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


  • June 18, 2015

  • Dominguez Lab and PMI members featured in Penn Medicine press for their recent paper in Current Biology. Read more

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  • May 21, 2015

  • Katya Grishchuk’s Science paper highlighted in the Penn press! Read more

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  • April 24, 2015

  • Congratulations to the Grishchuk lab who reported in Science on the role of microtubule detyrosination in mitosis. Katya, her lab and collaborators have published a report entitled “Mictotubule detyrosination guides chromosomes during mitosis” that has just appeared in Sciencexpress! Read more

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  • April 23, 2015

  • Congratulations to Meredith Wilson, Ph.D. and Yvette Wong, Ph.D. from Erika Holzbaur’s lab for winning Saul Winegrad Awards for Outstanding Dissertations!
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  • April 16, 2015

  • Congratulations to Shampa Chatterjee, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Physiology for winning one of the three Hermann Rahn Awards in 2015! Read more

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  • March 5, 2015

  • Richards Building, Muscle Physiology and Calcium Signaling highlighted in Penn Med News! Read more

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  • March 1, 2015

  • Congratulations to Toshinori Hoshi, Ph.D.! Dr. Hoshi is now a Mercator Fellow at Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)!!

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Events Calendar


  • Check soon for future events!

    Have a great summer!

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Benjamin Prosser, PhD

Assistant Professor of Physiology

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Faculty Spotlight


Benjamin Prosser, Ph.D. is a newly appointed Assistant Professor of Physiology. During his graduate and post-doctoral training, Ben investigated the mechanistic underpinnings of key problems in muscle physiology. His work has bridged several disciplines, departments and institutes, including physiology, cell biology, cardiovascular research, biophysics and engineering. He is an emerging leader in new, exciting aspects of the molecular physiology of cardiomyocyte function and signaling; with strong relevance for understanding basic mechanisms of cardiac function, with clear translational implications. Additionally, to achieve his research goals, he is developing and utilizing state-of-the-art imaging, as well as biophysical and biochemical technologies.

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Erika Holzbaur, PhD

Professor of Physiology

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Faculty Spotlight


The Holzbaur lab is internationally recognized for its contributions to the cellular and biophysical analyses of molecular motor function, and its expertise in the mechanistic analyses of neurodegenerative disease. Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D. has had a long-term focus on understanding the dynamics of molecular motor driven motility along the cellular cytoskeleton, including cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin, where she has made fundamental discoveries. This motility is required to drive active transport of vesicles and organelles along the axons and dendrites of the neuron. Erika is interested in dissecting the mechanisms leading to coordinated motor activity during vesicle transport. She has shown that defects in motor function lead to neurodegenerative diseases, and a significant focus in the lab is to understand the mechanistic bases for their observations.

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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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Contact Physiology


  • 700 Clinical Research Building

  • 415 Curie Boulevard

  • Philadelphia, PA 19104-6085


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