J. Kevin Foskett, PhD

Isaac Ott Professor

Chair of Physiology

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From Our Chair


Welcome to the Department of Physiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Our Department is devoted to research, training, and education and strives to push the boundaries of scientific discovery and academic development. The Department’s internationally recognized faculty, in conjunction with post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff, use innovative tools to uncover physical and chemical mechanisms of biological processes. Our frontiers span the molecular to organ level to determine how the human body functions in health and disease.

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Recent News


  • July 24, 2014

  • Congratulations to the Dominguez lab who reported in this week’s issue of Science on the mechanism of actin filament pointed-end capping by tropomodulin.
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  • July 18, 2014

  • Congratulations to Michael Greenberg, PhD (Ostap Lab) for receiving a prestigious Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) award from NIH/NHLBI.

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  • June 30, 2014

  • Dr. Katya Grishchuk's work highlighted in the Journal of Cell Biology! Read the full article

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  • June 16, 2014

  • Portraits of three former Chairs of the Department of Physiology - Robert Forster, MD, Paul De Weer, MD, PhD and H. Lee Sweeney, PhD - were hung today in the entrance atrium of the Clinical Research Bldg. See them here!

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  • June 12, 2014

  • Congratulations to Erika Holzbaur, PhD for receiving the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NIH! These R37 Merit Awards are given to investigators who have a distinguished record of contributions in neurological science. Read More

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  • June 9, 2014

  • Joseph Baur, PhD was published in the Journal of Neuroscience for his discovery of a substance found in red wine that may improve memory. He was quoted in the International Business Times and Live Science.

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  • View Headlines Archive


Events Calendar


  • On the Road Seminar: Lee Sweeney, PhD

    Thursday, July 31 - 4:00pm-5:00pm

    Richards B404 (map)

  • On The Road Ice Cream Social Reception

    Thursday, July 31 - 5:00pm-6:30pm

    CRB 702 (map)

  • Seminar: Douglas Cyr, PhD

    Wednesday, August 6 - 2:00pm-3:00pm

    Austrian Auditorium (map)

  • On The Road Seminar: Aron Fisher, MD

    Thursday, August 21 - 4:00pm-5:00pm

    Austrian Auditorium (map)

  • On The Road Reception

    Thursday, August 21 - 5:00pm-6:30pm

    CRB 702 (map)

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Roberto Dominguez, PhD

Professor of Physiology

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Faculty Spotlight


The Dominguez lab focuses on understanding the molecular basis for how protein-protein interaction networks bring together signaling, cytoskeleton regulatory, and membrane scaffolding proteins to accomplish specialized functions such as cell motility, cell morphogenesis and intracellular transport. His lab uses a combination of structural biology (x-ray crystallography, SAXS, FRET) and biophysical (ITC, MALS, SAXS, FRET, TIRF) approaches and collaborative cellular studies.

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Ekaterina Grishchuk, PhD

Assistant Professor of Physiology

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Faculty Spotlight


The Grishchuk lab focuses on the mechanisms of chromosome motions. Dr. Katya Grishchuk’s initial training was in biophysics. She subsequently received a Ph.D. in biological sciences. During her post-doctoral training, she capitalized on her multidisciplinary background to establish long-term collaborations with biophysicists and computer scientists to build a state-of-the-art laser tweezers system, which allowed the first direct measurements of forces produced by the shortening of microtubules (Grishchuk et al., Nature, 2005).

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Toshinori Hoshi, PhD

Professor of Physiology

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Faculty Spotlight


The Hoshi lab is interested in the plasticity of cell excitability conferred by the modulation of ion channel activities. Dr. Toshinori Hoshi is an internationally-recognized leader in studies of ion channel regulation by various important stimuli, factors and reagents that were relatively unexplored, including oxidation of methionine, oxidation of cysteine, locally assembled proteins, free heme, and heme breakdown products such as carbon dioxide and bilirubin-oxidation end products. More recently, he has focused on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids, using a vertical approach that ranges from detailed studies of single ion channel gating transitions to how those molecular events affect blood pressure in freely moving mice.

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Contact Physiology


  • 700 Clinical Research Building

  • 415 Curie Boulevard

  • Philadelphia, PA 19104-6085


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