2 associated with FBG. G6PC2 is an isoform of the glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit expressed in pancreatic islet beta cells. Deletion of G6pc2 in mice results in reduced FBG, consistent with the human GWAS data, and islets from these mice have enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) at sub-maximal glucose concentrations. I am using mouse models to explore the function of G6pc2 in islet beta cells and its potential as a therapeutic target for the prevention of T2D and CAM.


      image_thumb

      Milam A. Brantley, MD, PhD

      Associate Professor, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
      Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

      Pharmacogenomics and metabolomics of retinal diseases


      image_thumb

      Jonathan Brown, MD, PhD

      Assistant Professor, Medicine, Center for Quantitative Science

      Systems Biology


      image_thumb

      Adrian Gabriel Cadar, BS

      Graduate Student, Hong laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

      Titin, the largest known protein, is indispensable for the structural integrity and function of the cardiac sarcomere. Yet, how such a massive ~3 mDa structural protein is maintained within the highly ordered sarcomere complex, while under continuously alternating tension, is unknown. My thesis focuses on elucidating the mechanisms mediating sarcomere homeostasis in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, I generated a novel model in which I can directly visualize sarcomeric titin in order to address fundamental questions regarding titin turnover, which is critical for sarcomere homeostasis.


        Erin Calipari

        Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology


          image_thumb

          Bethany Carboneau, BA

          Graduate Student, Maureen Gannon laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

          Prostaglandins are important modulators of an array of physiologic functions including insulin secretion and systemic inflammation. In the Gannon lab, I focus on the specific roles of the prostaglandin E2 receptors EP3 and EP4 and how they regulate processes involved in β-cell mass expansion. I am using pharmacological tools to examine the effects of EP3 and EP4 signaling in β-cell proliferation and β-cell survival in isolated mouse and human islets. I am also studying the effects of an EP3 antagonist and an EP4 agonist on β-cell proliferation and β-cell survival in the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes. 


          image_thumb

          Sheridan Jared Carrington, BBMedSci

          Graduate Student, Cone and Mchaourab Laboratories, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

          My thesis research aims to investigate how G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate the trafficking of a novel ion channel, Kir7.1. Our lab has found that the GPCR melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), interacts with the Kir7.1 inwardly rectifying potassium channel to regulate energy homeostasis.  We have found that MC4R can modulate the activity of Kir7.1 independent of G-proteins, and my project seeks to identify the molecular basis for this interaction.


          image_thumb

          Roger Chalkley, D. Phil.

          Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Research, Education and Training , Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
          Professor , Medical Education and Administration
          Professor


          image_thumb

          Wenbiao Chen, PhD

          Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

          Genetic basis of susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.


          Rui Chen, PhD

          Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


          image_thumb

          Alan D Cherrington, PhD

          Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
          Jacquelyn A. Turner and Dr. Dorothy J. Turner Chair in Diabetes Research, Medicine

          Diabetes, glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, physiology


          image_thumb

          Ashley Christensen

          Graduate Student, Gannon Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


          Derek P Claxton, PhD

          Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


          image_thumb

          Katie Coate, PhD

          Adjoint Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Samford University

          The pathogenesis of nutrition-related chronic diseases


          image_thumb

          Charles E Cobb, PhD

          Research Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

          Membrane Protein Structure and Function, Antioxidant Vitamins, ESR Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy,Membrane,Protein Structure,Spectroscopy


          image_thumb

          Roger J. Colbran, PhD

          Professor, Interim Chair, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

          Role of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in normal synaptic signaling and in neuropsychiatric disorders


          image_thumb

          Roger Cone, PhD

          Director, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan
          Adjunct Professor, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

          Previously Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.  Currently Director of Life Science Institute at the University of Michigan. 


          image_thumb

          Courtney Copeland, BS

          Graduate Student, Kenworthy Lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

          In the Kenworthy lab, my project focuses on understanding the role of Cav-1 mutants in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension.


          image_thumb

          Jackie D. Corbin, PhD

          Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

          Mechanisms of cyclic GMP mediation of hormone action


          image_thumb

          Jackie D Corbin, PhD

          Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

          Mechanisms of cyclic GMP mediation of hormone action

          https://medschool.mc.vanderbilt.edu/facultydata/php_files/part_dept/show_part.php?id3=751


          image_thumb

          Jackie D. Corbin, Ph.D.

          Graduate Student, Assistant, Associate, Full and Emeritus Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1971-Present

          Dr. Corbin, together with Dr. Sharon Francis, devoted his research career to determining the biochemical mechanisms whereby cyclic nucleotides mediate the effects of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other agents on many biological processes.  In 1976, he identified a novel protein that bound to cyclic GMP, which was later purified and characterized as being a phosphodiesterase that degrades cyclic GMP.  This enzyme, now known as PDE5, is the site of action of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction.  Dr. Corbin was a HHMI investigator for 17 years.


          image_thumb

          Matthew Cottam

          Graduate Student, Hasty laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


            image_thumb

            Dana C. Crawford, PhD

            Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

            My primary research interest is how genetic variation impacts common, complex human phenotypes.


            image_thumb

            Holly Cyphert, PhD

            Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

            Research Interest:  the role of transcription factors in beta cell development and function, specifically MafA and MafB


            image_thumb

            Travis Cyphert, PhD

            Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


            Bethany Lyn Dale

            Graduate Student, Madhur Lab

            I study the role of interleukin-21(IL-21) in hypertension associated end-organ damage and dysfunction using an IL-21 global knockout mouse. I am looking at the presence and effector function of IL-21 producing cells in Angiotensin II induced experimental hypertension.


            image_thumb

            Bruce M Damon, PhD

            Associate Professor, Radiology and Radiological Sciences
            Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
            Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

            Development and application of novel imaging and spectroscopic approaches to studying muscle function.


            image_thumb

            Reza Dastvan, PhD

            Research Fellow in Hassane S. Mchaourab's lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

            In Hassane Mchaourab's laboratory I study the multidrug transporters involved in cancer and infectious diseases.


            image_thumb

            Niels de Jonge, PhD, University of Freiburg

            Adjoint Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
            Head of Innovative Electron Microscopy, INM Leibniz-Institute of new Materials

            Molecular-level imaging, electron microscopy, biophysics, cell biology, protein function, nanobiotechnology, nanotechnology


            image_thumb

            Danielle Dean, PhD, Emory Univesity

            Research Fellow, Powers Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

            I study mechanisms regulating plasticity of alpha cells in the pancreatic islet.


            image_thumb

            Eric Delpire, PhD

            Professor, Anesthesiology
            Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

            Molecular physiology of cation-chloride cotransport mechanisms in the nervous system.


            image_thumb

            Emmanuele DiBenedetto, PhD

            Centennial Professor, Mathematics
            Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

            Partial Differential Equations of Elliptic and Parabolic Type; Degenerate and Singular Equations; Local and Global Behaviour of Solutions; Harnack-Type Estimates; Calculus of Variations; Quasi-Minima; Potential Theory; Phase Transition; Free Boundary Problems; Fluid Dynamics; Conduction-Convection; Navier Stokes Equations; Motion in Porous Media; Ill-Posed Problems; Thin Film Dynamics; Classical Mechanics.
            Mathematical Biology; Signal Transduction; Biophysics of Motion of Second Messengers; Cell Cycle; Complexity in Endothelial Cell Signaling; Mathematical Homogenization and Concentrated Capacity in Visual Transduction;


            image_thumb

            Matthew Dickerson, PhD

            Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

            Pancreatic Islet Expression and Function of Two-Pore Domain Potassium Channels


            image_thumb

            Ken James Drake, BS, Cal State

            Graduate Student, Wikswo laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

            I am a graduate student in the Wikswo lab studying the role of amino acids in cardiac ischemia and hypoxia.  


              image_thumb

              Dale Scott Edgerton, PhD

              Research Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


              Amicia Elliott, PhD

              Graduate Student, David Piston's laboratory 2014, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
              Postdoctoral Fellow, Benjamin White & Hari Shroff at the NIMH and NIBIB


              image_thumb

              Joseph Elsakr, BSE

              Graduate Student, Gannon Lab

              A mother's diet and metabolic status during gestation has been shown to affect her offspring's risk of developing metabolic disease later in life. In the Gannon Lab, I study the mediators of this increased disease risk using two animal models of maternal high fat diet during pregnancy. In a collaboration with multiple labs across the country, I obtain pancreata from non-human primates exposed to high fat diet in utero. Pancreatic endocrine cell mass, structure, and function are currently being investigated. In a mouse model, I study the effects of maternal high fat diet on the epigenetic profile of pancreatic beta cells in the offspring. Together, these studies will enhance our understanding of how high fat diet during pregnancy predisposes offspring to develop metabolic disease. 


              image_thumb

              Ronald B. Emeson, PhD

              Joel G. Hardman Professor , Pharmacology
              Professor, Psychiatry
              Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

              Molecular neurobiology.


              image_thumb

              John H. Exton, MD, PhD

              Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

              Mechanisms of cell signaling


              image_thumb

              John H. Exton, M.D., Ph.D.

              Instructor, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1963-Present

              Over his five decade research career, Dr. Exton’s research greatly advanced our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of signal transduction.  His research explored how hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors activate phospholipase enzymes in order to regulate calcium ions, G proteins, protein kinases and other factors within multiple cell types.  He was a HHMI-funded investigator for 36 years and the recipient of multiple honors and awards, including the Lilly Award from the American Diabetes Association and election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.


              image_thumb

              Payam Fathi

              Graduate Student, Ayala Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


              Jordan Taylor Feigerle, BS

              Graduate Student, Peter Weil laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                Yolanda Fernandez Otero, PhD

                Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                image_thumb

                Liz Anne Ferrick, BS

                Graduate Student, Ron Emeson Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                In Ron Emeson's lab, I am characterizing the physiological impact of Kv1.1 RNA editing in mice.


                image_thumb

                Sharron Francis

                Adjunct Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                Cyclic Nucleotide Signaling Pathways


                image_thumb

                Sharron H. Francis, Ph.D.

                Graduate Student, Assistant, Research Associate, Research Professor and Adjunct Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1975-Present

                Dr. Francis worked as a close scientific colleague with Dr. Jackie Corbin, forming a scientific partnership that lasted for 37 years.  Together they studied how cyclic nucleotides mediate the effects of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other agents on many biological processes.  She is widely recognized for her studies of phosphodiesterases, and specifically for helping to purify and characterize PDE5, the enzyme that degrades cyclic GMP and is the site of action of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. 


                image_thumb

                Aurelio Galli, PhD

                Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                Professor, Psychiatry

                Trafficking and Biophysics of Neurotransmitter Transporters with emphasis on metabolic regulation of dopamine signaling.


                image_thumb

                Maureen Anne Gannon, PhD

                Professor, Medicine
                Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
                Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                Molecular genetics of pancreas development, organogenesis, morphogenesis, islet function, diabetes, transcription
                factors


                Crockett Genea, MS

                Assistant, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                image_thumb

                Masoud Ghamari-Langroudi, PhD

                Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                MC4R neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus.


                image_thumb

                Karen Gieg

                Graduate Education Coordinator, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Pharmacology


                image_thumb

                Slavina Goleva

                Graduate Student, Sweatt laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                  Andrew Young Gordon, BA

                  Graduate Student, Penn laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                  I research and create novel nanoparticles for molecularly targeted imaging of the eye. My project involves using gold nanorods as exogenous contrast agents in the eye that are compatible with optical coherence tomography systems. My research includes the construction of gold nanorods and their modification for stability and biocompatibility. I collaborate with researchers outside my lab to perform work related to photothermal optical coherence tomography. Additionally, my research focuses on methods of drug delivery to the eye. As this is imaging research, I use a variety of imaging modalities relevant to in vivo imaging of the eye, notably optical coherence tomography. 


                    image_thumb

                    John C. Gore, PhD

                    Director, Institute for Imaging Science
                    University Professor , Radiology and Radiological Sciences
                    Professor, Physics and Astronomy
                    Hertha Ramsey Cress Chair , Medicine
                    Professor, Biomedical Engineering
                    Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                    Imaging Science, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


                    Jane Q Gradstudent, BS

                    Sample Lab

                    I am interested in the structure of the insulin receptor.


                    image_thumb

                    Daryl Granner, MD

                    Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                    Hormonal regulation of gene expression


                    image_thumb

                    Daryl K. Granner, M.D.

                    Professor and Chairman, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1984-2008

                    Over his 14 years as Chair, Dr. Granner both renamed and transformed the classically-organized Department of Physiology into one that used molecular biological and biophysical strategies to define how hormones, neurotransmitters, growth factors and nutrients regulate gene expression and other signaling processes. He may be best known for his highly successful mentoring of many young scientists.  His own research focused on how insulin regulates genes important for glucose metabolism, including phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), glucokinase and hexokinase II.  He also served as Director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center for 16 years, and was a frequent keynote or invited speaker at international conferences. 


                      image_thumb

                      Brad Grueter, PhD

                      Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology
                      Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
                      Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                      • : P435H MRB IV


                      image_thumb

                      Subhadra C Gunawardana, PhD

                      Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                      Better therapeutic approaches for Type 1 Diabetes


                      image_thumb

                      Volker H Haase, MD

                      Professor, Medicine
                      Professor, Cancer Biology
                      Krick-Brooks Chair, Nephrology and Hypertension
                      Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                      Molecular oxygen-sensing


                      image_thumb

                      Rachana Haliyur

                      MD PhD Student, Al Powers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                      Recent observations have challenged long held concepts in the pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes. By implementing an integrative approach to study both the native pancreas and isolated islets from the same human donor, I work to characterize the function and morphology of T1D pancreatic islets using in vitro and in vivo functional studies and immunohistochemistry. My primary project focuses on the glucagon-producing alpha cells in the T1D islet and identifying the mechanisms behind disordered glucagon secretion in T1D. 


                        image_thumb

                        Joel G. Hardman, Ph.D.

                        Instructor, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1964-1975

                        The very significant body of work performed by Dr. Hardman has contributed tremendously to our understanding of cyclic nucleotide synthesis and degradation.  In particular much of the fundamental knowledge of guanylate cyclase and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, which synthesize and degrade cyclic GMP, respectively, is a result of Dr. Hardman’s research.  In addition to his appointment in our department, Dr. Hardman was also Professor and Chairman of the Pharmacology Department from 1975 to 1990 and Associate Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt until his retirement in 1997.


                          image_thumb

                          Nick Harris, BS

                          MD PhD Student, Winder laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                          Drug dependent patients trying to maintain abstinence often relapse to their chosen of drug of abuse, with many citing stress as an antecedent to use and a lack of effective treatment to control the urge to use. Guanfacine is an α2A-adrenergic receptor agonist that targets receptors for the brain stress neurotransmitter norepinephrine and has been used in both preclinical and clinical trials for addiction, often showing positive results such as reduced craving but not producing changes in ultimate rates of relapse. We hypothesize that the ineffectiveness on relapse is due to competition among the myriad effects of this drug and aim to study a non-canonical neuronal activating effect in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, an area of the brain known to be implicated in both stress and addiction disorders, through the complementary use of whole cell electrophysiology and neuroanatomical methods in the hopes that uncovering the mechanism underlying this effect will aid in future treatment of patients dependent on drugs of abuse.


                          image_thumb

                          Ray Clement Harris, MD, PhD

                          Director, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
                          Professor, Medicine
                          Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          Role of cycylooxygenase-2 in renal development and function; role of growth factors in recovery from acute renal injury; role of renin-angiotensin system in regulation of epithelial cell function


                          image_thumb

                          David Glenn Harrison, MD

                          Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology
                          Professor, Medicine
                          Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          Inflammation; Endothelial cell metabolism of tetrahydrobiopterin


                          image_thumb

                          Alyssa H. Hasty, PhD

                          Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          My laboratory is interested in immune-mediated mechanisms of metabolic diseases.


                          image_thumb

                          Jacek J Hawiger, MD, PhD

                          Distinguished Professor, Medicine
                          Louise B. McGavock Chair,
                          Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          Inflammation, Innate Immunity, Biodefense, and Intracellular Delivery of Proteins and Peptides


                          image_thumb

                          Andrea Alyssa Hill, BS, Clark Atlanta University

                          Graduate Student, Alyssa Hasty laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                          I work in Alyssa Hasty's laboratory where we study inflammation and obesity.


                          image_thumb

                          George C. Hill, PhD

                          Chief Diversity Officer, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
                          Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                          Professor
                          Professor
                          Levi Watkins, Jr. Professor in Medical Education


                          image_thumb

                          Merla Hubler, MS

                          MD PhD Student, Hasty laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                          I am studying the role of macrophages in maintaining iron homeostasis in adipose tissue. Specifically, we have identified a subset of resident macrophages that compensate for excess iron in the tissue. We are currently interested in depleting this population of macrophages in order to assess their importance in maintaining the health of adipocytes. In future studies we will address the importance of iron handling by macrophages in obesity, and the temporal distribution of iron in adipose tissue and liver tissues.


                          image_thumb

                          Curtis C Hughey, PhD

                          Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics / Wasserman Lab


                          image_thumb

                          Eric J. Hustedt, PhD

                          Research Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          Advanced electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques combined with computational approaches to study protein compelexes of ankyrin.


                          image_thumb

                          David A. Jacobson, PhD

                          Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                          Secretagogue induced mechanisms regulating pancreatic islet electrical activity and hormone secretion


                          image_thumb

                          Ashwath Jayagopal, PhD

                          Head of Molecular Pharmacology and Biomarkers, Ophthalmology, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development

                          Development of imaging and therapeutic strategies for ophthalmology, vascular medicine, and oncology


                          image_thumb

                          Leonard S. "Jim" Jefferson, Ph.D.

                          Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1961-1967

                          Dr. Jefferson’s graduate training with Dr. Charles Park helped prepare him for his impressive career at Penn State.  His research has encompassed multiple aspects of the translational control of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and liver, including effects of substrate availability to the tissue and the mechanisms by which hormones such as insulin and glucocorticoids regulate gene expression.  Dr. Jefferson has been a Professor of Physiology / Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Penn State since 1975, and Chairman of that Department since 1988.  One of his many honors and activities was serving as President of the American Physiological Society in 1995-1996.


                            image_thumb

                            Carl H. Johnson, PhD

                            Stevenson Professor, Biological Sciences
                            Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                            Cellular and Molecular Biology of Biological Clocks


                            image_thumb

                            Kelli Jordan

                            Graduate Student, Jacobson laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                              image_thumb

                              Erkan Karakas, PhD

                              Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                              Structural Biology of Calcium Signaling and Transport through Biological Membranes


                              image_thumb

                              Nora Kayton, BS, University of Virginia

                              Graduate Student, Powers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                              My thesis in the Powers laboratory addresses basic questions of diabetes pathology, specifically (1) the functional consequences of chronic hyperglycemia on human pancreatic islets in vivo, and (2) the effects of ErbB growth factors on islet growth and function


                                image_thumb

                                Ben Kesler, BS

                                Graduate Student in the Neuert Lab

                                The sequencing of genomes from many different organisms has shown that a large fraction of the genome is transcribed into RNA but does not code for proteins. Genome-wide studies have identified many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), yet very little is known about their functions. The Neuert lab's previous studies have demonstrated that non-coding RNAs modulate the localization of key transcription factors, which influence the occurrence of downstream events that lead to active or silenced transcription. I will use a combination of quantitative single-molecule RNA experiments in single cells with genetic manipulations and single-molecule-based modeling to understand the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation of long non-coding RNAs in mammals to greater detail.


                                image_thumb

                                Annet Kirabo, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D.

                                Assistant Professor, Clinical Pharmacology Division/Medicine, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                image_thumb

                                Tetsuro Kono, Ph.D.

                                Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1963-1992

                                Dr. Kono’s primary research focus was on the control of glucose entry into fat cells by insulin.  He was among the first to report that glucose transporters can be translocated from an intracellular pool to the cell membrane in an insulin-dependent manner is fundamental to the understanding of insulin-regulated glucose transport.  In addition, Dr. Kono identified and extensively characterized the insulin-sensitive cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase enzyme in fat tissue.  Dr. Kono remained active in the laboratory for several years as an Emeritus Professor..


                                  Guillaume Kraft, PhD

                                  Research Instructor / Cherrington Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                  image_thumb

                                  Peter Allerton Kropp, BA

                                  Graduate Student, Gannon laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                  I am interested in understanding the role of the transcription factor Oc1 (Onecut1) in pancreas development and disease. Oc1 is essential for development of the endocrine pancreas, so I am investigating its interaction its cofactor Pdx1 in that role. I have thus far determined that proper dosage of both Oc1 and Pdx1 is necessary for endocrine cell differentiation and that defects established during development persist into adulthood. I am further interested in identifying the direct targets of Oc1 during pancreas development since so little is known about its direct regulatory role.

                                  • : 7435 MRB IV


                                  image_thumb

                                  Rachel W. Kuchtey, MD, PhD

                                  Associate Professor, Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
                                  Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  Glaucoma is a major public global health problem accounting for vision loss and blindness in millions of people world-wide. Although glaucoma can be treated by lowering intraocular pressure with medications, laser treatments or surgery, most patients are unaware of decreased vision until advanced stages of the disease. Improved treatment for glaucoma patients requires better understanding of the disease mechanisms and development of early detection strategies. Our broad long term goals are to understand the disease pathophysiology and to identify genetic markers for early detection and better treatment of glaucoma.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Fred Sanford Lamb, MD, PhD

                                  Professor, Pediatrics
                                  Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair,
                                  Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  Reactive oxygen species generation following cytokine stimulation.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Matthew John Lang, PhD

                                  Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
                                  Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  The general goal of our research program is to probe the inner-workings of Nature's molecular and cellular machinery through functional measurement. Building from a molecular perspective we and collaborators employ a measure-make-model approach including single molecule biophysics methods of optical tweezers, single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy, functional mutations, and simulations.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Louise Lantier, PhD

                                  Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                  Metabolic Pathophysiology Core Managing Director


                                  image_thumb

                                  Daniel Lark, PhD,

                                  Research Fellow in the laboratory of David Wasserman, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  In David Wasserman's laboratory, I examine how mitochondrial biology is linked to muscle glucose uptake in vivo.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Zeno Lavagnino, PhD, Italian Institute of Technology, University of Genoa, Italy

                                  Research Fellow / Piston Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  Developing inverted Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy to study hormone secretion in intact pancreatic islets.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Thao Le

                                  Graduate Student, Ayala Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                  image_thumb

                                  Bingshan Li, PhD

                                  Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  Computational and statistical genomics, Bioinformatics, Cancer genomics, Complex diseases, Genetics of psychiatric disorders


                                  image_thumb

                                  Gouliang Li, PhD

                                  Research Fellow / Neuert Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                  Research Interest:  Predicting dynamic spatial-temporal processes in signal transduction and gene regulation by quantifying individual cells with single-molecule resolution. A current cellular biology topic of interest is how cells respond dynamically to changes in their environment utilizing their cellular gene,


                                  image_thumb

                                  Mingyu Li, PhD

                                  Research Fellow / Chen Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                   


                                  image_thumb

                                  Chee C. Lim, PhD

                                  Assistant Professor, Medicine

                                  Cardiac biology and cardiomyocyte mechanics


                                  image_thumb

                                  Michael Joshua Litt, BA

                                  MD PhD Student, Cone laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                  In the Cone lab, I study the pathophysiology associated with deletion of the MC4R, the most common monogenetic obesity syndrome in man (1/5000 allele frequency). Using the mouse as a model organism, I am characterizing the cardiovascular, metabolic and energetic consequences that result from MC4R deletion. Observations from my research have furthered the need to identify and monitor patients with this distinct obesity syndrome.

                                   

                                  More broadly, my research interests include: energy metabolism, mitochondrial physiology, cardiovascular pathophysiology, pharmicogenomics, and gene environment interactions.


                                  image_thumb

                                  Roxanna Loperena, BS

                                  Graduate Student, Harrison laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                  In the past 20 years, two new mechanisms of hypertension have been defined: one is oxidative injury and the second is inflammation. Our lab has shown that dendritic cells (DCs) from hypertensive mice accumulate isolevuglandins that adduct to proteins and promote T cell activation. In hypertension, the endothelium is activated to produce reactive oxygen species and to express adhesion molecules and chemokines that attract inflammatory cells. In my project, we hypothesized that human endothelial cells exposed to mechanical stretch will promote conversion of human monocytes into activated DCs. Therefore, I study this conversion when monocytes co-cultured with human aortic endothelial cells exposed to either normal cyclical stretch (5%) or hypertensive cyclical stretch (10%) using the Flexcell® Tension System. I also study the different signaling molecules that could potentially be facilitating this process in hopes of understanding the mechanism of action.


                                    image_thumb

                                    Tammy Michelle Lundblad, BS, Centre College

                                    Graduate Student, McGuinness laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                    In the McGuinness lab, my long-term research objective involves elucidating the mechanisms whereby neuroendocrine function can be regulated by alterations in the inflammatory environment.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Robert L Macdonald, MD, PhD

                                      Professor and Chair, Neurology

                                      Transcription, translation, folding, assembly, trafficking and pharmacological and electrophysiological properties of recombinant/native GABAA receptor channels and of mutant GABAA receptor channels associated with genetic epilepsy syndromes in transfected HEK293T cells and in transgenic mice.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Lisette Maddison, PhD

                                      Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Genetic models of beta cell mass regulation in insulin resistance and diabetes.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Meenakshi S. Madhur, MD, PhD

                                      Assistant Professor, Medicine, Divisions of Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiology
                                      Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      To investigate the role of T cells and T cell-derived cytokines in hypertension and renal/vascular dysfunction


                                      image_thumb

                                      Mark A. Magnuson, MD

                                      Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                      Louise B. McGavock Chair and Professor, Medicine
                                      Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology

                                      Pancreatic endocrine cell differentitation and dedifferentiation, reprogramming of pancreatic acinar cells into new beta cells, genetic and epigenetic regulation of cellular plasticity


                                      Pallavi Manral, PhD

                                      Research Fellow / Kenworthy Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                      image_thumb

                                      Christian Randal Marks, BA

                                      Graduate Student, Colbran laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      Calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) is a highly abundant serine/threonine kinase in the brain. Direct interactions between activated CaMKII and its substrates play a number of important roles within the cell such as feedback regulation of channels/receptors, and normal synaptic plasticity. Relatively few CaMKII-associated proteins are known to preferentially interact with inactive CaMKII, and their functional roles are poorly understood. Moreover, molecular mechanisms underlying the coupling of CaMKII to the G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) that stimulate the release of intracellular calcium are poorly characterized. An interaction between inactive CaMKII and the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (a Gq-coupled GPCR) was recently reported. I am currently investigating how CaMKII interactions with mGlu5 can change mGlu5 signaling. Understanding the physiological importance of this interaction may lead to novel treatments of neurological disorders linked to dysfunction of mGlu5 such as Parkinson’s Disease, addiction, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorder.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Robert T. Matthews, PhD

                                      Research Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Research interests include the anatomy and physiology of (1) reward systems of the brain that are activated by abused drugs such as cocaine, and (2) limbic system brain areas involved in anxiety and stress. Of specific interest is how these brain systems interact to cause relapse of drug use by people previously addicted to drugs.


                                      image_thumb

                                      James M. May, MD

                                      Professor, Medicine
                                      Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Dr. May's laboratory is involved in two areas involving antioxidant vitamins and micronutrients: the function of vitamin C to tighten the endothelial permeability barrier in diabetes and the role of the vitamin in preserving pericytes in diabetic retinas.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Michael J. McCaughey, PhD

                                      Research Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Cellular image analysis and image management, database structures and software development.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Owen P McGuinness, PhD

                                      Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Regulation Of Metabolic Response to Inflammation: Interaction With Nutrition


                                      image_thumb

                                      Hassane S. Mchaourab, PhD

                                      Professor, Louis B. McGavock Chair, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Structure and dynamic basis for protein function.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Brian Douglas McKenna, BS, James Madison University

                                      Graduate Student, Stein laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      In the Stein lab, I work on identifying co-regulators of Pdx-1 and their regulation of critical β-cell genes.
                                       
                                       

                                      • : 723 Light Hall


                                      image_thumb

                                      Haley Mendoza-Romero

                                      Graduate Student, Simerly Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                      image_thumb

                                      Amanda Meyer, BA

                                      Graduate Student, Weil Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      RNA Polymerase II transcriptional activation contributes importantly to the regulation of gene expression by controlling mRNA biosynthesis. A central driving force of the activation process is provided by the concerted action of a DNA-binding transfactor and at least one coactivator. I am interested in defining the transfactor-coactivator interactions required for activation. The specific goal of my current work in the Weil lab is to determine the specific domains the Rap1 transcriptional activator uses to interact with the general transcription factor TFIID to drive activation of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae ribosomal protein genes.  I combine genetic, biochemical, and biophysical approaches to accomplish this goal.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Maximilian Michel, PhD

                                      Research Fellow / Cone Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                      image_thumb

                                      Sarah C. Milian

                                      Graduate Student, Jacobson laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      Our lab studies the function of potassium channels in electrically excitable endocrine cells within the pancreas. We are particularly interested in the β-cell specific potassium channel, TALK-1. TALK-1 is the most abundant potassium channel in the β-cell, and a polymorphism within TALK-1 has been associated with an increased risk for Type-2 diabetes. Our lab has previously shown that TALK-1 channels regulate the β-cells ability to release insulin in response to glucose. My work focuses on characterizing this regulation so that we can better understand the function that the channel plays in diabetes.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Sanjay Mishra

                                      Graduate Student, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      I work in Hassane Mchaourab's lab on the structure and function of small heat shock proteins, particularly their function in the lens. 


                                      image_thumb

                                      Smriti Mishra, PhD

                                      Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Multi drug transporters


                                      image_thumb

                                      Sabrina Mitchell, PhD

                                      Research Fellow, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                      Research Interests

                                      The impact of mitochondrial genetic variation on complex traits and disease
                                      Methods for high-throughput classification of mitochondrial haplogroups
                                      Mechanisms mitochondria employ to communicate with the nucleus to regulate gene expression
                                      Bridging statistical and molecular genetics to determine functional variants that influence disease risk.


                                      image_thumb

                                      Kim Ramil Montaniel

                                      Graduate Student, Harrison laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                      My research focus in the Harrison lab is on studying the role of reactive oxygen species in vascular function especially in the setting of hypertension and cardiovascular disease


                                        image_thumb

                                        Mary Courtney Moore, PhD

                                        Research Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                        liver glucose metabolism, organ balance, tracer methods


                                        image_thumb

                                        Howard E. Morgan, M.D.

                                        Medical Fellow, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1954-1967

                                        During Dr. Morgan’s tenure at Vanderbilt, he investigated glucose uptake and glycogenolysis in heart muscle.  In particular, his studies of the regulation of phosphorylase b activity provided insights into the control of glycogen breakdown.  Dr. Morgan’s post-Vanderbilt research program at Penn State focused on the regulation of protein turnover in heart muscle.  He was Chairman of  the Department of Physiology at Penn State from 1973 – 1987.  Among his many honors and awards, Dr. Morgan was President of  the American Physiological Society (1985-86) and American Heart Association (1987-88), and was elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in 1987.


                                          image_thumb

                                          Douglas P. Mortlock, PhD

                                          Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                          Long-range gene regulation, genomics, developmental biology, bone and joint development


                                          image_thumb

                                          Terunaga Nakagawa, MD, PhD

                                          Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                          Molecular and cellular biophysics of synapses


                                          image_thumb

                                          Gregor Neuert, PhD

                                          Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                          Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering

                                          Quantitative and predictive understanding of dynamic signal transduction and gene regulation of the coding and the non-coding genome in model organisms and human disease.


                                          image_thumb

                                          Kevin Dean Niswender, MD, PhD

                                          Associate Professor, Medicine
                                          Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                          Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism


                                          image_thumb

                                          Allison Elizabeth Norlander, BS

                                          Graduate Student, Madhur laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                          My thesis project in Dr. Harrison's laboratory is centered on the role of T cells in hypertension.


                                            image_thumb

                                            Richard M. O'Brien, PhD

                                            Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                            Diabetes and the Glucose-6-Phosphatase Gene Family


                                            image_thumb

                                            Anna Osipovich, PhD

                                            Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                            Characterization of endocrine progenitor cells and acinar to beta cell transdifferentiation


                                            image_thumb

                                            Patrick S. Page-McCaw, PhD

                                            Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                            Genetics of autonomic regulation of the heart; Regulation of glycan metabolism in signaling; Crispr/Cas9 mutagenesis of the zebrafish


                                            image_thumb

                                            Brian T. Palmisano, BS, BA

                                            MD PhD Student, Stafford lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                            • : 7445 MRB IV


                                            image_thumb

                                            Charles R. Park, MD

                                            Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                            Hormonal control of carbohydrate metabolism


                                              image_thumb

                                              Jane Park, PhD

                                              Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                              Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science

                                              We are currently investigating muscle defects in patients with inflammatory diseases, such as dermatomyositis and polymyositis. MRI exams showed that inflammation and fat infiltration in muscle diseases are initially concordant with energy deficits of essential ATP and PCr.


                                              image_thumb

                                              Charles R. "Rollo" Park, M.D.

                                              Professor and Chairman, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1952-1984

                                              During his more than 3 decades of leadership in the Department of Physiology, Dr. Park’s research efforts with the group of investigators he recruited to Vanderbilt yielded tremendous advancements in the understanding of a variety of metabolic processes.  These include the regulation of glucose entry into cells by insulin, hormonal control of gluconeogenesis and glycolysis, and intracellular actions of hormones acting via cyclic AMP and its protein kinase.  Two of his many honors include the Banting Award of the American Diabetes Association in 1979 and election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980.


                                                Johanna Gandy Pasek, PhD

                                                Research Fellow / Colbran Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                Research Interest:

                                                Many normal cognitive behaviors depend on precise regulation of the connections between neurons in a brain region called the striatum. Regulation of striatal neuron connections is thought to depend on calcium entry through membrane channels that can activate the intracellular signaling protein CaMKII. My studies elucidate mechanisms of calcium dependent striatal regulation that may provide potential strategies to treat diverse neurological and psychiatric disorders.


                                                image_thumb

                                                Sachin Patel, MD PhD

                                                Associate Professor, Psychiatry
                                                Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                Our research program focuses on the role of endocannabinoids in stress-induced neuroadaptation.


                                                Dungene Peng, PhD

                                                Research Fellow / Mchaourab Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                image_thumb

                                                John S. Penn, PhD

                                                Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
                                                Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
                                                Snyder Chair, Medical Education and Administration
                                                Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
                                                Professor , Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                Professor

                                                A Molecular and Cellular Characterization of Ocular Angiogenesis


                                                image_thumb

                                                Tyler L. Perfitt, BA

                                                Graduate Student, Colbran lab, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                Brain function relies on the formation and stabilization of synapses, and many neurological disorders are associated with disruptions in synaptic signaling. Scaffolding proteins play a critical role in maintaining spine morphology and bringing receptors and ion channels in close proximity to their downstream signaling molecules. In the Colbran lab, I study protein-protein interactions between CaMKII and scaffolds in the postsynaptic spines of neurons, and how they regulate downstream signaling. I am also interested in how neurons signal from the synapse to the nucleus in order to initiate gene transcription, an important process in learning and memory.

                                                BA, DePauw University


                                                Sam Pfaff, PhD

                                                Professor , Gene Expression Laboratory, HHMI
                                                Post-doctoral Fellow, WL Taylor Laboratory

                                                • : Salk Institute
                                                  La Jolla, CA, - 93207


                                                Marquicia R. Pierce, PhD

                                                Graduate student and Postdoctoral Fellow with James May 2008-2014, Michigan State University
                                                Currently: Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow


                                                image_thumb

                                                Simon J. Pilkis, M.D., Ph.D.

                                                Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1972-1986

                                                The research area pursued by Dr. Pilkis involved hormonal control of hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycolysis via alterations in enzyme activities.  He discovered fructose-2,6-bisphosphate, the key allosteric modulator of phosphofructokinase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, the bifunctional enzyme which synthesizes and degrades this regulator, and identified the gene that encodes this protein.  This led to his extensive study of the hormonally-mediated regulation of the enzymatic activities of the bifunctional enzyme, including studies of its genetic expression.  Dr. Pilkis became Professor and Chairman of Physiology and Biophysics at The State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1986.


                                                  image_thumb

                                                  David W. Piston, PhD

                                                  Adjoint Professor, Washington University (St. Louis)

                                                  In vivo studies of stimulus-secretion coupling and glucose metabolism dynamics


                                                  image_thumb

                                                  Robert L. Post, M.D.

                                                  Instructor, Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1948-1991

                                                  Dr. Post is credited with identifying the sodium and potassium ATPase active transporter of cell membranes, which is responsible for maintaining the proper concentrations of sodium and potassium in cells. Dr. Post pursued highly successful studies on the mechanism of action and energetics of the transporter, the results of which have also been extended to an understanding of many other transport systems.  Among his many honors and awards is the 1983 Cole Award from the Biophysical Society.


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Alvin C. Powers, MD

                                                    Joe C. Davis Chair in Biomedical Science, Medicine, and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                    Professor, Vanderbilt Diabetes Center
                                                    Director, Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology
                                                    Director

                                                    Pancreatic Islet Biology, Vascularization, Development, Regeneration, and Imaging; Diabetes

                                                    http://www.powersresearch.org/

                                                     


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Ambra Pozzi, PhD

                                                    Professor, Medicine
                                                    Professor, Cancer Biology
                                                    Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    Role of arachidonic acid derived lipids in angiogenesis and tumorigenesis


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Richard L. Printz, PhD

                                                    Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    Krishnan Raghunathan, PhD

                                                    Research Fellow / Kenworthy Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Suhaila Rahman, PhD

                                                    Research Fellow, Mchaourab Lab

                                                    In Mchaourab’s lab I study the functional dynamics of neurotransmitter transporters that are involved in neurological diseases


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Patsy Raymer

                                                    Administrative Manager, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Quantitative Systems Biology


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Christopher Alan Reissaus, BS

                                                    Graduate Student, Piston laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Tiffany Richardson

                                                    Graduate Student, Powers Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    David Charles Samuels, PhD

                                                    Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    Mitochondrial genetics and diseases. Toxicity mechanisms of HIV treatment. Pathogenesis of protein variations.


                                                    Lynn E Samuelson, PhD

                                                    Research Fellow / Piston Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Diane Caitlin Saunders, BS, BA

                                                    Graduate Student, Powers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                    In the Powers Lab, I am investigating the role of pancreatic endothelial cell populations in the islet microenvironment, by determining their role in macrophage recruitment and beta cell regeneration. I am also isolating subpopulations of human islet cells, ultimately characterizing how gene expression varies during developmental stages and in disease states.

                                                    • : 8435 MRB IV


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Linda J. Sealy, PhD

                                                    Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                    Associate Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
                                                    Associate Professor, Cancer Biology

                                                    Identifying the transcription factors that control the conversion to EMT and metastasis in breast cancer.


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Leslie Roteta Sedgeman, BA

                                                    Graduate Student, Vickers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                    Communication by HDL-miRNAs in Type 2 Diabetes

                                                    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally repress gene expression and are found in both cells and extracellular fluids, including plasma. Extracellular miRNAs are protected from circulating nucleases through their association with lipid and protein carriers, specifically exosomes and lipoproteins.. Currently, I am studying the role of high-density lipoproteins (HDL)-miRNAs as cell-to-cell messengers in a novel endocrine-like communication pathway within Type 2 diabetes. We found that many of the most abundant miRNAs on HDL are also enriched in insulin-producing β-cells in the islets of Langerhans. Additionally, we found that the miRNA signature on HDL is significantly altered in rat models of Type 2 diabetes; therefore, the goal of my project is to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which the β-cell-originating miRNAs control gene expression in distal tissues and how this pathway regulates systemic lipid and glucose metabolism. Using high-throughput genomics, I aim to decode and control miRNA intercellular communication to better understand and treat type 2 diabetes, including developing biomarkers to predict pre-diabetes.

                                                    • : 358 RRB


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Masakazu Shiota, DVM, PhD

                                                    Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    Hepatic Glucose Flux Regulation in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.


                                                    Chiyo Shiota, Ph.D.

                                                    Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    Chiyo Shiota, Ph.D.

                                                    Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Brian Shonesy, PhD

                                                    Research Fellow / Colbran Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Brian C. Shonesy, Ph.D.

                                                    Research Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    Research on the mechanism of the regulatioin of enocannabinoid signaling.


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Yuval Silberman, PhD

                                                    Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    The role of noradrenergic and CRH circuits in moude models of alcoholism


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Richard B. Simerly, Ph.D.

                                                    Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                    We study how environmental factors, such as nutrition and hormones, impact the development of neural circuits that control behavior and metabolism in order to better understand how early events in an individual’s life influence traits like feeding and metabolic physiology.


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Charles (Duncan) Smart

                                                    Graduate Student, Madhur Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                    image_thumb

                                                    Jason M Spaeth, PhD

                                                    Research Fellow / Stein Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                    Clare Lindsey Spielman, BA

                                                    Graduate Student, Neurt laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                      image_thumb

                                                      John Michael Stafford, MD, PhD

                                                      Assistant Professor, Medicine
                                                      Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                      Cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes and obesity. Lipid Metabolism and HDL, Sex-differences in metabolism 
                                                       


                                                      image_thumb

                                                      Roland W. Stein, PhD

                                                      Mark Collie Chair in Diabetes Research, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                      Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology
                                                      Professor

                                                      Focused on defining the transcription factors involved in controlling the expression of Pdx-1 and MafA. In addition, we are examining how transcriptional factors influence beta cell formation and function.


                                                      Richard A. Stein, PhD

                                                      Research Instructor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                      Jason Stephenson, PhD

                                                      Research Fellow / Colbran Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                      image_thumb

                                                      James S. Sutcliffe, PhD

                                                      Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                      Associate Professor, Psychiatry

                                                      Genetic basis of autism spectrum disorders; molecular genetics; statistical genetics; epigenetics, neuropsychiatric genetics; phenotypic dissection of complex genetic disorders (autism, anxiety, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other related conditions)


                                                      image_thumb

                                                      Earl W. Sutherland, Jr., M.D.

                                                      Professor, Physiology / Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, 1963-1973

                                                      Dr. Sutherland’s discovery of adenyl cyclase and cyclic AMP was a seminal contribution and led to the concept of intracellular second messenger signaling.  His research linking changes in intracellular enzyme activity to hormones such as glucagon and epinephrine provided a foundation for subsequent decades of work in the areas of  hormonal regulation of intracellular metabolism and other processes.  These important contributions resulted in election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1971 for Dr. Sutherland.


                                                        image_thumb

                                                        Kristen Syring, BS

                                                        Graduate Student, O'Brien laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                        The prevalence type 2 diabetes (T2D) continues to increase worldwide. Multiple SNPs associated with altered risk of T2D have been identified through genome wide association studies including rs13266634 in the SLC30A8 locus, which encodes zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8). In addition, rare mutations resulting in SLC30A8 haploinsufficiency are protective against T2D. Using several mouse models, we are investigating the role that ZnT8 plays in beta cell function and the potential of ZnT8 as a therapeutic target for T2D.

                                                        • : 8415 MRB IV


                                                        image_thumb

                                                        Alex Thiemicke, MS, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena Germany

                                                        Graduate Student, Neurt laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                        image_thumb

                                                        Tricia Thornton-Wells, PhD

                                                        Adjoint Assistant Professor, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

                                                        Neuroimaging Genetics; Statistical & computational genetics; Structural & functional neuroimaging; Neuropsychiatric, Neurodegenerative & Neurodevelopmental disorders; Alzheimer Disease; Down syndrome; Williams syndrome; anxiety; depression; chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment


                                                        image_thumb

                                                        Jens Marc Titze, MD

                                                        Associate Professor, Medicine
                                                        Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                          image_thumb

                                                          Shannon Townsend

                                                          Graduate Student, Gannon laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Elijah Trefts

                                                            Graduate Student, Wasserman laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                            Liver is a primary site of macronutrient metabolism. Obesity linked diseases of the liver such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) result in ECM expansion, defective hormonal responses, and disrupted transcriptional networks. Integrin receptors and their immediate post-receptor pathways convert sensory inputs from the ECM to biochemical processes within the cell. Altered expression of several integrin signaling components accompanies the metabolic dysregulation that occurs in high fat (HF)-fed mice. The mechanisms linking ECM expansion and integrin signaling to metabolic disease are a primary focus of our lab. My research utilizes hepatocyte specific knockout of several integrin signaling components (e.g. integrin α5, integrin β1, and Integrin-linked kinase) in mice to fully characterize these pathways and their involvement in pathologic responses of the liver to high fat feeding.


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Alessandro Ustione, PhD

                                                            Research Fellow / Piston Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                            Research Interest:  I am currently investigating the function of dopamine in the pancreatic islets with the goal of understanding how observed dopaminergic feedback regulates glucose stimulated insulin secretion.


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Rohit Venkat

                                                            Graduate Student, Neuert Laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                            In the Neuert Lab, I study long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), a class of non-protein coding transcripts that represents an emerging, previously unrecognized layer of gene regulation.  LncRNAs have been shown to mediate important biological processes ranging from cell cycle progression and cellular reprogramming to dosage compensation in mammalian development, but their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. I work toward addressing these fundamental knowledge gaps.


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Bryan Venters, PhD

                                                            Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                            The goal of my research is to understand the transcriptional mechanisms underpinning the JAK-STAT signaling pathway that lead to human disease and cancer.


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Kasey C. Vickers

                                                            Assistant Professor, Medicine
                                                            Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                            To investigate mechanisms and consequences of HDL microRNA communication and systemic homeostasis. Short term goals include the characterization of microRNA regulatory modules controlling cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, we aim to determine i.) How microRNAs are selected and exported to HDL, ii.) How microRNAs are transported on HDL and altered in disease, and iii.) How microRNAs are transferred to recipient cells and regulate genes related to cholesterol and lipoprotein homeostasis.


                                                            image_thumb

                                                            Nicholas Catin Vierra, BS

                                                            Graduate Student, Jacobson laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                            The deterioration of pancreatic islet function is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the Jacobson lab, I study the physiological functions of an islet potassium channel, TALK-1. TALK-1 is the most transcriptionally abundant potassium channel in insulin-secreting β-cells, and polymorphisms in TALK-1 are associated with an increased susceptibility for T2DM. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying TALK-1’s contributions to T2DM pathogenesis remain unclear. Using a variety of experimental approaches, including electrophysiology, calcium imaging, hormone secretion, and mouse models, we have recently found that TALK-1 channels regulate islet calcium homeostasis and insulin secretion. These findings suggest that TALK-1 could serve as a therapeutic target in T2DM.


                                                            Sun Waldron

                                                            Vanderbilt Neurochemistry


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Danielle Marie Walheim, BS, University of Pittsburgh

                                                              Graduate Student, Venters laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                              • : 746 RRB


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              John (Jack) Walker

                                                              Graduate Student, Powers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                              My project focuses on defining the molecular signatures defining islet dysfunction in recent-onset type 2 diabetes in human tissues. To do this, I am characterizing the functional, morphologic, and transcriptional profiles of islets from individuals with type 2 diabetes using a combination of human pancreatic tissue, isolated islets, and sorted islet cell populations. I am also investigating the source of amyloid heterogeneity in type 2 diabetic islets.


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Jeanne M. Wallace, DVM

                                                              Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
                                                              University Veterinarian, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                              Director Division of Animal Care
                                                              Associate Professor
                                                              Associate Professor

                                                              Diseases of nonhuman primates

                                                              Animal models of obesity and metabolic syndrome


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              David H Wasserman, PhD

                                                              Annie Mary Lyle Chair, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                              Professor, Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center
                                                              Director

                                                              We study the role of physical exercise, insulin-stimulation and diet in metabolism.


                                                              Qiang Wei, PhD

                                                              Research Fellow / Li Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              P. Anthony Weil, PhD

                                                              Professor Emeritus, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                              Molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              K. Sam Wells, PhD

                                                              Research Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                              Director, Cell Imaging Shared Resource


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Carrie Beth Wiese, BS

                                                              Graduate Student, Vickers laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                              Extracellular microRNAs have been identified in plasma, and our laboratory has identified these extracellular microRNAs are carried by lipoproteins including high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The goal of our laboratory is to characterize the role of these extracellular microRNAs, particularly to elucidate whether extracellular microRNAs may function as a novel cell-to-cell communication pathway. Within cells, microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. Specifically, I study the myeloid-derived microRNA, miR-223, to understand to what tissue and cell types receive microRNA-223 after being exported from myeloid cells. To do this, I utilize bone marrow transplants between wild-type and miR-223 knockout mice to restore or deplete the myeloid (miR-223 donor cell) population. After restoring or depleting the myeloid population (miR-223 donor cell) I examine variety of tissue types and pure cell isolations to map out the delivery of extracellular miR-223 in vivo. My second project focuses on the role of endothelial microRNAs in the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease-associated atherosclerosis. I have found that complexing two microRNA inhibitors to HDL, allows me to effectively reduce endothelial microRNA levels. The decreased microRNA levels result in a dramatic reduction in atherosclerosis in vivo, which may be mediated through altered FAM220a regulation of STAT3 activation causing less inflammation.

                                                              • : 358 PRB


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              John P. Wikswo, Jr, PhD

                                                              Gordon A. Cain University Professor, Biomedical Engineering
                                                              A. B. Learned Professor of Living Physics, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                              Professor
                                                              Professor

                                                              Development and application of microdevices for instrumenting and controlling single living cells


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Ashley Silberman Williams, BS, Appalachian State University

                                                              Graduate Student, Wasserman laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                              • : 823 Light Hall


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Ian Miller Williams, BS

                                                              Graduate Student, Wasserman laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

                                                              Impaired insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake is a hallmark of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Before insulin can stimulate the muscle to take up glucose, it must first cross the endothelial barrier that separates the plasma from the interstitial fluid that bathes myocytes. I have developed an intravital microscopy technique which allows us to directly visualize and quantitate the trans-endothelial efflux of insulin in skeletal muscle. I am using this technique to 1) determine the mechanism by which insulin crosses the endothelium (i.e. receptor-mediated transport or passive diffusion) and 2) determine if impaired trans-endothelial movement of insulin may contribute to muscle insulin resistance.

                                                              • : 823 Light Hall


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Tiffany A Wills, PhD

                                                              Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

                                                              The role of Bed nucleus of the stria terminalus in addiction.


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Danny G. Winder, PhD

                                                              Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
                                                              Professor, Psychiatry

                                                              Synaptic mechanisms in addiction and anxiety.


                                                              Jason Winnick, PhD

                                                              Adjoint Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                              The effect of aerobic exercise training on in vivo hepatic glucose metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus


                                                              image_thumb

                                                              Lukasz Szczepan Wylezinski, BA

                                                              Graduate Student, Hawiger laboratory, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics


                                                                image_thumb

                                                                Jamey D. Young, PhD

                                                                Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
                                                                Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                                Metabolic engineering; systems biology; diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders; tumor metabolism; autotrophic metabolism; cell culture engineering


                                                                image_thumb

                                                                Liyuan Zhao, PhD

                                                                Research Fellow / Cone Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics


                                                                image_thumb

                                                                Ping Zou, PhD

                                                                Current Position Title, Current Job Placeholder
                                                                Formerly a research instructor in the Mchaourab Lab, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

                                                                Multi drug transporters