T1 Electives


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Department of Physiology

Experimental Physiology Course (Spring Semester)

Goals and Objectives:

The course will focus on the basic functions of cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, reproductive, neuro-muscular and cellular transport systems using anesthetized animal models (dogs/pigs, rats, rabbits, frogs, etc.) as well as human volunteers.  The student will practice some basic simple surgical procedures in anesthetized animals and will formulate experimental design and research ideas aimed at strengthening the foundations of their medical, surgical and research training.

Students in this course will:

1.     learn fundamental regulatory mechanisms of some basic organs in a living system.

2.     practice simple surgical procedures on a living animal.

3.     acquire basic experience in conducting biological research in-vivo/in-vitro animal models.

4.     consider the ethics of using animals in research.

Methods of Instruction: The course will consist of laboratory exercises, research orientation and group discussions.  Students will work in a group under the guidance of the instructor.

CourseDirector: Dr. Dewan Majid, MD, PhD

Instructors: Dr. D. Majid, MD, PhD; Dr. K.D.Mitchell, PhD; Dr. Ming Li, PhD; Dr.Khalid Matrougi, PhD; Dr. S. Abdournur, PhD.

GradingPolicy: A grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory will be determined on the basis of attendance and participation.  Letter grades will be given to the graduate students.  There will be no written exam.  Attendance is mandatory.  Excused absences may be granted only by the Dean, Department Chair or

Enrollment: 4 to 16 students: T-1, T-2 and graduate students

Time of course: 16 weeks; Four hours per week (Friday, 1pm to 5pm) Sessions 3 & 4
Prerequisite: Medical/Graduate students who have taken/will take the medical physiology course.

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. Nava

office: room 4002, SOM

phone: 988-5252


Dr. K. D. Mitchell

office: room 4055, SOM

phone: 988-2593


Dr. D. Majid

office: room 4020, SOM

phone: 988-2600


Dr. H. Kobori

office: room M720B, SOM

phone: 988-2591


Dr. M. Prieto-Carrasquero

office: room 4061, SOM

phone: 988-2445



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.  Neurophysiology – Protection of Brain Cells from Ischemic Injury

Dr. N. Kreisman      office: room 4063, SOM, phone: 988-2590; e-mail:    

Dr. Kreisman is investigating signaling mechanisms underlying selective vulnerability to anoxic/ischemic injury in the hippocampus and mechanisms of protection afforded by hypothermia and pre-ischemic conditioning.  Students will read background literature, learn electrophysiological and optical recording techniques, and perform experiments pertinent to their projects.

4.  Cellular Signaling Physiology

Dr. M. Lioffice: room 4724 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.  Molecular Physiology of Blood Vessels

Dr. K. Matrougui   office: room 4008 SOM; phone 988-2588

Dr. Matrougui’s lab is investigating signaling pathways that contribute to vascular dysfunction and structural wall remodeling of resistance arteries, particularly in diabetes and hypertension.  co-presentation of the two risk factors (hypertension and diabetes) exacerbates vascular disease but mechanisms are poorly understood.  Specifically they are studying the role of (1) advanced glycation end products, (2) epidermal growth factor receptor, (3) alphav-beta3-integrin, (4) transforming growth factor beta1 and (5) oxidative stress in coronary arterioles and mesenteric resistance arteries in animal models of these two diseases.   Experiments utilize integrative approaches including: pharmacology, molecular biology in vitro and in vivo adenovirus-siRNA mediated delivery, real time RT-PCR, western blot analysis, immunostaining, mitochondrial oxidative stress, primary cultures of vascular smooth muscle, and assessment of changes in morphology and stiffness of resistance arteries from hypertensive or diabetic mice.

6. Neurophysiology – synaptic organization of the central nervous system

Dr. A Derbenev (office, room 4012; phone 988-2053; email:

Dr. A. Zsombok (office 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. Norman Kreisman, Overall Coordinator

:     Phone: (504) 988-2590     Fax: (504) 988-2675
Mailing Address: 1430 Tulane Ave., SL-39, New Orleans, LA 70112

: 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