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Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics!

Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics! We are over 170 faculty, fellows, students, and staff. Building on strong traditions, we strive to be a world leader in our parallel missions of research, teaching, and service. Our founding chair John Macleod was a future Nobel Laureate, Corneille Heymans was another laureate trained in the Department, and a Lasker Award winner Carl J. Wiggers chaired the Department for a generation. Our research mission benefits from a rare combination of faculty who address important translational problems in physiology and biophysics across a broad spectrum of integration—from the level of the atomic structure of molecules, through living cells and organ systems, and up to the whole organism. The major programmatic foci of our research are cardiovascular, renal, and neuronal function in health and disease. Our educational mission includes a strong PhD-training program as well as a new Master’s program in medical physiology that has attracted considerable interest. Our service mission has a strong impact at the local, national, and international levels.

  • Mission: research, education, service
  • Research Interest: integration of physiology and biophysics from atom to whole organism
  • Former President of FASEB, Secretary General of the IUPS, Co-director of Case’s MSTP
  • Co-home to textbook Medical Physiology

DBP 2015 Holiday Party

Dec. 18, 2015 3 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

The Department will host its annual holiday party on Friday, December 18 from 3:00 - 6:30 p.m. in the 5th floor bridge area.

More details to come.

1st Annual Matthew Levy Lecture

Oct. 12, 2015 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

The Department hosted the First Annual Matthew Levy Lecture at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12, 2015 in SOM Robbins E-501.

The guest lecturer was Dr. Peter Libby, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine and a cardiovascular specialist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital.


The title of Dr. Libby's lecture was “Inflammation in Atherosclerosis –a Translational Journey”.

A pre-lecture reception was held at 2:30 p.m. in the Department's lobby.

Upcoming News/Events

Post-Bacc Application Deadline

June 15, 2016

June 15th, 2016 at midnight is the official deadline for submitting applications for the MS in Medical Physiology Program (Post-Bacc Program). Any online applications that have been initiated at that time will be considered even if it takes the applicant a week or so to complete the application (ex. provide your official transcript, provide GRE, MCAT, or DAT scores, provide your personal statement, provide 3 letters of recommendation).  The admissions committee will review your application once it is complete and all application materials are received.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Nosek (, 216-368-3242). Contact us if you need assistance.

Recent News/Events

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Jennings Nassal!

Nov. 20, 2015

Michelle Jennings Nassal publicy defended her doctoral dissertation on Friday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m. in SOM Robbins E-501.

The title of Dr. Jennings Nassal's dissertation is "Identifying Novel Therapeutic Targets for Reentrant Amhythimias."

A reception followed the defense at 3:00 p.m. in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics fifth floor bridge area.

Congratulations to Dr. Matt Cohen!

Nov. 6, 2015

Matt Cohen, a doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, publicy defended his dissertation on Friday, November 6 at 3:30 p.m. in SOM Robbins E-501.

The title of Matt's dissertation is "Regulation of endogenous TRV2 ion channel by growth factors in neuronal cells".

A reception followed the defense at 4:30 p.m. in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics fifth floor bridge area.

Congratulations to Dr. Nick Courtney!

Oct. 30, 2015

Nick Courtney, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Chris Ford, publicly defended his doctoral dissertation on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in SOM Robbins E-504.

The title of Nick's dissertation is “Mechanisms of autoreceptor-mediated inhibition in central monoamine neurons.”

A reception followed the defense at 4:00 p.m. in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics fifth floor bridge area.

Welcome Andrew Zhen-Li, Ph.D.

Oct. 5, 2015

Andrew has joined the lab of Dr. Matthias Buck as a postdoctoral scholar, effective October 5, 2015.

Congratulations to Dr. Walter Boron

Sept. 28, 2015

Dr. Walter Boron, the Myers/Scarpa Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, received a DURIP award from the Office of Naval Research for equipment for gas channel research, effective August 15, 2015.

Recknagel Symposium

Sept. 25, 2015 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

The annual Recknagel Symposium was held, as a part of the Department Annual Retreat at the Kalihari Resort, on Friday afternoon, September 25, from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. Six of our second year doctoral students presented on projects from their first year laboratory rotations.


Winners of the 2015 Recknagel Symposium awards are:

Yvonne Gicheru, Ph.D. candidate - Best research presentation for "Pentameric Ligand-Gated Ion Channels Analyzed By Nanodisc Technology". Yvonne is in the lab of Dr. Sudha Chakrapani.

Di Hu, Ph.D. candidate - Best academic record (2014-2015). Di is in the lab of Dr. Xin Qi.

During the first year of doctoral training, students in the Department rotate in three different laboratories. The goal of these rotations is to identify a subject area of interest, and a mentor for future research. After completion of the research rotations, each student presents one of the projects to the entire department in a formal setting known as The Richard Recknagel Symposium. Professor Richard Recknagel was Chairman of Physiology from 1976 to 1986. He was an admired thinker and investigator who took a keen interest in mentoring young students and faculty. In his memory, the Department established this Symposium.

2015 DPB Annual Retreat and Recknagel Symposium

Sept. 24, 2015 - Sept. 25, 2015

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics held its annual retreat at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH on Thursday and Friday, September 24 and 25, 2015.

The annual Recknagel Symposium also took place, as part of the retreat, on Friday afternoon, September 25. Six of our second year doctoral students presented on projects from their first year laboratory rotations.

Congratulations to Dr. Rossana Occhipinti

Sept. 18, 2015

Congratulations to Rossana Occhipinti, Ph.D. on the award of a K01 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for the project:

"Acid secretion and intracellular pH regulation in proximal-tubule cells"

The award was effective on September 18, 2015 and the project will run through August 31, 2020.

Post-Baccalaureate Program MS in Medical Physiology

PhD Program Physiology and Biophysics

Upcoming Seminars


"Targeting Protein-Protein Interactions in the Molecular Chaperone Networks to Treat Protein Misfolding Diseases"

Jason Gestwicki, PhD
Dec. 7, 2015 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

School of Medicine E501
Hosted by: Tingwei Mu, PhD


"Assembly, dynamics, and function of membrane domains"

Anne K. Kenworthy, PhD
Jan. 11, 2016 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

School of Medicine E501
Hosted by: Rajesh Ramachandran, PhD


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