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Research

Welcome to the Department of Physiology & Biophysics

The theme of research and strength in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics is integration of knowledge obtained from studies at the level of molecules, cells, and organs to understand functions of the body as a whole organism. The main objective of our department is to understand basic mechanisms, and defects in these mechanisms, with the goal of translating this information into diagnoses, therapies and prevention of clinical disorders. Our faculty members lead teams in translational research including drug discovery related to heart failure, hypertension, depression, cancer, and reproductive diseases..

Department Head: Jan Kitajewski, PhD, kitaj@uic.edu
Department Business Contact: Lea Smucker, kdougl1@uic.edu

Department News and Events

May 4th 2017. Faculty On The News: Mark Rasenick, PhD
The current research of our faculty member Dr. Mark Rasenick and his team has been recently featured in a news article in the prestigious journal Nature: Party drug's power to fight depression puzzles scientists. Dr. Rasenick has a long-standing interest and expertise in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of antidepressants. His work identifying how ketamine (an anesthetic, also used as a recreational drug) rearranges the membrane of cultured rat glial cells after only 15 minutes of exposure sheds important light into novel mechanisms of action of this drug and is a great contribution to the quest of finding optimal medications to treat depression.

May 1st 2017. Publications From The Department: Alexandra Naba, PhD
Another great article from Dr. Naba has been recently accepted for publication: Proteomic characterization of human multiple myeloma bone marrow extracellular matrix. In this manuscript the authors profile the extracellular matrix composition of the bone marrow from patients with multiple myeloma. They also describe how changes occurring in the extracellular matrix composition during this disease might provide useful prognostic markers for multiple myeloma survival outcomes.

April 12th 2017. Publications From The Department: Carlos Stocco, PhD
Congratulations to Dr. Stocco and his lab for their work entitled GF1R Expression in Ovarian Granulosa Cells is Essential for Steroidogenesis, Follicle Survival, and Fertility in Female Mice where they describe the critical role that Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) plays in Granulosa Cell function. Understanding how IGF1R signaling regulates Granulosa Cell function and Follicle growth will aid on the design on future female fertility treatments.

April 12th 2017. Publications From The Department: Chong Wee Liew, PhD and Michael O’Donnell, PhD
This is a great example of collaborations within our department. Congratulations to the team of Dr. Liew and Dr. O’Donnell on their recently published manuscript: Multiphasic Regulation of Systemic and Peripheral Organ Metabolic Responses to Cardiac Hypertrophy. Their study elucidates how the metabolic response changes in a mouse model of cardiac hypertrophy. These findings point to possible new avenues for treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

April 10th 2017. Publications From The Department: Jonna Frasor, PhD
We would like to congratulate Dr. Frasor and her team for their published work: A Novel Strategy to Co-target Estrogen Receptor and Nuclear Factor κB Pathways with Hybrid Drugs for Breast Cancer Therapy. In this manuscript, they demonstrate how hybrid drugs which inhibit both the Estrogen Receptor and the NFkB pathway may represent a new approach to targeting Breast Cancer.

April 5th 2017. Faculty award: Mark Rasenick, PhD
We are proud of our faculty member Dr. Rasenick, who is the recipient of the 2017 College of Medicine Faculty of the Year Award. This award recognizes his contributions in the field of neuroscience, his commitment to the advancement of international scientific cooperation, and his long-term contributions as a scholar and educator.

March 21st 2017. Publications From The Department: Alexandra Naba, PhD
Check out the newly published paper from our faculty member Alexandra Naba where they characterize the composition of the extracellular matrix produced in vitro by different types of mesenchymal stem cells: Comprehensive proteomic characterization of stem cell-derived extracellular matrices. This study also highlights the importance of the extracellular matrix in the biology and specific properties of different mesenchymal stem cell populations. Congratulations on your work, Dr. Naba!

January 9th 2017. Our YouTube channel is now live
Tune in to learn about the research conducted in our department and updates on trends in biomedical research and education.
Link: Physiology YouTube Channel