Welcome to the Department of Physiology in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

 The Department of Physiology houses internationally recognized investigators whose research programs in basic and applied biomedical sciences emphasize the study of cellular and molecular basis of tissue function.  The research programs are focused on understanding the integrative mechanisms of physiological processes within the context of both health and disease.

The investigators emphasize an integrative approach to biomedical science, with expertise in research methods for investigating cardiac function, pulmonary and vascular regulation, metabolism and bioenergetics, stem cell differentiation, skeletal muscle biology, spinal cord injury, nerve regeneration and circadian rhythms.


Dr. David Tulis was awarded an R15 from the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to study “Acid-sensing GPCRs in vascular inflammation and growth”. The broad goal of this research is to determine precise roles and mechanisms of GPR4 and GPR68 in soliciting pathologic vascular endothelial cell inflammation and adhesion and vascular smooth muscle growth. Anticipated findings promise to shift our current understanding of vascular cell signaling and will provide new avenues for basic and clinical investigation with the hopes of identifying novel, more selective targets for therapeutic intervention in cardiovascular disease patients.

 Shelby A. Powers was awarded a research grant from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America. Her grant was titled “Preservation of erectile function and neuritogenesis using testosterone supplementation following androgen deprivation and radical prostatectomy” and the award was for $5000.  These findings will advance our understanding of testosterone on cavernous nerve health and help optimize testosterone treatment strategies following radical prostatectomy to restore sexual function and quality of life to prostate cancer survivors.  Shelby works in the lab of Dr. Johanna Hannan.

 Terence Ryan, Ph.D. was awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32). The award will support Terence for in training for 3 years with a stipend and institutional allowance to further his research in "Skeletal Muscle Mitochondria and Peripheral Arterial Disease Pathology".  Dr. Ryan works in the lab of Dr. Joseph McClung.

Dr. Johanna Hannan delivers seminar on the impact of neurovascular injury on sexual dysfunction in the Department of Physiology at Augusta University (http://www.augusta.edu/mcg/phy/).

Dr. Espen Spangenburg gives invited seminar on the role of BRCA1 in skeletal muscle at the University of Oregon in the Department of Human Physiology (http://physiology.uoregon.edu/).