Universtiy of Miami Miller School of Medicine Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Faculty Profiles: PHS

Physiology and Biophysics


Ellen Barrett, PhD

Ellen Barrett, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
ebarrett2@med.miami.edu

Our laboratory studies ways to preserve neuromuscular structure and function in the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We infuse candidate protective agents into one hind-limb and compare neuromuscular structure and function in infused vs. non-infused limbs.


John Barrett, PhD

John Barrett, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
jbarrett@med.miami.edu

Our laboratory studies how mammalian central neurons respond to stress. One project seeks mechanisms underlying the complementary neuroprotective effects of neurotrophins (e.g. NGF, BDNF) and bone morphogenetic proteins (e.g. BMP7) during hypoglycemic stress in septal cholinergic neurons. Another project studies neuronal responses to hyperthermia, exacerbating damage by hypoglycemia and ischemia.


Laura Bianchi, PhD

Laura Bianchi, PhD

Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
l.bianchi@med.miami.edu

Employing the powerful model organism, C. elegans, my laboratory is interested in the role of DEG/ENaC ion channels in sensory perception and neurodegeneration. These voltage- independent Na+ channels function as trimers in an extraordinary range of biological processes including several senses, transepithelial transport, and have been linked to human diseases.


Nirupa Chaudhari, PhD

Nirupa Chaudhari, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
nchaudhari@miami.edu

We study how sensory cells function and regenerate by profiling gene expression in different cell types (RNAseq, single-cell RT-PCR, confocal microscopy) to understand how taste buds function, turnover and differentiate. We also image the functional responses of taste bud cells and sensory neurons under normal and metabolically altered conditions.


Kevin Collins, PhD

Kevin Collins, PhD

Assistant Professor, Biology
kmc117@miami.edu

Our goal is to understand how neural circuits control behavior. We are taking advantage of the optical clarity and powerful genetics of the C. elegans egg-laying behavior circuit to literally watch and manipulate the activity of specific cells. We hope to unravel the molecular mechanisms that modulate neurotransmission during specific animal behavior states.


Gerhard Dahl, MD

Gerhard Dahl, MD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
gdahl@med.miami.edu

Our lab concentrates on ways of intercellular communications through gap junctions and calcium waves. Research in my laboratory is geared towards two goals: 1) Identification of functional domains within the molecular subunits of gap junctions, the connexins. 2) Determination of the physiological function of specific gap junction proteins in tissues.


George Inana, MD, PhD

George Inana, MD, PhD

Professor, Ophthalmology
ginana@med.miami.edu

Our lab investigates the mechanisms of retinal diseases that lead to blindness through the identification of causative genes, construction and use of animal models to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms by which specific gene mutations lead to retinal degeneration, and therapeutic manipulation of the animal models for the ultimate goal of developing effective therapies.


Robert Keane, PhD

Robert Keane, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
rkeane@med.miami.edu

My research focuses on the activation of innate immune signaling after CNS injury. We discovered that CNS cells harbor inflammasomes that contribute to inflammatory pathomechanisms. Our current work seeks to understand the physiological functions of these signaling pathways that may provide promising and unique therapeutic strategies to treat CNS injury and disease.



Mason Klein, PhD

Mason Klein, PhD

Assistant Professor, Physics
klein@miami.edu



W. Glenn Kerrick, PhD

W. Glenn Kerrick, PhD

Professor, Physiology and Biophysics
wglkerrick@med.miami.edu


Hans Peter Larsson, PhD

Hans Peter Larsson, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
plarsson@med.miami.edu

My lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that open and close voltage-gated ion channels. Since mutations exist in such channels in patients with diseases such as epilepsy, irregular heart rhythms, and periodic paralyses, understanding the structure and function of channels could lead to treatments for several disorders. We also study how glutamate transporters function.



Karl Magleby, PhD

Karl Magleby, PhD

Professor and Chair, Physiology and Biophysics
kmagleby@med.miami.edu

Research interests are: (1) characterizing the types of ion channels in different cells, and determining the mechanisms by which the different channels open and close their pores (gating) and select for the passage of specific ions (selectivity); (2) the mechanisms underlying the short-term changes in transmitter release (short-term synaptic plasticity).


Fabrice Manns, PhD

Fabrice Manns, PhD

Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology
fmanns@med.miami.edu

Dr. Manns research activities include the development of optical laser and optical instrumentation for the treatment and diagnosis of eye diseases, and studies on the optics of the eye to help optimize vision correction procedures.


Vincent Moy, PhD

Vincent Moy, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
vmoy@med.miami.edu

Our lab uses the biophysical methods to investigate the role of mechanical forces in biological processes such as cell migration, cell-cell interactions and vesicle fusion.


Kenneth Muller, PhD

Kenneth Muller, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
kmuller@med.miami.edu

How do nerve cells form precise synaptic connections and how do those connections normally function? We study developing circuitry in the retina and brainstem, the repair and functioning of synaptic connections, and control of microglia moving to nerve injuries.


Wolfgang Nonner, PhD

Wolfgang Nonner, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
wnonner@med.miami.edu

My research concerns the physical mechanisms by which ion channels control selectivity and ion flow. We use computational tools to address these questions at the atomic level, and determine which principles of physics are used by the channels to achieve crucial biological functions.


Stephen Roper, PhD

Stephen Roper, PhD

Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
sroper@med.miami.edu

I study the molecular and cellular physiology of sensory organs. Specifically, my research focuses on signal transduction and signal processing in taste buds. I use functional imaging with voltage-, pH-, and ion-sensitive fluorescent dyes, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology.


Richard Rotundo, PhD

Richard Rotundo, PhD

Professor, Cell Biology
rrotundo@med.miami.edu

Our laboratory focuses on the regulation of neurotransmission via the enzyme, acetyl cholinesterase. We study: 1) The contributions of protein folding and assembly in regulating active molecules at synapses. 2) The development of novel probes for identifying cholinergic synapses. 3) RNA binding proteins that control protein translation at muscle and neuronal synapses in response to specific signals. 4) The repair of neuromuscular and CNS cholinergic synapse following acetylcholinesterase inactivation.


Christine Thomas, PhD

Christine Thomas, PhD

Professor, Neurological Surgery
cthomas3@med.miami.edu

My research explores strategies to rescue denervated muscle and the mechanisms underlying peripheral nerve regeneration, neuromuscular fatigue, weakness and spasticity