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Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics!

Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics! We are over 460 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

Open House for Post-Bacc Medical Physiology Program

June 3, 2017 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Department wiil host an Open House on Saturday, June 3, 2017.  Prospective students can learn about our educational programs, tour the CWRU campus and department laboratories, and meet faculty and students.

For more information:

To register for the Open House:

Post-Bacc Application Deadline

June 19, 2017

June 19th, 2017 at midnight is the official deadline for submitting applications for the MS in Medical Physiology Program (Post-Bacc Program).  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


June 2, 2017 3 p.m.

Pamela Marcott, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Science Training Program (MSTP), mentored by and in the lab of Dr. Chris Ford, will publicly defend her doctoral dissertation at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017 in SOM E-501.

The title of Pam's dissertation is "Mechanisms of dopamine D2-receptor activation across the striatum."

A reception in honor of the newly minted Ph.D. will follow the defense at 4:15 p.m. in the Department's 5th floor bridge area.

Recent News/Events

4th Annual M.S.M.P. Cardigan Day

April 20, 2017

In 2013, the Master of Science in Medical Physiology first year students conspired to all come to morning lecture wearing cardigan sweaters. The lecturer for that day, Dr. Tom Nosek, a regular wearer of cardigan sweaters "since birth", didn't notice that everyone was wearing one until it was pointed out to him.

Every Spring since, Dr. Nosek proclaims a "Cardigan Day" for the first year M.S.M.P. students and asks them to wear a cardigan to lecture. Today was that day for the class entering in Fall 2016.

Congratulations to Dr. Drew Nassal !

March 31, 2017

Drew Nassal, a Ph.D. candidate advised by and in the lab of Dr. Isabelle Deschenes, publicly defended his doctoral dissertation on Friday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

Dr. Nassal's dissertation is entitled "Evaluating Non-canonical Roles of KChIP2 in the Heart."

A reception for Dr. Nassal and his family followed the defense in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics 5th floor bridge area.

5th Annual Ulrich Hopfer Lecture

March 22, 2017 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Dr. Amira Klip, a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology Program at the Hospital for Sick Childen in Toronto and a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Biochemistry, and Physiology at the University of Toronto, gave the 5th annual Ulrich Hopfer lecture, hosted by Dr. Walter Boron and Dr. Ulrich Hopfer and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 4:00 p.m in SOM E-501.

The title of Dr. Klip's lecture was "Insulin and exercise signals mobilizing glucose transporters in muscle cells."

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

Congratulations to the Stelzer Lab...

March 10, 2017

...on the publication of their cardiac muscle research, entitled “Cardiac myosin binding protein-C Ser302 phosphorylation regulates cardiac β-adrenergic reserve.”

Science Advances,10 Mar 2017: Vol. 3, no. 3, e1602445, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602445

Ranganath Mamidi*, Kenneth S. Gresham*, Jiayang Li, and Julian E. Stelzer



Congratulations to the Chakrapani Lab...

March 6, 2017

...on the acceptable of the manuscript, "Crystal structure and dynamics of a lipid-induced potential desensitized-state of a pentameric ligand-gated channel" by eLife.

Sandip Basak*, Nicolaus Schmandt*, Yvonne Gicheru*, and Sudha Chakrapani

*equal contribution


Congratulations to Rajesh Ramachandran, Ph.D.

March 1, 2017

Dr. Ramachandran received an R21 award from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke for research on Molecular Mechanisms of Rapid Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis..

The award period is March 1, 2017 - February 28, 2019

Congratulations to Joseph C. LaManna, Ph.D.

Feb. 27, 2017

Dr. LaManna has been elected a Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists.

Congratulations to Dr. Xin Qi...

Dec. 1, 2016

on acceptance of the manuscript “VCP cooperates with UBXD1 to degrade mitochondrial outer membrane protein MCL1 in model of Huntington’s disease.”

BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease

Xing Guo, Ph.D. and Xin Qi, Ph.D., In press

Congratulations to Dr. Jin-Kyu Choi and the Surewicz Lab...

Nov. 14, 2016

on the publishing of the paper “Amyloid fibrils from the N-terminal prion protein fragment are infectious” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Jin-Kyu Choi, Ignazio Cali, Krystyna Surewicz, Qingzhong Kong, Pierluigi Gambetti, and Witold K. Surewicz

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2016; published ahead of print November 14, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1610716113.

Congratulations to Didi Mamaligas and Yuan Cai...

Nov. 10, 2016

on the acceptance of the paper “Nicotinic and opioid receptor regulation of striatal dopamine D2-receptor mediated transmission.”

Scientific Reports (In press)

Didi and Yuan are Ph.D. candidates in the lab of Dr. Chris Ford.