Robert G. Carroll, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Educationally focused research: outcomes and best practices in medically related physiology teaching

Stefan Clemens Ph.D.
Research Focus: Understanding the role of dopamine function in the spinal cord, and its role in Restless Legs Syndrome and chronic pain

Lisandra E. de Castro Brás, Ph.D.
Research Focus: To define the roles of the extracellular matrix in scar formation and cardiac function

Jessica M. Ellis, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Determining the regulatory nodes in fatty acid metabolism and their role in health and disease in muscle and brain

Kelsey Fisher-Wellman, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating how intrinsic alterations across the mitochondrial network drive/enable the cancer phenotype

Alexandra Garvin

Alexandra (Bobbie) Garvin, Ph.D
Research Focus:
Mechanistic interrogation of cardiac fibroblast phenotype switching for the elucidation of novel therapeutic targets for heart failure.

Johanna L. Hannan, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Understanding the pathophysiology of bladder and sexual dysfunction

Laxmansa C. Katwa, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Cardiac Fibrosis: Emerging role of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in ECM collagen turnover in heart disease

 Leslie M. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating post-translational modifications (PTMs) on translational machinery and mechanisms by which these PTMs modulate heart disease susceptibility.

Robert M. Lust, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Translational physiology: Investigating the adaptive and maladaptive responses of the heart to stress and disease

Joseph M. McClung, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating the genetic and molecular mechanisms of clinical vascular disease

Alexander Murashov, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating epigenetic mechanisms of susceptibility to neurological and metabolic disorders

P. Darrell Neufer, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Deciphering the molecular mechanisms governing mitochondrial bioenergetics and it’s function in metabolic disease, it’s treatment, and prevention

Richard H. Ray, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Best practices in medical education. Outcomes of pre-matriculation programs and the determination of predictors of success in medical school

David A. Tulis Ph.D.
Research Focus: Determining cellular, molecular, and genetic signals and mechanisms that serve as foundations for cardiac and vascular diseases

Espen E. Spangenburg, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating mechanisms that regulate physiological and metabolic properties of skeletal muscle

Jitka Virag, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Exploring the involvement of ephrinA1/EphA signaling in regulating normal cardiac tissue physiology and improving outcomes in acute and chronic pathophysiologic heart conditions

Dianne M. Walters, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Animal modeling and genetic susceptibility to environmental lung diseases with collaborative support for pulmonary exposures, lung function measurements, and other techniques essential for pulmonary research

Robert Wardle, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Studies nonhuman primate pulmonary function and inflammation primarily in the context of allergic airway disease, and as it relates to comorbidities and to preclinical therapeutic intervention

Adjunct Faculty

Kori L. Brewer, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Exploring mechanisms and management of pain syndromes associated with spinal cord injury and other neurologic disorders

Ronald N. Cortright, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Understanding cellular bioenergetics and metabolism, with emphasis on skeletal muscle, in order to develop strategies to treat obesity and type II diabetes

Theodore G. Graber, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Determining molecular mechanisms underlying age-related decline in physical function and muscle health and examining exercise as an intervention for sarcopenia and frailty

Hu Huang, Ph.D.
Research Focus: Investigating how central nervous system controls food intake, energy expenditure and body weight homeostasis in response to exercise and diet

Physiology Affiliations

Several of our faculty are integral to the East Carolina Obesity and Diabetes Institute

We are active in the East Carolina Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience

Seminars with speakers internal and external are held through the Physiology Department, the Joint Metabolism Lab Meeting seminars, the Neuroscience Collaborative Meeting series, and the ECODI seminar series.


Diversity Statement

Faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Physiology believe that diversity and respect for human differences within the academy is a key source of intellectual vitality and innovative spirit.  We strive to cultivate an inclusive, respectful and safe working, living, and learning environment, provide culturally and academically rich educational experiences. We will recognize and create change in order to advance social equality, empower individuals to explore and appreciate their unique attributes and life experiences, challenge stereotypes, promote critical thinking skills, and enrich the experiences of those in the academic community.  We seek to create, promote, and sustain a sense of belonging in an environment where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are welcome and celebrated. We recognize striving for diversity and inclusion not as an end unto itself, but rather as a means to a beginning of respect and unity for and among members of the university and community at large.

In the pursuit of creating and maintaining such a community, we will work to: recruit and maintain a diverse and inclusive faculty, student, and staff community where teaching, learning and living occurs in an atmosphere of mutual respect in pursuit of excellence; create a physical space and environment as well as a cultural climate that are characterized by sensitivity to and support for diversity and inclusion; maintain awareness of and actively participate in national, local, university-wide, and department-wide diversity efforts to promote inclusion and achieve diversity at all levels; and to set criteria within faculty performance and review evaluations inclusive of efforts with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.