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.


  • Paula Q. Barrett
    Regulation of low-voltage activated T-type Ca2+ channel activity by kinases and heterotrimeric G-proteins and their roles in physiological responses.
  • Douglas A. Bayliss
    Mechanisms of neuromodulation in central neurons
  • Edward H. Bertram
    Studies of various aspects of epilepsy using anatomy and in vivo and in vitro physiology.
  • Michelle Bland
    Molecular mechanisms linking inflammation and insulin signaling to control cell growth and metabolism
  • Steven Caliari
    Engineering dynamic biomaterials to explore the interplay between cells and their microenvironment
  • Salem Faham
    Structural biology of membrane proteins; Structure/function and structure/stability relationships and the development of new tools for protein crystallization.
  • Charles R. Farber
    Systems Genetics of Skeletal Development and Maintenance
  • Robin A. Felder
    Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. Medical Automation Research. Neurotransmitters, cell surface receptors and intracellular second messengers.
  • Brent A. French
    Novel Therapies for Treating and Preventing Ischemic Heart Disease
  • R. Ariel Gomez
    Ontogeny of renin-angiotensis system, differentiation of the JG cell.
  • William H. Guilford
    Molecular Mechanics of Muscle Contraction and Cell Movement
  • Patrice G. Guyenet
    Neural control of blood pressure and respiration
  • Thurl E Harris
    Molecular mechanisms controlling insulin signaling and fat synthesis.
  • Jeffrey W. Holmes
    Healing after myocardial infarction, cardiac growth and remodeling, and image-based modeling and diagnosis.
  • Ku-Lung Hsu
    Lipid Metabolism in Inflammation and Immunity
  • Brant Isakson
    Intercellular communication as it relates to blood pressure regulation
  • Masashi Kawasaki
    Neuroethology of electric fish
  • Susanna R. Keller
    Insulin signaling, insulin-regulated membrane trafficking and associated changes in cellular function and whole body physiology
  • Melissa M. Kendall
    Mechanisms used by Bacterial Pathogens to Integrate Host- and Bacterial-derived Signals to Sense their Environment, Coordinate Gene Expression, and Cause Disease
  • Mark Kester
    Nanotechnologies for targeted drug delivery
  • Jonathan Kipnis
    Neuroimmunology and glia biology in cognition, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration
  • Christopher M. Kramer
    Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, myocardial disease, atherosclerotic plaque imaging, peripheral arterial disease
  • Howard C. Kutchai
    Quaternary Structure of Calcium-ATPases of sarcoplasmic reticulum and Na, K-ATPase and Its Regulatory Significance
  • Norbert Leitinger
    Role of lipid oxidation products in inflammation and vascular immunology in atherosclerosis and diabetes
  • Deforest Mellon
    Sensory System Organization and Development
  • Michael Menaker
    Behavioral and Physiological Analysis of Vertebrate Circadian Rhythms
  • Robert K. Nakamoto
    Structure-Function of Active Transporters
  • Eyleen Jorgelina O'Rourke
    Obesity and Aging
  • Manoj Patel
    Modulation of sodium channel gating by beta subunits and novel sodium channel blockers; Synaptic transmission in dorsal horn neurons
  • Shayn M. Peirce-Cottler
    Tissue Engineering and Regeneration, Computational Systems Biology, Vascular Growth and Remodeling, Stem Cell Therapies
  • Richard J. Price
    Endothelial Phenotypes in Angiogenesis, Integrated Signaling for Microvascular Network Patterning, and Contrast Ultrasound Based Therapeutics
  • Christopher M. Rembold
    Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, Insulin resistance, Sleep apnea, Statistical analysis, Smooth Muscle Contraction/Relaxation, Nitric Oxide
  • Helmy M. Siragy
    Endocrine hypertension, angiotensin receptors, renal paracrine hormones
  • Avril V. Somlyo
    Novel signal transduction pathways in smooth muscles that regulate contractility and impact diseases of the vasculature, airway and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Christopher Stroupe
    Biochemical, biophysical, structural, and cell biological studies of intracellular membrane tethering and fusion
  • Lukas K. Tamm
    Biomembrane Structure and Function; Cell Entry of Enveloped Viruses; Neurosecretion by Exocytosis; Structure of Bacterial Pathogen Membrane Proteins; Lipid-Protein Interactions
  • Matthew J Wolf
    Identification of genes and pathways that cause or modify cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
  • Mark Yeager
    Cardiac Gap Junction Membrane Channels / Integrins Water Channels / Rotavirus / Reovirus / Retrovirus