Medical Student Education

Important Dates


Educational Objectives


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This page is maintained by the Office of Medical Education. You may contact the OME by email ( or phone (504) 988-6600.


Electives - Department of Physiology

Physiology Research

Students will participate in close association with their preceptor in ongoing research activities.

1. Renal and Vascular Physiology and Pathophysiology of Hypertension

     Dr. L.G. Navar                          office:  room 4002, SOM      phone:  988-5252   e-mail:
     Dr. K. D. Mitchell                     office:  room 4055, SOM      phone:  988-2593   e-mail:
     Dr. D. Majid                              office:  room 4020, SOM      phone:  988-2600   e-mail:
     Dr. M. Prieto                            office:  room 4061, SOM      phone:  988-2445   e-mail:

Several faculty members, led by our Chairman, Dr. L.G. Navar, are investigating the role of the kidney and blood vessels in the pathophysiology of hypertension.  Students will be exposed to various experimental approaches used in the study of renal function, hemodynamics, tubular transport processes, and fluid and electrolyte regulation. Student can learn techniques for the evaluation of renal function, renal tubule reabsorption, and vascular responses to different antihypertensive drugs, as well as the expression and regulation of genes involved in hypertension.   Basic methodological approaches also will be covered in a systematic manner. The remainder of the student's time will be spent in one or more laboratories of participating faculty.

2.  Molecular Physiology of Signal Transduction in Hypertension and Cardiovascular Regulation

     Dr. K. Pandey      office:  room 4022, SOM,     phone:  988-1628;     e-mail:

Dr. Pandey’s laboratory is studying the role of vasoactive natriuretic peptide hormones and their receptors in the pathophysiology of hypertension and cardiovascular regulation.  The ongoing studies include: molecular cloning and site-directed mutagenesis, gene transcription and expression, and cGMP-dependent transmembrane signaling mechanisms. The student will be exposed to a number of modern cellular and molecular approaches to delineate the genetic basis of hypertension and cardiovascular disorders both in vitro using cell culture systems and in vivo using gene-targeted mouse models

3. Cardiovascular Physiology – Cardiovascular Complications of Diabetes Mellitus and Chronic Kidney Disease

    Dr. C. Woods office: room 4008, SOM; phone: 988-2588; email:

Dr. Woods’ research aims to elucidate the impact of co-morbidities such as Diabetes Mellitus and Chronic Kidney Disease on the progression of cardiovascular disease.  A focus of this research is toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the increased intimal thickening seen in the diabetic population.  These studies are currently examining how the presence of diabetes promotes the acceleration of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration, two components of intimal thickening, through increases in specific microRNAs.  Additional projects focus on the development of biomarkers for the identification of patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease and complications following angioplasty.

4.  Cellular Signaling Physiology

     Dr. M. Li     office:  room M728 SOM,     phone:  988-8207;     e-mail:

Dr. Li’s research is focused on the cellular signaling mechanisms of insulin secretion and cancer cell proliferation.  In particular, Dr. Li is studying intracellular calcium signaling and the role of calcium ion channels in the progression of diabetes mellitus and breast and prostate cancer.  Students will employ fluorescence imaging and patch clamp techniques to investigate the role of calcium ion channels in hormone secretion and in cell proliferation.

5.  Neurophysiology – synaptic organization of the central nervous system

     Dr. A Derbenev      office:  room 4012     phone:  988-2053     email:
     Dr. A. Zsombok     office:  room 4010     phone:  988-2597     email:

Dr. Derbenev and Dr. Zsombok are investigating the mechanisms that specify the identity of neurons and neuronal networks, involved in the sympathetic and parasympathetic regulation of visceral organs.  They are using patch-clamp whole-cell electrophysiological, immunochemical, neuropharmacological, and molecular biological techniques.

Dr. Zsombok is studying the role of the central nervous system in the regulation of glucose metabolism and the dysregulated brain-liver circuit during diabetic conditions.

Dr. Derbenev is studying synaptic organization and regulation of synaptic activity in areas of the brain and spinal cord which are involved in blood pressure regulation.

Please see individual faculty members directly or contact Dr. Kenneth D. Mitchell, Overall Coordinator

Email:     Phone:  (504) 988-2593     Fax:  (504) 988-2675
Mailing Address:  1430 Tulane Ave., SL-39, New Orleans, LA 70112

Enrollment:  1-8 students; T-1, T-2, T-4
Time of course:  4-8 hours per session for 2 sessions: Wednesday and/or Friday: 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Sessions 1 and 2, Sessions 3 and 4
Prerequisite:  Instructor's approval and brief prospectus.

1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112