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Primary Faculty Research Labs

This is an alphabetical list of tenure-track and tenured faculty with primary appointments in MPB and active research labs

Primary Faculty Research Labs

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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


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Wenbiao Chen, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Genetic basis of susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.


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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


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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


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Alyssa H. Hasty, PhD

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

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


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David A. Jacobson, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Secretagogue induced mechanisms regulating pancreatic islet electrical activity and hormone secretion


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Erkan Karakas, PhD

Assistant Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Structural Biology of Calcium Signaling and Transport through Biological Membranes


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Bingshan Li, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

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


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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


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Owen P McGuinness, PhD

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Regulation Of Metabolic Response to Inflammation: Interaction With Nutrition


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Hassane S. Mchaourab, PhD

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

Structure and dynamic basis for protein function.


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Terunaga Nakagawa, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Molecular and cellular biophysics of synapses


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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.


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Richard M. O'Brien, PhD

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Diabetes and the Glucose-6-Phosphatase Gene Family


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David Charles Samuels, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

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


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Masakazu Shiota, DVM, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics

Hepatic Glucose Flux Regulation in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.


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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.


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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.


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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)


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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.


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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.


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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


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Danny G. Winder, PhD

Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor, Psychiatry

Synaptic mechanisms in addiction and anxiety.