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Welcome to Molecular and Integrative Physiology

In this post-genomic era, physiology is uniquely poised at the nexus between molecular function and whole animal integration with the goal of understanding how the functions of thousands of encoded proteins serve to bring about the highly coordinated behavior of cells and tissues underlying physiological functions in animals and how their dysfunction may lead to disease.  Research and graduate training in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology is focused on understanding the regulation and function of gene products at multiple levels of biological organization, from molecules and macromolecular complexes to cells, tissues, and whole organisms. With the tools of molecular genetics and modern systems biology, physiologists are at the forefront of dramatic advances currently occurring in life and biomedical sciences. Advanced training in molecular and integrative physiology will provide the necessary foundation to prepare for a career in this exciting area of functional biology.

Milan K. Bagchi, Head


MIP News

Unexpected function of nucleoporin RanBP2 maintains BA homeostasis, protecting against liver toxicity.

A study published in Nature Communications by the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology’s Dr. Jongsook Kim Kemper and colleagues shows the role of RanBP2-mediated SUMO modification of an orphan nuclear receptor Small Heterodimer Partner (SHP) in maintaining bile acid (BA) homeostasis. Bile Acids are signalling molecules that profoundly affect metabolism but they have detergent-like toxicity and their levels in the liver must be tightly regulated. SHP takes part in this regulation, but how it senses the BA signal for regulation through feedback transnational responses is still unclear. The study uncovered an unexpected function of a nucleoporin RANBP2 in maintaining BA homeostasis through SUMOylation of SHP. Upon BA signalling, RanBP2 SUMOylates SHP at K68, which is required for nuclear transport and the gene repression function of SHP in feedback inhibition of BA biosynthesis. Read more...

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellowships

A number of current and recent graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have applied for and won prestigious awards and fellowships. The awardees reflect the breadth of outstanding research at UIUC and the quality of students and researchers attracted to the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Read more...

Drs. Benita S. Katzenellenbogen and John A. Katzenellenbogen have been awarded the Fred Conrad Koch Lifetime Achievement Award by the Endocrine Society.

The Society’s highest honor, this annual award recognizes lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the field of endocrinology. Dr. Benita Katzenellenbogen is currently the Swanlund Chaired Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, and Dr. John Katzenellenbogen is the Swanlund Chaired Professor of Chemistry. This is the first time the award has honored two scientists who collaborate both at work and at home as a married couple. Read more...

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