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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 8, 2017 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Department has scheduled an Open House for Saturday, April 8, 2017.  Prospective students can learn all 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

5th Annual Ulrich Hopfer Lecture

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

Dr. Amira Klip, a professor at the Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto, will give the 5th annual Ulrich Hopfer lecture, hosted by Dr. Walter Boron and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 4:00 p.m in SOM E-501.

Dr. Klip's lecture is titled "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. (image)

Recent News/Events

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.

Welcome Deng-ke Wang, Ph.D.

Oct. 24, 2016

Deng-ke Wang, Ph.D. has joined the lab of Dr. Walter Boron as a postdoctoral scholar, effective October 24, 2016

DPB Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture

Oct. 19, 2016 4 p.m.

Dr. Christopher Ford and Dr. Sudha Chakrapani hosted Dr. Eric Gouaux at the 2016 Department of Physiology and Biophysics-sponsored Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture on Wednesday, October 19 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

Dr. Gouaux's lecture was entitled "Music of the brain illuminated by molecular studies of the instruments:  X-rays and electrons reveal architecture and mechanism of neurotransmitter receptors and transporters."

Eric Gouaux, Ph.D. is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Senior Scientist at the Vollum Institute and holds the Jennifer and Bernard Lacroute Term Chair in Neuroscience Research at the Oregon Health & Science University.

A pre-lecture reception was held at 3:30 p.m. in the Department lobby.


2nd Annual Matthew Levy Lecture

Oct. 7, 2016 4 p.m.

The Department hosted the 2nd Annual Matthew Levy Lecture on Friday, October 7, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in Room E-501 of the School of Medicine.

The guest lecturer was Jonathan A. Epstein, M.D., the Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, and the William Wikoff Smith Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Epstein's lecture was titled "Regulation of nuclear architecture drives cell fate."

A reception was held prior to the lecture at 3:15 p.m. in the Department lobby.

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.

2016 Department Retreat / Recknagel Symposium

Sept. 23, 2016 7:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics held its annual retreat on Friday, September 23, 2016 at the Huntington Convention Center in downtown Cleveland.

The annual Recknagel Symposium also took place at the retreat. Three of the Department's second year doctoral students, Michael Babinchak, Yuan Cai, and Nitish Rana, presented on projects from their first year laboratory rotations. Yuan Cai won the Recknagel awards for both his presentation and for academic achievement.

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


Congratulations to Dr. Xin Qi...

Sept. 13, 2016

on the acceptance of the paper “Inhibition of Drp1 mitochondrial translocation provides neuronal protection in dopaminergic system in a Parkinson’s disease model induced by MPTP”

Scientific Reports, 2016 Sep 13;6:32656.

Filichia E, Hoffer B, Qi X*, Luo Y*

*co-corresponding author

Congratulations to Dr. Ahlam Salameh

Sept. 6, 2016 3:30 p.m.

Ahlam Salameh publicly defended her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Dr. Salameh's dissertation is "Metabolic acidosis and the mysterious role of the anion exchanger AE3 in the intracellular-pH physiology of hippocampal neurons and astrocytes".

Ahlam was advised by and in the lab of Dr. Walter Boron, the Myers/Scarpa Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

A reception in Ahlam's honor, with her family in attendance, followed the defense at 5:00 p.m.

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 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.

Welcome Mentor Mulaj, Ph.D.

Sept. 1, 2016

Mentor Mulaj, Ph.D. has joined the lab of Dr. Witold Surewicz as a postdoctoral scholar, effective September 1, 2016.