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Physiology Research

The department of physiology is proud of our strong tradition of interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Faculty members currently hold research grants from funding organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association, and others. The department also supports NIH training grants and journal clubs.

Focus Areas

Aging Focus Area

Erhard Bieberich, PhD
Lipid Biochemistry

Steven Estus, PhD
Molecular Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease

Lance Johnson, PhD
APOE, Brain Metabolism, Alzheimer's Disease

Shannon Macauley, PhD
Brain Metabolism, Alzheimer's Disease, Sleep

Mariana Nikolova-Karakashian, PhD
Role of Sphingolipid Signal Transduction Pathway in Animal Aging

Stefanka Spassieva, PhD
Sphingolipid Metabolism in Neurodegeneration and Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy


Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Diseases Focus Area

Cheavar A. Blair, PhD 
Mechanical Disruption of Cardiac Function Caused by Chemotherapy, Inherited Mutations, Altered Circadian Rhythms

Alan Daugherty, PhD, DSc
Molecular Mechanisms of Human Vascular Diseases

Brian Delisle, PhD
Cardiovascular Physiology, Chronobiology

Ming Cui Gong, PhD, MD
Circadian Blood Pressure Rhythm in Normal and Diabetes, Aortic Aneurysm

Scott Gordon, PhD
Roles of Lipoproteins in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Gregory Graf, PhD
Regulation of Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism in the Development and Treatment of Cardiometabolic Disease

Xiang-An Li, PhD
Role of Adrenal Stress Response in Sepsis, Mechanisms of High Cholesterol Diet-Induced Sudden Death

Hong S. Lu, MD, PhD 
Atherosclerosis, Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections

Jonathan Satin, PhD
Molecular Mechanisms of Heart Function and Restoration from Heart Failure

Hisashi Sawada, PhD
Embryonic Origins of Smooth Muscle Cells in the Ascending Aorta

Ryan Temel, PhD
Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Christopher Mark Waters, PhD, ATSF
Lung Injury and Repair, Pulmonary Fibrosis


Muscle Biology Focus Area

John J. McCarthy, PhD
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Plasticity

Yuan Wen, PhD, MD
Translational Regulation by Ribosome Specialization, Biomedical Imaging, Application of Artificial Intelligence, (Epi)Genetics

Neuroscience Focus Area

Lei Chen, MD, PhD
Cerebrovascular & Neurological Diseases, Stem Cell Therapy, Innovative Monitoring Techniques

John Carib Gensel, PhD
Neuroinflammation in Spinal Cord and Brain Injury

Brad Hubbard, PhD
Blood-Brian Barrier and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Samir P. Patel, PhD
Mitochondrial Targeted Therapeutics, Macrophage Metabolism & Systemic Infection Following Spinal Cord Injury

Kathryn Saatman, PhD
Pathobiology of Traumatic Brain Injury

Sensory Focus Area

Gregory Frolenkov, PhD
Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Hearing

Timothy McClintock, PhD
Olfaction, Neural Regeneration, Neurogenerative Disease

A. Catalina Velez-Ortega, PhD
Molecular Pathways of Hearing Protection and Plasticity

Research Committee Members