Mip banner c703152aee8175d53587b742e0f0352b324ea007f473183ed7a7fc00bb4f0527 Milan Bagchi.

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

Assistant Professor Nien-Pei Tsai’s lab has published a study in PLOS Genetics on how a novel epilepsy-associated gene controls neuronal excitability

Epilepsy is a medical condition characterized by spontaneous seizures due to hyperexcitability of brain neurons. Assistant Professor Nien-Pei Tsai, graduate student Jiuhe Zhu and colleagues uncovered that an insufficient function or mutations of a novel epilepsy-associated gene Nedd4-2 leads to neuronal hyperexcitability caused by an uncontrolled level of a neurotransmitter receptor named AMPA receptor. These findings provide critical information to the development of therapies for epilepsy patients who carry mutations of Nedd4-2. Read more...

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...

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