Physiology seeks to understand biological function spanning the range from molecular mechanisms to medical problems.
No other field has such an important task or is as cross-disciplinary in nature.
The Department of Physiology is an internationally recognized research center in which this broad perspective is collaboratively
embraced by the entire faculty.
Areas of systems level investigation include the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune and central nervous systems.
We also explore cellular processes such as synaptic transmission, the immune response and muscle excitation-contraction coupling
as well as molecular mechanisms of ion channels and transporters.
At the level of disease, efforts are focused on spinocerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, blindness, cardiac hypertrophy and failure, diabetes,
immune deficiencies, muscular dystrophy, channelopathies, transport deficiencies and others.
Research approaches are multidisciplinary, including electrophysiology and biophysics, molecular, cellular and whole-animal imaging,
proteomics and X-ray crystallography Moreover, the Department has a strong track record of being at the forefront of emerging new approaches.
There are active collaborative ties with clinical departments and institutes throughout the David Geffen School of Medicine,
including the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, Neurology and Anesthesiology.
Recent Publications of Physiology Faculty
A study by the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
and the Wright lab
has identified a new mechanism that delivers a key substance that fuels the growth of pancreatic and prostate cancer cells, a finding that offers new hope in the fight against two of the deadliest forms of the disease:
Claudio Scafoglio, Bruce A. Hirayama, Vladimir Kepe, Jie Liu, Chiara Ghezzi, Nagichettiar Satyamurthy, Neda A. Moatamed, Jiaoti Huang, Hermann Koepsell, Jorge R. Barrio, and Ernest M. Wright (2015)
Functional expression of sodium-glucose transporters in cancer
PNAS 2015; published ahead of print July 13, 2015, doi:10.1073/pnas.1511698112
A study from the Khakh lab
published in Nature Neuroscience shows that signaling-dependent Ca2+ fluctuations persist in astrocyte processes, despite a lack of IP3 receptors.
This finding implies the lack of a behavioral phenotype for IP3-null mice does not exclude a vital role for Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes:
Srinivasan R, Huang BS, Venugopal S, Johnston AD, Chai H, Zeng H, Golshani P & Khakh BS. (2015) Ca2+
signaling in astrocytes from Ip3r2-/- mice in brain slices and during startle responses in vivo. Nature Neuroscience,
18: 708, 2015
UCLA Physiology Department Open Positions
Assistant Project Scientist
Tenure Track Faculty Position (Cardiovascular Science)
Tenure Track Faculty Position (Neuroscience)