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.
Several faculty from the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology were among the most-cited researchers in the world in a new, widely hailed analysis designed to provide a clearer view of scientific and scholarly impact.
Obesity is rising in prevalence and poses a major concern for the health of our general population. Currently affecting over one-third of the population of the United States, obesity is often comorbid with other diseases, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. The bile acid (BA)-sensing nuclear receptor Farnesoid X-Receptor (FXR) is not only a key regulator of bile acid levels, but also of energy metabolism. With these functions, FXR plays an important role in protection against bile acid-associated inflammatory liver injury and obesity-induced fatty liver disease.
The School of Molecular & Cellular Biology is proud to have accomplished ten new faculty hires over the last three years! These strategic hires have been made in areas of brain plasticity, virology and immunology, developmental biology, and microbiology. These outstanding new recruits, together with our current accomplished faculty, will strengthen and enrich our path-breaking research endeavors in the school and with campus initiatives such as the Beckman Institute, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and the Microbial Sciences Initiative.
One of the first steps in creating treatments for a medical condition is to make an accurate model of it, in which to identify targets for investigation and test potential therapeutic candidates. Without such a model, a condition can be very difficult to study, let alone treat, because of the limitations in laboratory testing that can be done.