The Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology (IBP) is interested in the cell biology, physiology and pharmacology of cell regulation and communication. Our major research themes include the molecular mechanisms and spatiotemporal dynamics of membrane signaling, intracellular and metabolic signaling, the biology and physiology of cell-cell interactions, and the use of computational, structural and systems approaches to decipher signaling networks. These efforts are aimed at understanding how normal and abnormal cell function translates into whole animal physiology and pathophysiology, and exploring the molecular pharmacology of existing and novel therapeutics. In this context, IBP has research programs in cancer cell biology, cardiovascular biology, tissue regeneration and plasticity (especially in nerve and muscle), and neuronal signaling in injury, inflammation and pain. We also investigate GI and renal physiology. Our investigators make extensive use of a wide range of genetically tractable model organisms including: mice, Drosophila, Zebrafish, Aplysia and Arabidopsis; they use computational techniques, including classical and advanced molecular dynamics simulations, structural bioinformatics and novel bioinformatic approaches to interrogate gene expression data sets; as well as contemporary molecular cell biology, biochemistry and electrophysiology. IBP has a, purpose-built, advanced cell-imaging center that provides for confocal, TIRF, electron, wide-field and confocal FLIM microscopy, high content screening as well as an IVIS system for small animal imaging. In addition there is a new departmental core for electrophysiology. Research in IBP is further supported by outstanding core facilities located within the McGovern Medical School for microarray analysis, proteomics, high throughput siRNA and drug screening, high throughput real-time qPCR, DNA sequencing, SNP analysis, and high throughput quantitative ELISA.
IBP faculty teach Physiology and Pharmacology to medical students. We run an active graduate studies program in Cell and Regulatory Biology and we participate in the University Centers for Membrane Biology and Clinical and Translation Sciences within the McGovern Medical School and in several training grants including those in Pharmacological Sciences and Computational Cancer Biology.
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