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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

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.

2018 Annual Department Baseball Outing

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

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

The Cleveland Indians will play the Tampa Bay Rays 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 seating this year will be in the Terrace Club.                   

Image: Annie O'Neill

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.

Congratulations to Soumili Chatterjee

July 13, 2018

Soumili Chatterjee, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Sudha Chakrapani, has had the paper, "The Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Pore exhibits Conformational Flexibility during Slow Inactivation" accepted for publication by the Journal of General Physiology*.

Chatterjee, S., Vyas, R., Chalamalasetti, S., Sahu, I., Clatot, J., Lorigan, GA., Deschêne I., and Chakrapani, S.

*JGP will feature a Commentary to highlight this work.

Dr. Xinghong Dai to join Department faculty

July 6, 2018

Xinghong Dai, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Ren Sun, Ph.D. and Ting-Ting Wu, Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California - Los Angeles, will join the faculty of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in the 2018-2019 academic year.

We look forward to Dr. Dai's arrival.

Dr. Nami Tajima to join Department faculty

July 2, 2018

Nami Tajima, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Hiro Furukawa at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, will join the Department faculty in early 2019.

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Tajima.


Dr. Joseph Hill of UT Southwestern to give 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, will give 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.

The title of Dr. Hill's lecture will be “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.

2018 Annual Department Retreat

Sept. 21, 2018

The Department will hold 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 take place during the retreat.




2018 Annual Recknagel Symposium

Sept. 21, 2018

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics annual Recknagel Symposium will take place at the annual retreat on Friday, September 21, 2018.

Three of the Department’s second year doctoral students, Sara Taki, Paulina Getsy and Raza Haider will present from their first year research laboratory rotations. Ms. Taki is in the laboratory of Dr. Walter Boron; Ms. Getsy is in the lab of Dr. Stephen Lewis, and Mr. Haider is in the lab of Dr. Wïtold Surewicz.

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.

Upcoming News/Events

Recent News/Events

Annual Department Summer Picnic

July 26, 2018 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The Department hosted its 2018 annual summer picnic on Thursday, July 26 from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle.

All Department students, associates and their families and significant others were invited to attend.

Catering was by Bon Appétit.



Post-Bacc Application Deadline

July 16, 2018

July 16th, 2018 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.

Welcome to Summer Visiting Medical Students

July 13, 2018

The Department welcomes summer visiting medical students from Yeditepe University in Istanbul.

Burak Ekincikli (l), a third year student of the Faculty of Medicine, is working in the lab of Dr. Walter Boron.

Berfin Ece Akbulut (r), a fourth year student of the Faculty of Medicine, is working in the lab of Dr. Matthias Buck.

Burak and Berfin will both be in the Department until August.

Welcome to Dr. Meng Wang

July 2, 2018

Meng Wang, Ph.D. has joined the lab of Dr. Tingwei Mu as a postdoctoral scholar, effective July 2, 2018.

Meng received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from China Agricultural University.

Congratulations to Dr. Rajesh Ramachandran

July 1, 2018

Rajesh Ramachandran, Ph.D. has been promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, effective July 1, 2018.

Dr. Michael Decker joins Department faculty

June 26, 2018

Michael Decker, Ph.D. had joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics as an Associate Professor.

Dr. Decker is a systems physiologist who received his Ph.D. from CWRU, followed by faculty appointments at Emory University and the CDC. His research is focused upon characterizing mechanisms through which hypoxia evokes structural and functional impairments within neural circuits mediating cognition and motor control. His laboratory employs both clinical and laboratory-based techniques                                                                                      ranging from human neuroimaging to immunohistochemistry.

Dr. Decker is currently funded by the NIH and the Dept.of Defense.

Welcome to Nianxin Yang

June 25, 2018

Nianxin Yang has joined the lab of Dr. Jeff Garvin as a Research Assistant I, effective June 25, 2018.

Nianxin received a bachelor's degree from Case in May of this year and was an intern in Dr. Garvin's lab as an undergraduate.

Open House for Post-Bacc Medical Physiology Program

June 23, 2018 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Department will hosted 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, June 23, 2018.  A full day of activities was held.

For more information:


Welcome to Faridat Folarin-Amode as a Summer Visiting Medical Student

June 20, 2018

Faridat Folarin-Amode, a second year student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, is working in the lab of Dr. Matthias Buck as a visiting summer medical student.

Welcome to Summer 2018 High School Interns

June 15, 2018

Sahej Bindra - Hathaway Brown - LaManna/Decker Lab

Jennifer Wang - Hathaway Brown - Dubyak Lab

Ian Bhatia - Shaker Heights High School - Dubyak Lab

Gabriel Papell - Shaker Heights High School - Boron Lab

Mehmet Yilmaz - Solon High School - Boron Lab

(l to r)

                                                                                Marisa Mohapatra (not pictured) - Hawken - Romani Lab

Welcome to Summer 2018 High School Interns - Lab of Dr. Rajesh Ramanchandran

June 15, 2018


Pranav Viswanathan (l) - Wm. Mason High School (Cincinnati)

Adithya Sreenivas (r) - Aurora High School

Congratulations to Dr. David Litvin

June 5, 2018 4 p.m.

David Litivin, a Ph.D. candidate mentored by Frank Jacono, M.D., publicly defended his doctoral dissertation at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in SOM E-501.

David's dissertation is entitled "Immune-to-Brain Communication Driven by Sterile Lung Injury."

A reception in the new Dr. Litvin's honor was held following the defense at 5:00 p.m. in the Department's fifth floor bridge area.

Welcome to Dr. Tien-Hao Chen

June 1, 2018

Tien-Hao Chen, Ph.D. has joined the lab of Dr. Wïtold Surewicz as a postdoctoral scholar, effective June 1, 2018.

Congratulations to Dr. Amrita Samanta

May 31, 2018 4 p.m.

Amrita Samanta, a Ph.D. candidate mentored by Dr. Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, will publicly defended her doctoral dissertation on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Dr. Samanta's dissertation is "Understanding the Molecular Mechanism of TRP channel activation/inhibition by structural analysis."

A reception in Amrita's honor was held following the defense at 5:00 p.m. in the Department's 5th floor bridge area.

Congratulations to Jie Yang

May 22, 2018

Jie Yang, a Ph.D candiate in the lab of Dr. Tsan Xiao, had the following paper accepted as first author on May 22, 2018:

"Mechanism of gasdermin D recognition by inflammatory caspases and their inhibition by a gasdermin D-derived peptide inhibitor”

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA [In press] [Available online June 11, 2018]

Jie Yang, Zhonghua Liu, Chuanping Wang, Rui Yang, Joseph K. Rathkey, Otis W. Pinkard, Wuxian Shi, Yinghua Chen, George R. Dubyak, Derek W. Abbott, and Tsan Sam Xiao

Congratulations to Dr. Peyvand Amini

May 7, 2018 4 p.m.

Peyvand Amini, who was mentored by and a member of the lab of Dr. Sam Mesiano in the Department of Reproductive Biology, publicly defended her doctoral dissertation on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Peyvand's dissertation is "Mechanisms by which progesterone controls human pregnancy and parturition."

A reception in Dr. Amini's honor was held at 5:00 p.m. in the Department's 5th floor bridge area.

Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture

April 18, 2018 4 p.m.

Dr. Walter Boron and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics hosted Dr. Peter Hunter of the University of Auckland for a School of Medicine Frontiers in Biological Sciences Lecture on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

The title of Dr. Hunter's Frontiers Lecture was “Cardiac research at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.”

Dr. Hunter is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering Science and the Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland (New Zealand).

A reception was held in Dr. Hunter's honor at 3:30 p.m. in the Department fifth floor lobby.

In addition, Dr. Hunter also gave a technical talk, “A mathematical physics and computer science framework for reproducible multiscale modelling in physiology”, on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in SOM E-501.

Congratulations to David Litvin

March 27, 2018

David Litvin, a Ph.D. candidate mentored by Frank Jacono, M.D., has had his first paper accepted by Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

The title of David's paper is "Lung-injury depresses glutamatergic synaptic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii via discrete age-dependent mechanisms in neonatal rats."

(David G Litvin, Thomas E Dick, Corey B Smith, Frank J

                                                                                 Jacono, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 2018 March 27)


March 19, 2018 4 p.m.


Mark A. Knepper, M.D., Ph.D. of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of NIH gave the 6th Annual Ulrich Hopfer Lecture on Monday, March 19, 2018 at 4:00 in SOM E-501, hosted by Dr. Walter Boron and Dr. Ulrich Hopfer.

The title of Dr. Knepper's lecture was “Regulation of Aqp2 gene expression by vasopressin."

Dr. Knepper also met with facutly members during his visit and a reception in his honor was held prior to the lecture in the Department 5th floor lobby.

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

(Photo: Walter Boron, M.D., Ph.D., Mark Knepper, M.D., Ph.D., Ulrich Hopfer, M.D., Ph.D.)