Michael Ostap, PhD


Professor of Physiology
Interim Senior Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer,
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Michael Ostap, PhD

Dr. Ostap received his B.S. in Chemistry from Illinois State University and his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota where he used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study muscle function.  He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where his research focused on characterizing proteins that control cell shape and migration.

Dr. Ostap was recruited to Penn in 1997 as an Assistant Professor of Physiology and is currently Professor of Physiology.  He is a founding member of the NSF-supported Center for Engineering Mechanobiology.  His NIH- and NSF-funded laboratory investigates the mechanisms of cell motility and intracellular transport and the proteins responsible for powering cardiac muscle contraction.  He is particularly interested in protein mutations responsible for inherited cardiomyopathies. 

An honorary fellow of AAAS, Dr. Ostap is the recipient of a MERIT award from the NIH, and he received an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.  He has chaired and organized international meetings, including the Gordon Research Conference and the Biophysical Society Annual meeting.  He has also served the scientific community by chairing an NIH study section and serving on numerous editorial boards, including as Associate Editor of the Biophysical Journal.

Dr. Ostap is the founding director of an NIH T32-based training program in “Muscle Biology and Muscle Disease,” which is in its 18th year.  He is active in Biomedical Graduate Studies as member of the Biochemistry and Biophysics and Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate groups.  His PhD students have gone on to positions in academics and industry.  For his efforts in education, he received PSOM’s “Deans Award for Graduate Training.”

Lastly, Dr. Ostap served as Director of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute for more than 14 years.  The PMI was established 50-years ago and is currently an internationally renowned center for muscle and motility research supported by PSOM and the NIH.