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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

Annual DPB Baseball Outing

Aug. 25, 2017 7:10 p.m.

The Department will host its annual baseball outing on Friday, August 25, when the Cleveland Indians will play the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field downtown at 7:10 p.m.

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 all include club privileges.

Image: Annie O'Neill

Doctoral Dissertation Defense: Stephan Nieuwoudt

Sept. 1, 2017 3 p.m.

Stephan Nieuwoudt, a Ph.D. candidate mentored by and in the lab of Dr. John Kirwan at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, will publicly defend his doctoral dissertation on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Stephan's dissertation is, "Insights into the Functional Roles of Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes Using In Vitro Models."

A reception will be held immediately after the defense at 4:00 p.m. in the Department's 5th floor bridge area in honor of the newly minted Ph.D.

Congratulations to the LaManna Lab...

Feb. 8, 2017

on the publication of the manuscript, "Gender differences in hypoxic acclimatization in cyclooxygenase-2 deficient mice."

Xu K, Sun X, Benderro GF, Tsipis CP, LaManna JC. Physiol Rep. 2017 Feb;5(4). pii: e13148. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13148. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

3rd Annual Matthew Levy Lecture

Sept. 28, 2017 4 p.m.

The Department will host the 3rd Annual Matthew N. Levy Lecture on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The lecture will be given by Jeanne Nerbonne, Ph.D., an Alumni Endowed Professor of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology in Medicine and Developmental Biology, the Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research, and the Co-Director of the Center for the Investigation of Membrane Excitability Diseases at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The title of Dr. Nerbonne's lecture will be “Diversity of Cardiac Ion Channel Regulatory Mechanisms.”

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.


2017 Department Retreat

Oct. 19, 2017 - Oct. 20, 2017

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics will hold its annual retreat at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH on Thursday and Friday, October 19 and 20, 2017.

Upcoming News/Events

Recent News/Events

Annual Department Summer Picnic

Aug. 10, 2017 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The Department hosted its annual summer picnic for our associates, their family members, and significant others on Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle.

Catering was by Bon Appétit.




Congratulations to Dr. Pam Sangwung

July 6, 2017 3 p.m.

Panjamaporn (Pam) Sangwung publicly defended her doctoral dissertation on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Pam's dissertation is "Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors: Master Regulators of Vascular Endothelium."

Pam's mentor is Mukesh K. Jain, M.D. (pictured with her)

A reception in Pam's honor was held following the defense at 4:15 p.m. in the Department's 5th floor bridge area.

Special DPB Seminar

July 5, 2017 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The Department hosted a special seminar presented by Michael Decker, Ph.D., R.N., R.R.M., Diplomate A.B.S.M, an Associate Professor at the Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Dr. Decker's seminar was "Mechanisms through which hypoxia-induced dopamine dysfunction could enhance vulnerability for substance misuse."

Dr. Decker is also a Principal Investigator and the Laboratory Director in the Bolton School of Nursing Neuroscience Lab.

Congratulations to Dr. Xin Qi

July 1, 2017

Xin Qi, Ph.D. has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, effective July 1, 2017.

Congratulations to Dr. Chris Ford

July 1, 2017

Christopher P. Ford, Ph.D. has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, effective July 1, 2017.

Congratulations to Dr. Sudha Chakrapani

July 1, 2017

Sudha Chakrapani, Ph.D. has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, effective July 1, 2017.

Congratulations to Dr. Rajesh Ramachandran

June 27, 2017

Rajesh Ramachandran, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, has been awarded, for a term of 5 years, an R01 grant by the National Institutes of Health for research on "Molecular mechanisms of dynamin-related protein 1-mediated mitochondrial fission."

Welcome to Dr. Jamie Prezioso

June 26, 2017

Jamie Prezioso, Ph.D. joined the lab of Dr. Walter Boron as a Postdoctoral Scholar/Mathematician on June 26, 2017.

Congratulations to C. W. Gallagher...

June 19, 2017

on his award of a Summer Student Fellowship grant by the organization Fight for Sight.

C.W. is a student in the Master's in Medical Physiology program.

Open House for Post-Bacc Medical Physiology Program

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

The Department hosted an Open House on Saturday, June 3, 2017.  Prospective received information about our educational programs, toured the CWRU campus and department laboratories, and met faculty and students.

For more information:


Congratulations to Dr. Pamela Marcott!

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, publicly defended her doctoral dissertation at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017 in SOM E-501.

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

A reception in Pam's honor was held followng the defense.

Congratulations to Dr. Sandip Basak...

June 2, 2017

on his American Heart Association AWRP Winter 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship two-year award* for the project “Effects of cholesterol and polyunsaturated fatty acids on ligand-gated ion channel structure and function,” effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Basak is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Sudha Chakrapani.

*Percentile Rank: 0.15%

Congratulations to our M.S.M.P. graduates!

May 21, 2017

Eighty-nine students in the Department's Master of Science in Medical Physiology program were awarded M.S. degrees on Sunday, May 21.

These were in addition to eighteen students in the program who graduated in December 2016.

Eight of the degrees awarded on Sunday were for the joint M.S./M.B.A. program.

Best wishes to our graduates as they begin the next stage of their lives!

Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Garvin

May 3, 2017

Dr. Garvin received the 2017 J. Bruce Jackson M.D. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring. The award, which is in the form of an apple, was presented to Dr. Garvin by University President Barbara Snyder on May 3, 2017.

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 Dr. Matthias Buck & Dr. Andrew Li...

March 9, 2017

on the publication of "Computational Modeling Reveals that Signaling Lipids Modulate the Orientation of K-Ras4A at the Membrane Reflecting Protein Topology."

Zhen-Lu Li, Matthias Buck

Structure. v.25:4, pp679–689.e2, 4 April 2017



Photo source:


Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Garvin and Casandra Monzon...

March 8, 2017

on the publication of the manuscript "Nitric Oxide Reduces Paracellular Resistance in Rat Thick Ascending Limbs by Increasing Na+ and Cl- Permeabilities."

Monzon CM, Occhipinti R, Pignataro OP, Garvin JL

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Mar 8:ajprenal.00671.2016. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00671.2016. [Epub ahead of print]

Congratulations to the Chakrapani Lab...

March 6, 2017

...on the acceptance 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.