Founded in 1966, the Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology is one of five basic science departments in the UC Davis School of Medicine
Our tripartite mission is to conduct innovative, cutting edge research, engage in high-level service and provide excellent educational opportunities and mentoring to students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents in the discipline of physiology. Our aim is to create new knowledge to advance understanding of biological processes and benefit society by facilitating more precise diagnosis, and effective disease treatment.
In the post molecular and post genome eras, Physiology is uniquely posed at the nexus to employ these new tools to gain a more detailed understanding of function at the molecular level or to investigate the functional consequences of alterations in gene products at the cellular, organ and organismal levels. Scientifically we are determined to access and exploit these unprecedented opportunities!
DEPARTMENTAL FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Departmental faculty member Jie Zheng, along with researchers from his lab, have identified the molecular interactions that allow capsaicin to activate the body’s primary receptor for sensing heat and pain, paving the way for the design of more selective and effective drugs to relieve pain. Their study appeared online June 8 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.For more information about this exciting research, click here.
Departmental Faculty members Jon Sack and Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy along with members of their respective labs and researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have a created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. The probe binds to a voltage-activated potassium ion channel subtype, lighting up when the channel is turned off and dimming when it is activated. For more information about this exciting research, click here.