The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences


Faculty associated with the Physiology Intercollegiate Graduate Degree Program at Penn State, and a summary of their research interests

Faculty are listed in alphabetical order by last name. To see more information about a faculty member, click on his/her name.

Lacy Alexander
Associate Professor of Kinesiology

Dr. Alexander utilizes in vivo and in vitro approaches using the human cutaneous circulation to examine the underlying signaling mechanisms mediating microvascular dysfunction with primary human aging, hypercholesterolemia, and essential hypertension.

Paul Bartell
Associate Professor of Avian Biology

The regulation of biological clocks in birds at the systems level.

Peter J Butler
Professor of Bioengineering

Fundamental molecular mechanisms by which vascular endothelial cells sense the forces from flowing blood and transduce this mechanical information into adjustments of cell and tissue biology.

Orfeu M Buxton
Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Causes and consequences of sleep deficiency.

Margherita Cantorna
Distinguished Professor in Molecular Immunology
Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Vitamin A and vitamin D regulation of the microbiota and host immunity. Utilizing animal models of multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal infection.

Mary Jane De Souza
Professor of Kinesiology

Womens health and Physical Activity, Endocrinology of the Female Athlete, Effects of Exercise on the Menstrual Cycle, Female Athlete Triad (Eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis), Eating Behaviors, Food Intake, and Exercise, Luteal Phase Defects and Amenorrhea, Bone Health and Osteoporosis in Female Athletes, and Energy Deficiency and Bone Health.

Francisco Diaz
Associate Professor of Reproductive Biology

Ovarian physiology. Role of SMAD-mediated signaling in follicular and female germ cell (oocyte) development.

Patrick James Drew
Huck Distinguished Associate Professor of Neural Engineering and Neurosurgery
Depts. of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Neurosurgery, and Biomedical Engineering

Control and development of the cerebral blood flow, neurovascular coupling.

Pamela Giblin
Professor of Immunology

The role of receptor tyrosine kinases in normal physiology and disease progression; the downstream signals that mediate these responses in vivo and in vitro.

Michael Green
Professor of Nutrition Science and Physiology

Vitamin A metabolism; vitamin A delivery to milk. Lipoprotein metabolism; lipid absorption. Tracer kinetics/mathematical modeling.

William Hancock
Professor of Bioengineering

The detailed workings of motor proteins and their role in intracellular transport and cell motility.

Kevin Harvatine
Associate Professor of Nutritional Physiology

Investigation of dietary factors that modify ruminal fatty acid biohydrogenation, regulation of synthesis of milk components, and basic regulation of lipid synthesis with the continual goal of developing feeding strategies to improve the efficiency and performance of dairy cows

Leonard Jefferson
Evan Pugh Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Alan Leslie Johnson
Walther H. Ott Professor in Avian Biology

Ovarian dynamics and follicle differentiation; granulosa cell tumors.

Mary Kennett
Professor, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences
Director, Animal Resource Program

The pathogenesis of infectious disease: examining bacterial virulence and associated pathology in relation to host immune responses.

W. Larry Kenney
Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology

Environmental and exercise physiology, particularly human thermoregulation, skin blood flow, and the biophysics of heat exchange.

Laura Klein
Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Biobehavioral effects of stress on drug abuse; sex differences in neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses; nicotine regulation of stress reactivity.

Donna Korzick
Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology
Chair, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Physiology

Aging, post-menopausal estrogen loss, and cardiovascular disease risk in females using animal models; mitochondrial regulation of cell survival signaling during myocardial infarction in aged female rats.

Matam Vijay Kumar
Assistant Professor, Nutritional Science

Innate Immunity-Gut Microbiotal Interactions in Metabolic Diseases such as diabetes and obesity; Host Metabolic Adaptations to Inflammation; Lipocalin 2 - mediated Iron Homeostasis in Inflammation.

Joshua Lambert
Assistant Professor, Food Science

Herbert Lipowsky
Professor of Bioengineering

Application of engineering techniques and methods to the solution of problems in the physiology of microvascular function in health and disease.

Wansheng Liu
Professor of Genomics

Keefe Manning
Associate Professor, Bioengineering and Surgery

Understanding the native cardiovascular system fluid mechanics; understanding the diseased cardiovascular system fluid mechanics, and the impact that cardiovascular prosthetics generate during and post implantation

Ronald Markle
Professor of Biology (Physiology)
Director, Premedicine and General Science Majors

Andrea Mastro
Professor of Microbiology and Cell Biology

Breast cancer and the immune system; how metastatic, osteolytic breast cancer cells affect osteoblasts.

Gustavo Nader
Assoc. Professor, Kinesiology

Skeletal muscle growth control and adaptations to exercise. Ribosome biogenesis, transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of RNA Polymerase I.

Troy Ott
Professor of Reproductive Physiology
Associate Director for Graduate Education

Fertility and reproductive immunology in domestic farm animals.

Joy Pate
Professor of Reproductive Physiology
C. Lee Rumberger and Family Chair in Agricultural Sciences
Director, Center for Reproductive Biology and Health

Specializing in the area of corpus luteum function. Primary research interests focus on the regulation of luteolysis, prostaglandin production by the corpus luteum, and the interactions between the immune system & the reproductive system.

Andrew Patterson
Director/Faculty Oversight, Metabolomics Core Facility (University Park)
Associate Professor of Molecular Toxicology

The Patterson lab is focused on understanding the host-metabolite-microbiome axis

Robert Paulson
Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

The Paulson lab studies the mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration with a focus on understanding the response to anemic and hypoxic stress

James Pawelczyk
Associate Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology

Neural control of circulation, particularly skeletal muscle blood flow, as it is affected by exercise or spaceflight.

Gary Perdew
John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in Agricultural Sciences

Mechanisms of receptor-mediated carcinogenesis.

Sandeep Prabhu
Professor of Immunology and Molecular Toxicology

Molecular mechanisms by which bioactives such as selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and other products of natural origin alter the host response and immune function in inflammation and cancer

David Proctor
Professor of Kinesiology, Physiology, and Medicine

Physiology of aging and exercise; cardiovascular responses to exercise; regulation of skeletal muscle blood flow; skeletal muscle adaptation; vascular adaptation.

Ramesh Ramachandran
Professor of Molecular Endocrinology

The influence of hypothalamic neurotransmitters, hormones, and their receptors on avian reproduction.

Connie Jo Rogers
Associate Professor and Occupant of the Broadhurst Career Development Professorship for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Role of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation, immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects.

A. Catharine Ross
Professor in Nutritional Science and Occupant of Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair

Vitamin A metabolism; hepatic retinoid function and gene expression; vitamin A in infection and immunity.

Jonas Rubenson
Assoc. Professor, Kinesiology

Integrating experimental and modeling approaches to study gait and skeletal muscle function during locomotion in both health and disease/impairment. In particular, the relationship between in vivo muscle mechanics and metabolic energetics and mechanisms underlying locomotor adaptation and optimization.

Robert L Sainburg
Professor of Kinesiology
Professor of Neurology
Director of Center for Movement Science and Technology

Neural mechanisms underlying control of multijoint arm movements in humans.

Rudolf Schilder
Research Associate Professor

Comparative & ecological physiology of insect and mammalian locomotion

Anthony Schmitt
Professor of Molecular Immunology and Infectious Diseases

The process of paramyxovirus particle formation by budding: identifying and characterizing viral proteins used in budding, and learning how these manipulate host budding machinery to allow virus release.

Greg Shearer
Assoc. Professor, Nutritional Sciences

We seek to understand disease-related functional changes in the context of global changes in lipid mediators (bioactive metabolites of dietary fatty acids) and use them to identify markers of disease and better ways to prevent or manage disease

Troy Sutton
Assistant Professor of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

• Animal models of influenza • Airborne transmission of influenza viruses • Evolution of pandemic influenza viruses • Highly pathogenic avian influenza • Development of live-attenuated influenza vaccine platforms • High containment BSL3+ research

Regina Vasilatos-Younken
Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Poultry Science, Endocrine Physiology, and Nutrition

Role of endocrine and metabolic factors in the regulation of muscle and adipose tissue growth.

Nancy Williams
Professor and Head of Kinesiology

Exercise physiology, effects of alterations in energy balance on reproductive function, neuroendocrinology, metabolism, clinical issues pertaining to womens health and reproductive status.