Welcome to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics
The mission of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics is to carry out high quality basic biomedical research and to educate graduate and medical students in the mechanisms of biological processes at the molecular, cellular, and organ system levels.
Walter Cannon wrote many decades ago that regulation is the central problem in physiology, and this remains true today. The difference between Walter Cannon’s time and the present is that the identities of most of the molecular players in various cells are now known. The challenge for the future is to understand how all these components interact to produce and regulate the living state.
Our faculty and students study physiological regulation at many different levels, including gene transcription, protein targeting, post-translational protein processing, subcellular signaling, extracellular matrix, control of differentiation and growth, and tumorigenesis. The experimental systems used in the department include model organisms such as yeast; cultured mammalian cells; mouse models of human disease; and collaborative clinical trials in humans. The physiological systems of interest to departmental faculty include skeletal, vascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, central nervous, and endocrine.
Faculty research is supported by the NIH, NSF, USDA, NASA, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Thyroid Association, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. One of the largest federally funded programs at UAMS, the NIH IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), is directed by Larry Cornett, a faculty member in our Department.
UAMS recently reorganized the College of Medicine graduate programs into the “Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences” (GPIBS), which includes six tracks. Departmental faculty are affiliated with several GPIBS tracks, including the Cell Biology and Physiology track. For more information, see http://gradschool.uams.edu/gpibs/.
The department is housed on the second floor of the Biomedical Research Center. Within this space, individual laboratories and departmental shared facilities contain a wide variety of equipment needed for research in modern cellular and molecular biology.
An integrated fluorescence and electron microscopy core facility located on the first floor of the Biomedical Research Center is overseen by Dr. Brian Storrie. The facility houses a 200 KEV transmission electron microscope (FEI Technai G2 TF20), a new Zeiss LSM 880 confocal microscope with Airyscan, and a new Zeiss super-resolution microscope. In addition, a super-resolution holographic microscope is under construction, supported by an NIH U54 grant; Brian Storrie and Vladimir Lupashin are Co-PI’s of the grant with collaborators from Johns Hopkins University and Ben-Gurion University. The microscope will be assembled and tested at UAMS starting in spring of 2017.
The physical facilities and collegial atmosphere in the department and across campus make the UAMS Department of Physiology and Biophysics an excellent place to pursue an academic career in biomedical science. We invite you to meet our faculty and students by following the links on this page.
Michael L. Jennings, PhD