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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

Congratulations to Hana Russo...

July 6, 2016

...on the acceptance of the paper as first author, based on her dissertation research,

“Active Caspase-1 Induces Plasma Membrane Pores That Precede Pyroptotic Lysis and Are Blocked by Lanthanides”

Hana M. Russo,  Joseph Rathkey,  Andrea Boyd-Tressler,  Michael A. Katsnelson,  Derek W. Abbott,  and George R. Dubyak.

J Immunol 1600699; published ahead of print July 6, 2016, doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1600699

Hana, a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, is a Ph.D. candidate in Pathology in the lab of Dr. George Dubyak.

Andrea Boyd-Tressler, a Ph.D. graduate of the Dubyak lab in Pharmacology, has begun her 1st year as an M.D. candidate at the Lerner Cleveland Clinic College of Medicine of CWRU.

Michael Katsnelson, a student of the Medical Scientist Training Program and a Ph.D graduate of the Dubyak lab in Pathology, is currently completing his final year as an M.D. candidate at the Case School of Medicine.

Congratulations to Ahlam Salameh

July 5, 2016

Ahlam, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Walter Boron, has had a Perspectives editorial article to accompany her recently accepted second paper,

"Role of Cl-HCO3 exchanger AE3 in intracelllular-pH homeostatis in cultured murine hippocampal neurons, and in crosstalk to adjacent astrocytes"

commissioned by the The Journal of Physiology.

Ahlam I. Salameh, Christian A. Hübner, and Walter F. Boron. J. Physiol, June 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Julian Stelzer

July 1, 2016

Julian Stelzer, Ph.D. has been promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2016.

Dr. Stelzer joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics as a Visiting Professor and was named an Assistant Professor in February 2009.


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.

Upcoming News/Events

Annual Department Baseball Outing - Indians vs. Marlins

Sept. 2, 2016 7:10 p.m.

The Department will host its annual baseball outing on Friday, September 2 at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. The Cleveland Indians will play the Miami Marlins at 7:10 p.m.

Faculty, students, postdocs, and staff members may reserve a complimentary ticket with club privileges, which includes all food concessions at no additional cost. Additional tickets with club privileges are available for purchase at a price of $62.00 each.

The Department hosts the baseball outing at the beginning of each academic year to welcome our new Ph.D. and M.S. students.

Recent News/Events

Department Annual Summer Picnic

July 15, 2016 noon - 4 p.m.

The Department hosted its annual summer picnic on Friday, July 15, 2016 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the University's Squire Valleevue farm in Hunting Valley.

A barbecue menu was catered by A Taste of Excellence.



2016 Summer Research Interns

June 13, 2016

The Department is hosting six summer research interns from Alfaisal University in Saudi Arabia. We welcome

  • Khaled Helmi (Ramachandan lab)
  • Mohamad Saleh Alabdaljabar (Mu lab)
  • Dalia Sriwi (Romani lab)
  • Sara Kayali (Smith lab)
  • Hajar Alreefi (Qi lab)
  • Mayar Helaly (Romani lab)

Open House for Post-Bacc Medical Physiology Program

June 4, 2016 10 a.m.

The Department held an Open House on Saturday, June 4th, 2016.  Prospective students received information about our educational programs, toured the CWRU campus and department laboratories, and met faculty and students. Please click here for more info.

Congratulations to Dr. Ken Gresham

May 27, 2016

Ken Gresham (photo right), a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Julian Stelzer (photo left), publicly defended his doctoral dissertation on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Ken's dissertation is "MyBP-C Phosphorylation Regulates Ventricular Pressure Development and Relaxation."

A reception in Ken's honor catered by A Taste for Excellence followed the defense at 3:30 p.m. in the 5th floor bridge area.

Congratulations to Dr. Ranganath Mamidi

May 25, 2016

Dr. Mamidi has been awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship by the American Heart Association, effective July 1, 2016, to study "Sarcomere-based pharmacological approach to rescue contractile dysfunction in dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies."

Ranga is a member of the lab of Dr. Julian Stelzer.

Congratulations to Dr. Chris Ford

May 24, 2016

Dr. Ford has been elected to serve on the NIH Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling (MNPS) study section for the term 2016-2020.

Congratulations to Michael Katsnelson, Kristen Lozada-Soto & Hana Russo...

May 11, 2016

...on acceptance of the paper 

"NLRP3 Inflammasome Signaling is Activated by Low-Level Lysosome Disruption but Inhibited by Extensive Lysosome Disruption: Roles  for K+ Efflux and Ca2+ Influx."

Katsnelson MA, Lozada-Soto KM, Russo HM, Miller BA, Dubyak GR. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2016 May 11:ajpcell.00298.2015. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00298.2015. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27170638.

Congratulations to Pam Marcott

April 27, 2016

Pam Marcott, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Chris Ford, was awarded a National Research Service Award Predoctoral Research Fellowship (F30) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of NIH for research on "Functional properties of dopamine and glutamate cotransmission in the nucleus accumbens," effective March 8, 2016.

Congratulations to Dr. Walter Boron

April 26, 2016

Walter Boron, M.D., Ph.D., the Myers/Scarpa Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, has been awarded a five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Inititative (MURI) grant from the Office of Naval Research, effective June 1, 2016, for the research topic, "Molecular mechanisms and pathways for gas transport across biological membranes and implications for physiology and performance."

The University of Southern California and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are also participating in this research.

Congratulations to Dr. Sudha Chakrapani

April 21, 2016

Dr. Chakrapani has been elected to the Council of the Society of General Physiologists for the term 2015 - 2018.

Congratulations to Dr. Nick Courtney

April 21, 2016

Dr. Courtney, who was awarded a Ph.D. on October 30, 2015, has received a Graduate Excellence Award from the CWRU School of Graduate Studies. Nick was a member of the lab of Dr. Chris Ford and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Edwin Chapman at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Congratulations to Dr. Julian Stelzer

April 18, 2016

Dr. Stelzer has been awarded a BRS Shared Instrumentation Grant (S10) by the National Institutes of Health for research on "High resolution ultrasound for small animal imaging," effective May 1, 2016.

Grad Student Appreciation event

April 7, 2016 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.

A buffet continental breakfast was served in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics lobby in honor of the students in our graduate programs on Thursday morning, April 7.

Special Lecture and Department Visit

April 6, 2016 - April 9, 2016

Our Department chair, Dr. Walter Boron, hosted Prof. Ulrich Pohl for a four-day visit that included a special lecture at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8.

Prof. Dr. Pohl is a Professor and Chair of Vegetative Physiology at the Institute of Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology, and Director of the Walter Brendel Centre for Experimental Medicine at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.

Prof. Dr. Pohl's lecture was entitled "Vascular connexins, all-rounders which mind more than just a gap (junction)". A reception was held at the conclusion of the lecture.

Dr. Pohl's visit also included a facutly dinner, meetings with individual faculty members, as well as a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art and attendance of a concert of the Cleveland Orchestra.



4th Annual Ulrich Hopfer Lecture

March 17, 2016

Dr. Ernest Wright, FRS, of the UCLA School of Medicine, presented the 4th annual Ulrich Hopfer lecture, hosted by Dr. Walter Boronand the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, on Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 4:00 p.m in SOM E-501.

Dr. Wright's lecture was titled “Basic Physiology to Translational Medicine: Lessons from SGLTS.“

Dr. Wright and Dr. Hopfer were honored at a reception and dinner on Wednesday evening at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The Department hosts the Hopfer lecture each Spring to honor Professor Emeritus Ulrich Hopfer, M.D., Ph.D.