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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

Jongsook Kim Kemper’s lab discovers that elevated acetylation of FXR in obesity promotes hepatic inflammation, published in the EMBO Journal

Associate Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Jongsook Kim Kemper, post-doctoral researcher, Dong-Hyun Kim, and their colleagues discovered that the function of a key metabolic transcriptional regulator, FXR, is modulated by an acetyl/SUMO switch, which is dysregulated in obesity. Elevated acetylation of FXR at Lys-217 in diet-induced obese mice inhibits its SUMOylation at Lys-277, which promotes hepatic inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. The findings are published in the EMBO Journal. Read more...

Professor Jongsook Kim Kemper and collaborators discover FXR and CREB as key physiological regulators of autophagy, published in the journal Nature.

Autophagy or “self-eating” is the breakdown and recycling of cellular components and is essential for cellular survival under starvation but must be suppressed upon feeding. Acute regulation of preexisting autophagy machinery by protein phosphorylation is well defined, but longer-term regulation of the synthesis of these proteins is not. The team found that feeding-activated FXR and fasting-activated CREB are key physiological regulators of hepatic autophagy that oppositely regulate the autophagy gene network during feeding/fasting cycles. Read more...

NSF awards BRAIN EAGER grant to team led by Martha Gillette

A Team led by Martha Gillette, professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience and Bioengineering, has been awarded a BRAIN EAGER grant from NSF for a project titled “Multiscale dynamics and emergent properties of suprachiasmatic circuits in real time.” Read more...

Side-chain rotamers make a difference

Third-year Biophysics graduate student Tyler Harpole and Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Biophysics and Neuroscience, Claudio Grosman, have used molecular dynamics and Brownian dynamics computer simulations to test a novel hypothesis as to how the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor controls the rate at which cations enter the cell through the receptor’s transmembrane pore. Read more...

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