Department of Physiology and Biophysics

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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

April 13, 2019 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Department will host an Open House for all students, parents, and undergraduate advisors interested in learning more about the M.S. in Medical Physiology Post-Bacc program on Saturday, April 13, 2019.  A full day of activities is scheduled.

For more information:

Post-Bacc Application Deadline

July 15, 2019

July 15th, 2019 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

Recent News/Events

Welcome to Dr. Nami Tajima

Jan. 2, 2019

The Department welcomes Dr. Nami Tajima as a new faculty member, effective January 2, 2019.

Prior to joining the department Dr. Tajima was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Hiro Furukawa at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.


DPB Annual Holiday Party

Dec. 15, 2018 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

The Department hosted its annual holiday party on Saturday, December 15 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Western Reserve Historical Society in University Circle.

Catering was by A Taste of Excellence and a string ensemble provided seasonal music.

Congratulations to Qiuye Li and Dr. Xiangzhu Xiao...

Nov. 30, 2018

...on the publication of the manuscript, "Structural attributes of mammalian prion infectivity: Insights from studies with synthetic prions" in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Quiye Li (l), is a Ph.D. candidate and Xiangzhu Xiao, Ph.D. (r) is a Research Associate, both in the lab of Wïtold Surewicz, Ph.D., the Robert F. Bennett, M.D. Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

The paper was selected as a JBC Editor's Pick and was accompanied by the profile of the first author, Qiuye Li.

J Biol Chem 293, 18494-18503 (2018)

Congratulations to Dr. Soumili Chatterjee

Nov. 20, 2018 9 a.m.

Soumili Chatterjee, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of and mentored by Dr. Sudha Chakrapani, publicly defended her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Soumili's dissertation is “Understanding the structural basis of slow inactivation in voltage-gated sodium channel."

A brunch reception in Soumili's honor was held in the 5th floor bridge area following the defense.


Oct. 24, 2018 4 p.m.

A. Radu Aricescu, Ph.D., a Medical Research Council (MRC) Senior Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s Neurobiology Division at the University of Cambridge, presented a School of Medicine Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501, hosted by Dr. Sudha Chakrapani and the Department . The title of Dr. Aricescu's lecture was "Human GABAA Receptor Structures and Signaling Mechanisms."

Congratulations to Michael Babinchak

Oct. 2, 2018

Michael Babinchak, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the Medical Scientist Training Program in the lab of Dr. Wïtold Surewicz, has been awarded an F30 grant from the National Aging Institute for the project "Pathological aggregation of TDP-43 in age-related neurodegenerative diseases."

Welcome to Dr. Xinghong Dai

Oct. 1, 2018

Xinghong Dai, Ph.D. joins the faculty of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, effective October 1, 2018.

Dr. Dai was previously a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Ren Sun in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California – Los Angeles.

2018 Annual Department Retreat

Sept. 21, 2018

The Department held its annual retreat on Friday, September 21, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Huntington Convention Center in downtown Cleveland.

Our annual Recknagel Symposium will also took place during the retreat. See the entry below for details.




2018 Annual Recknagel Symposium

Sept. 21, 2018

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics held its annual Recknagel Symposium at the annual department retreat on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Huntington Cleveland Convention Center.

Three of the Department’s second year doctoral students, Sara Taki, Paulina Getsy and Raza Haider presented from their first year research laboratory rotations. Raza Haizer, a member of the lab of Dr. Witold Surewicz, won the competition with his presentation, "Characterizing the aggregation propensity of pathologically-relevant TDP-43 ALS mutants."

The department established the annual Recknagel Symposium in memory of Professor Richard Recknagel, who was Chair of the Department of Physiology from 1976 until 1986 and an admired thinker and investigator who took a keen interest in mentoring young students and faculty.

Welcome to Hannah Schwab

Sept. 10, 2018

The Department welcomes Hannah Schwab, who has joined the lab of Dr. Ardeschir Vahedi-Faridi as a Research Assistant 1, effective September 10, 2018.

Dr. Joseph Hill of UT Southwestern gives 4th Annual Levy Lecture

Sept. 7, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Joseph A. Hill, M.D., Ph.D., a Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology, the James T. Willerson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases, the Frank M. Ryburn, Jr. Chair in Heart Research, the Chief of the Division of Cardiology, and the Director of the Harry S. Moss Heart Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, presented the Department of Physiology and Biophysics 4th Annual Matthew N. Levy Lecture on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in SOM E-501.

Dr. Hill's lecture was entitled “Heart Failure: Two Inflammatory Tales.”

The late Dr. Matthew Levy was a gifted, dedicated teacher and scientist who influenced countless students, conducted groundbreaking research on heart function and its relationship to the autonomic nervous system, and who co-authored one of the most influential texts on physiology. Each autumn, beginning with a daylong symposium in 2014, the Department honors the memory of Dr. Levy and his accomplishments.

Congratulations to Dr. Sudha Chakrapani

Sept. 6, 2018

Dr. Chakrapani, an associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, has received an NIH S10 High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grant to purchase a Pulsed-EPR spectrometer.

2018 Annual Department Baseball Outing

Aug. 31, 2018 7:10 p.m.

The Department hosted its annual baseball outing on Friday, August 31, 2018 at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland.

The Cleveland Indians played the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:10 p.m. and the Indians won 3 - 0.

We host the baseball outing at the beginning of each new academic year to welcome our new students and to provide an enjoyable evening for returning students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are complimentary for our students and department                                                                                  associates, and seating this year was in the Terrace Club.                   

Image: Annie O'Neill

Congratulations to Sandip Basak and Yvonne Gicheru

Aug. 30, 2018

Yvonne Gicheru (l) and Dr. Sandip Basak (c), a Ph.D. candidate and a postdoctoral fellow, respectively, in the lab of Dr. Sudha Chakrapani, have had the paper, "Cryo-EM reveals two distinct serotonin-bound states of the full-length 5-HT3A receptor" accepted for publication in Nature.

Sandip Basak, Yvonne Gicheru, Shanlin Rao, Mark Sansom, and Sudha Chakrapani


Welcome 2018 M.S.M.P. Entering Class

Aug. 23, 2018

The Department welcomes 174 new students to its Master of Science in Medical Physiology program.

Welcome to Eva Gilker

Aug. 13, 2018

Eva Gilker has joined the lab of Dr. Walter Boron as a Research Assistant II, effective August 13, 2018.

Congratulations to Dr. Agustin Gonzalez Vicente and the Garvin and Hopfer Labs

Aug. 1, 2018

Agustin Gonzalez Vicente, Ph.D., in collaboration with the labs of Dr. Jeffrey Garvin and Dr. Ulrich Hopfer, has had published as first author the paper, "Transcriptome signature for dietary fructose-specific changes in rat renal cortex: A quantitative approach to physiological relevance."



Gonzalez-Vicente A, Garvin JL, Hopfer U.

PLoS One. 2018 Aug 1;13(8):e0201293.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201293. eCollection 2018.

PMID:30067804 [PubMed - in process]

Congratulations to the Lab of Dr. Julian Stelzer...

Aug. 1, 2018

...on the acceptance of the paper, "Impact of the myosin modulator mavacamten on force generation and cross-bridge behavior in a murine model of hypercontractility," by the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Ranganath Mamidi, Ph.D.; Jiayang Li, B.S; Chang Yoon Doh, B.S; Sujeet Verma, Ph.D. (not pictured); Julian E. Stelzer, Ph.D.