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Distinguished Lecture Series in Physiology

Each year the Department of Physiology invites distinguished researchers to present their work on topics broadly related to physiology. Topics range from those closely aligned with the research interests of the department to areas of interest to researchers across the UC Davis campus and the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Past Seminars


January 12, 2023

Speaker: Mariajose Metcalfe, Ph.D., Project Scientist, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine

Title: "Consequences of AAV-retro mediated deletion of PTEN following cervical spinal cord injury in mice." (PDF)

January 19, 2023

Speaker: David MacLean, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester Medical Center

Title: "Activation and desensitization mechanisms of acid-sensing ion channels" (PDF)

February 2, 2023

Speaker: Justin Taraska, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Biochemistry and Biophysics Center, NHLBI, NIH

Title: "Imaging the structure of the plasma membrane with correlative light and electron microscopy" (PDF)

February 16, 2023

Speaker: Baron Chanda, Ph.D., Professor, Anesthesiology, Neuroscience, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University in Saint Louis

Title: "Probing Allostery in ion channels at single molecule resolution" (PDF)

April 6, 2023

Speaker: Amy Lee, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas - Austin

Title: "Caldendrin: a multi-functional regulator of ion channels in sensory neurons" (PDF)

April 27, 2023

Speaker: Yun Lyna Luo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology, Western University of Health Sciences

Title: "Multiscale molecular dynamics simulation studies of mechanosensitive Piezo1 channel" (PDF)

May 4, 2023

Speaker: Leigh Anne Swayne, Ph.D. , Professor, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria, Medical Sciences

Title: "Form and function in excitable cells: investigating crosstalk between the cytoskeleton and channel proteins in brain and heart health and disease" (PDF)

December 13, 2023

Speaker: Katherine Wilkinson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, San Jose State University

Title: "Mechanotransduction in Muscle Proprioceptors" (PDF)


January 10, 2022

Speaker: Joyce Da Silva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Title: "Using functional MRI to study brain mechanisms underlying sex and age differences in a chronic pain model in rats" (PDF)

February 7, 2022

Speaker: Valeria Vásquez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Title: "Dietary fatty acids fine-tune neuronal and non-neuronal cells mechanical response" (PDF)

March 28, 2022

Speaker: Jonathan Lederer, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Professor of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Title: “Electro-metabolic signaling regulates small vessel blood flow in heart” (PDF)

April 4, 2022

Speaker: Samuel Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa

Lecture: "Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of Presynaptic Cav2 Calcium channel subtype abundance, organization, and how they regulate of neurotransmitter release" (PDF)

April 11, 2022

Speaker: Bryan Copits, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pain Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University School of Medicine

Title: "Photoswitchable control of GPCR signaling" (PDF)

May 2, 2022

Speaker: Antentor Hinton, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Vanderbilt School of Medicine Basic Sciences

Title: "3D Reconstructions of Mouse Skeletal Muscle and Heart Muscle Reveal a Decrease in the MICOS Complex and Altered Mitochondrial Networks" (PDF)

May 16, 2022

Speaker: Douglas Bayliss, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Title: "Properties, regulation, and functions of Pannexin 1 channels" (PDF)

June 27, 2022

Speaker: Romulo Hurtado, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Research, Department of Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Title: "Doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity of cardiac pacemakers" (PDF)

November 9, 2022

Speaker: Ana Isabel Fernandez-Marino, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke

Title: "Electromechanical coupling and slow inactivation in Kv channels" (PDF)

December 1, 2022

Speaker: Michael Hoppa, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Dartmouth College of Research

Title: "Optical approaches to decode synaptic transmission" (PDF)


January 17, 2019

Speaker: Edward Lakatta, Ph.D., Chief of the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science at the National Institute on Aging

Title: "When and why your next heart beat will occur”

September 19, 2019

Speaker: Kevin Foskett, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Department of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Title: “Regulation of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter ion channel”

October 10, 2019

Speaker: Isabelle Deschênes, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Ohio State University

Title: “The Cardiac Sodium Channel: Lessons Learned from Bedside to Bench”

October 17, 2019

Speaker: Scott Earley, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine

Title: “An Unexpected Alliance: Vascular Function is Controlled by Nanoscale Association of TRPML1 Channels and Ryanodine Receptors”

November 7, 2019

Carlson Lecture in Physiology

Speaker: Eric Gouaux, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences University, Vollum Institute

Title: "Mechanisms of signal transduction at chemical synapses"


April 16, 2018

Speaker: William Kobertz, Ph.D. Professor, University of Massachusetts, Medical School

Title: "Seeing What’s Out There: Fluorescent Visualization of Cellular Efflux”

July 19, 2018

Speaker: Yoram Rudy, Ph.D., F.AH.A., F.H.R.S., Washington University, The Fred Saigh Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology, Radiology, and Pediatrics, Director of the Cardiac Bioelectricity and Arrhythmia Center (CBAC)

Title: "Multi-scale Integration of Cardiac Excitation and Arrhythmia: From Ion-Channel Molecular Structure to the Human Heart"


January 18, 2017

Speaker: Roel Nusse, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Professor with the Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University, School of Medicine

Title: "A new perspective on stem cells in the liver”

March 15, 2017

Speaker: Christopher Ahern, Ph.D., Associate Professor with University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine

Title: "Taking a chemical biology approach to voltage-dependent ion channel gating: encoding discovery with atomic mutagenesis”

April 19, 2017

Speaker: Thomas Kornberg, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, Cardiovascular Research Institute

Title: "Signaling at a distance: communicating by touch”

May 24, 2017

Speaker: Geoffrey Pitt, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor with Cornell University, Weill Cornell Medical College

Title: "From Atom to Adam: Channelopathies and Cardiac Pathophysiology"

November 17, 2017

Speaker: Jianyuan Sun, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Biophysics, Director of Neuroscience Program, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Title: “Revisiting Katz's Quantal Release Theory by Observation of Synaptic Transmission at Single Synapse”


April 11, 2016

Speaker: Stephen Waxman, M.D., Ph.D., Bridget M. Flaherty, Professor of Neurology, Director, Center for Neuroscience and Regeneration Research,Yale School of Medicine

Title: "Chasing Men on Fire: Na Channels and Pain"

Host: Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy, Ph.D.

April 14, 2016

Speaker: Linda Wordeman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington School of Medicine

Title: "Centrosome Separation during the Cell Cycle: Knowing when to hold ‘em”

April 21, 2016

Speaker: Darleen Sandoval, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Michigan

Title: "Using genetics and pharmacology to understand GLP-1 physiology"

Host: Karen Ryan, Ph.D.

April 28, 2016

Speaker: Leslie Leinwand, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado

Title: "Myosin Myopathies: Pathogenesis and Potential Therapeutics"

Host: Keith Baar, Ph.D.

May 5, 2016

Speaker: Adam Cohen, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Physics, Harvard University

Title: "All-optical electrophysiology”

Host: Jon Sack, Ph.D.

May 19, 2016

Speaker: Murali Prakriya, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Northwestern University

Title: "Mechanisms and functions of store-operated calcium channels”

Host: Jon Sack, Ph.D.

May 26, 2016

Speaker: Gregory Bix, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kentucky

Title: “Enter the Matrix: Novel Stroke and Vascular Dementia Therapeutic Targets”

Host: Martha E. O'Donnell, Ph.D.

December 6, 2016

Speaker: Thomas Longden, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Title: "Translating thought into blood flow: Capillary-to-arteriole communication in the brain”


March 19, 2015

Speaker: Jay T. Groves, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Title: “T cell receptor signaling at the single molecule level”

October 19, 2015

Speaker: Vasanthi Jayaraman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , University of Texas Medical School

Title: “Moving and grooving of glutamate receptors”

November 2, 2015

Speaker: David Hackos, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Genentech, San Francisco

Title: “Structural basis of Nav1.7 inhibition by an isoform-selective small molecule antagonist”

December 1, 2015

Speaker: Anastasios Tzingounis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut

Title: “Genetic dissection of KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 function in the cortex”

December 7, 2015

Speaker:: Anil Bhushan, Ph.D., Professor, School of Medicine, Diabetes Center, University of California, San Francisco

Title: “Metabolic plasticity of beta cells in Diabetes”


January 14, 2014

Speaker: Yifan Cheng, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

Title: "Single Particle cryo-EM structures of TRPV1 ion channels"

February 13, 2014

Speaker: Boris Zhorov, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University

Title: "Computational Structural Pharmacology and Toxicology of Sodium Channels"

February 14, 2014

Speaker: Qiu-Xing Jiang, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, The University of Texas Southwestern

Title: "Lipid-dependent gating of a voltage-gated potassium channel"

February 26, 2014

Speaker: Daniel Minor, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

Title: "Structural and Chemical Biological studies of ion channels"

March 05, 2014

Speaker: Colleen Clancy, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Title: "Sex, Drugs and Funky Rhythms"

April 16, 2014

Speaker: Diane Papazian, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Title: "Altered K+ Channel Gating in Early-Onset Diseases"

April 23, 2014

Speaker: Bruce Bean, Ph.D., Harvard University

Title: "Ion Channel Regulation of Neuronal Firing Patterns"
(Marion G. and Loren D. Carlson Lecture)

May 7, 2014

Speaker: Alan Miller, Ph.D., Touro University

Title: "Risk Factors for Acquired Long QT syndrome: Electrolyte imbalances and drug block of the cardiac potassium channel HERG."

May 14, 2014

Speaker: Kenton Swartz, Ph.D., Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Section, NINDS, Porter Neuroscience Research Center

Title: "Exploring ion channel structure and gating mechanisms with tarantula toxins"

May 21, 2014

Speaker: Jawdat Al-Bassam, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Title: "Regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton through activating intercellular soluble tubulin reserves."

September 17, 2014

Speaker: Justin Du Bois, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, Stanford University

Title: “Turning Toxins into Tools for the Study of Sodium Ion Channels”


February 13, 2013

Speaker: Bruce Cohen, Ph.D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley

Title: "Next-generation nanocrystals for cellular imaging"

February 20, 2013

Speaker: Francesco Tombola, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine

Title: "Multitasking voltage-sensing domains as proton channels"

March 13, 2013

Speaker: Baldomero Olivera, Ph.D., University of Utah

Title: "Conotoxins and their Ion Channel Targets: Integrating Systems and Molecular Neuroscience using Single-cell Pharmacology"

March 20, 2013

Speaker: Biff Forbush, Ph.D., Yale University

Title: "Structure and Function of Na-K-Cl cotransporters: A beginning"

May 1, 2013

Speaker: James Herrington, Genentech

Title: "Automated electrophysiology in drug discovery: a case study on Kv2 channels in pancreatic hormone secretion"

May 8, 2013

Speaker: Heike Wulff, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

Title: "K+ channel modulators as immunosuppressants and for the treatment of cardiovascular disease"

May 15, 2013

Speaker: Jian Payandeh, Genentech

Title: "Crystal structures of sodium and magnesium channels: insights into selectivity and gating"

September 18, 2013

Speaker: Jerome Badaut, Ph.D., Loma Linda University

Title: "AQP4 and JNK inhibition reduces neurovascular unit dysfunctions after Juvenile traumatic brain injury"

December 3, 2013

Speaker: Bill Zagotta, Ph.D., University of Washington

Title: "Molecular mechanisms of gating in cyclic nucleotide-regulated ion channels"


March 18, 2011

Speaker: Irena Levitan, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago

Title: "Cholesterol regulation of endothelial K channels"

May 6, 2011

Speaker: Hiroaki Misoni, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore

Title: "Unique trafficking mechanisms govern neuronal ion channel localization"

September 16, 2011

Speaker: William Catterall, Ph.D., University of Washington, School of Medicine

Title: "Voltage-gated Sodium Channels at Atomic Resolution: Structure, Function, and Disease"


February 4, 2010

Speaker: Oded Lewinson, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Title: "Heavy metal homeostasis: Acquisition of essential trace elements and extrusion of toxic compounds"

February 18, 2010

Speaker: Christopher Brett, Ph.D., University of Washington

Title: "Ion transport, endocytosis and autism"

February 25, 2010

Speaker: Sudha Chakrapani, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Title: "Understanding gating mechanisms: A structural, functional and dynamic approach"

March 4, 2010

Speaker: Roger A. Bannister, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Denver

Title: "Bi-directional communication between L-type Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptors in skeletal muscle"

March 15, 2010

Speaker: Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy, Ph.D., University of Washington

Title: "Ion channel structure prediction using the rosetta-membrane method"

March 18, 2010

Speaker: Susy C. Kohout, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Title: "Investigating a new member of the voltage-gated family of proteins, Ci-VSP"

March 29, 2010

Speaker: Ryan Drenan, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

Title: "Understanding the role of individual nAChR subtypes in the Mammalian Central Nervous System"

April 8, 2010

Speaker: Dominique G. Gagnon, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Title: "Function of a potassium channel with a single Voltage-sensing gate-keeper"


January 9, 2009

Speaker: Douglas Bayliss, Ph.D., University of Virginia Health System

Title: "Regulation of cellular excitability by modulation of background channels: mechanisms and physiological roles"

January 23, 2009

Speaker: Edward N. Pugh, Jr., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Title: "Recent Advances in Cone Photoreceptor Physiology"

February 6, 2009

Speaker: Toshinori Hoshi Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Title: "Modulation of potassium channels by free heme and heme degradation products"

May 1, 2009

Speaker: Stefan Feske, M.D., New York University

Title: "Calcium signals in lymphocyte activation and disease"

May 15, 2009

Speaker: Ege Kavalali, Ph.D., U.T. Southwestern Medical Center

Title: "Synaptic vesicle trafficking and its impact on neurotransmission"

December 10, 2009

Speaker: Randen Patterson, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State Universtiy

Title: "Hypothesis-driven computational biology: Translating the computer to the benchtop"


September 5, 2008

Speaker: Mark Bevensee, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

Title: "Phospholipid regulation of the Na/bicarbonate cotransporter NBCe1"

September 19, 2008

Speaker: Diana Bautista, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Title: "Molecular mechanisms of touch and pain in mammals"

October 3, 2008

Speaker: Bertil Hille, Ph.D., University of Washington

Title: "G-protein coupled receptors modulate ion channels and many other cellular functions through phosphoinositide lipid signals"

November 7, 2008

Speaker: Donald Hilgemann, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Title: "New Perspectives on PIP2 in cardiac myocytes"

December 5, 2008

Speaker: Colin G. Nichols, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Title: "KATP channels: The exciting molecular link between cell metabolism, diabetes and cardiac arrhythmias"