NEWS | July 23, 2015

Curry elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

Fitz-Roy Curry, distinguished professor emeritus of physiology and membrane biology and biomedical engineering at UC Davis, was elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, a non-governmental organization that includes Norwegian and foreign members who support the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway.

Fitz-Roy Curry Fitz-Roy Curry

Curry is internationally renowned for his research on microcirculation, especially the mechanics of the vascular barrier, which is essential to maintaining a constant environment for organs including the lung, brain and heart. 

The vascular barrier is composed of a compact single layer of cells that create a boundary between the bloodstream and the cells of these organs. The barrier allows the movement of essential nutrients to these tissues while blocking excessive water accumulation, such as pulmonary edema, and potentially harmful substances, such as toxins and infectious agents. Breakdown of the barrier occurs during acute inflammation  and is an early step in the development of many chronic diseases, such as atherosclerosis.

The Curry lab focuses on identifying mechanisms that can maintain and restore the physiological functions of the tight junctions between the cells of the vascular barrier. He is collaborating with investigators at the University of Bergen, Norway, to develop new magnetic resonance imaging methods to measure vascular permeability in the tissue of transgenic mouse models of modified vascular permeability.

Image shows the breakdown of the vascular barrier
The image shows the breakdown of the vascular barrier in response to an inflammatory agent. The leakage a fluorescent tracer occurs where the tight junction between the cells forming the barrier have been disrupted.

Curry received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his doctorate in Physiology from Monash University, Australia. He joined the Department of Human Physiology at UC Davis in 1977 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming department chair in 1991 and associate dean of research in 1995. In 2011, he became a distinguished professor at UC Davis and is now research professor after becoming emeritus in 2013.

Throughout his career, Curry has received many honors and awards for his innovative research, scientific vision, leadership, and mentoring of young investigators. Some of these include the Landis Award of the Microcirculatory Society, a NIH MERIT Award, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association , aswell as the Hibbard E. Williams M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award and Faculty Research Award, both from the UC Davis School of Medicine.

For more information, visit UC Davis Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology at http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/physiology