The vasculature of a living mouse ear after injection with an 800 infrared polyethylene glycol tag. This technique was used to visualizeangiogenesis over long periods of time in the intact animal. Courtesy of Dr. Brant Isakson (Billaud et al, Microcirculation, 2011).

Physiologists at UVA aim to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of basic biological phenomena and to understand the pathological alterations of these processes that result in disease.

Our research seeks to integrate insights gained at the molecular and cellular levels into the broader framework of organ function, with the goal of understanding the function of living systems at all levels.  This understanding is  based on knowledge of atomic and molecular structure and function.  Thus a modern molecular physiologist may investigate the function of the heart by cloning a membrane channel or transport protein, expressing it and studying its kinetics through patch clamping in a model cell system, while exploring the relationship between molecular structure and function through crystallography and spectroscopy.

We emphasize interdisciplinary systems approaches.  Consequently, members of our program are associated with many departments in basic sciences, clinical medicine, and in particular the Robert Berne Cardiovascular Research Center and Biomedical Engineering.