About Physiology and Biophysics

Main Content

News and Kudos from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics


Barbara Alexander 2024Dr. Barbara Alexander, professor, received the Leonard Share Award from the Water & Electrolyte Homeostasis (WEH) Section.  This award was established to recognize a member of the American Physiological Society who has contributed their time and talents to the WEH section and APS.  This award honors a member with a well-recognized reserach program and who has contributed to the knowledge of WEH research. 

 Madison Newberry

Madison Newberry, Physiology PhD Student, received a 2024 research recognition award from the American Physiological Society from the APS Endocrinology & Metabolism Section. 


Breland CrudupBreland Crudup, Physiology PhD student, received a graduate student poster award at the School of Graduate Studies in Health Sciences Awards day.  His poster was titled, "Gender affirming hormone therapy in the hypertensive male rat has associated effects on cardiovascular health."

Olufunto Badmus 2023Dr. Olufunto Badmus, instructor, received the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) Abstract Travel Grant from the American Heart Association to attend the Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, PA in November.

Alan Mouton 2019

Dr. Alan Mouton, assistant professor, was awarded an RO1 grant form the National Institutes of Health titled, "Anti-Inflammatory Roles and Macrophage Metabolism of Lactate and Ketones during Myocardial Infarction".

John Clemmer

Dr. John Clemmer, assistant professor, received the 2023 Arthur C. Guyton Awards for Excellence in Integrative Physiology and Medicine from the American Physiological Society.  Receiving this award reflects the Awards Committee's judgement of his abilities and the strength of his research program.

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Woodward.pngDuring a 60-minute celebration in the Sanderson Tower Community Room, Dr. Barbara Alexander, the professor of physiology and biophysics at UMMC learned she is the 2023 recipient of the Regions TEACH Prize.  This award recognizes annually the "single educator who represents the very pinnacle of Medical Center teaching," said Dr. Rob Rockhold, professor emeritus of pharmacology/toxicology, who announced this year's winner of the five-figure prize.

Read the full article here.

Ana OmotoDr. Ana Omoto, instructor, recently received two awards.  

The first award was presented to Dr. Omoto at the American Physiology Summit in April.  She received the Martin Frank Diversity Travel Award.  This award program is designed to broaden participation of those pursuing professional career in physiolocial sciences.  The specific intent of this program is to increase active participation in and networking at scientific meetings among trainees and early career faculty who are from groups underrepresented in the physiological sciences.

Dr. Omoto is awarded the 2023 Postdoctoral Fellow Research Award from the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.  This award is presented in recognition of an outstanding postdoctoral fellow. The award will be presented to Dr. Omoto at the award ceremony at the end of May.

Olufunto Badmus 2023Dr. Olufunto Badmus, instructor, received the WEH Trainee Award and Data Diuresis Presnter award and the Steven M Horvath Professional Opportunity Award at the American Physiology Summit.



Portrait of Jordan Mallette

Jordan Mallette, graduate student, received second place in the APS Summit 2023, Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis Section Trainee Poster Competition, titled 17-beta-estradiol is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in the castrated male rat.


Excellence in Research Awards

Several members of the department were recognized during a ceremony on Friday, December 9th.  The ceremony is held to celebrate investigators most successful at securing extramurally funded original research during their careers at UMMC.  Each researcher was presented a framed medallion and a financial award.  Pictures below are from the ceremony.  Award recipeints from our department are Dr. Erin Taylor, assistant professor; Dr. Alan Mouton, instructor; Dr. Josh Speed, assistant professor.

Gold award recipients, from second left to right, are Dr. Erin Taylor, Dr. Norma Ojeda, Dr. William Hillegass and Dr. Yann Gibert. Not pictured are Dr. Sarah Glover and Dr. Michael Griswold.         
Gold award recipients, from second left to right,       Silver award recipients, from second left to right, Dr. Nancy
are Dr. Erin Taylor, Dr. Norma Ojeda, Dr. William      Min, Dr. Alan Mouton, Dr. Matthias Krenn, Dr. Eric                    Hillegass and Dr. Yann Gibert.                                     Vallender, Dr. Gailen Marshall Jr., Chad Blackshear and Dr.                                                                                                   Adrienne Tin.  


Dr. Josh Speed smiling while holding up an award.Discovery-Award Dr. Josh Speed earned the Discovery Award for Early Career Investigator.

Poster Award Recipients at School of Graduate Studies and Health Sciences

Umesh Bhattari and Madison Newberry smiling while holding awards. 

Two of our Physiology graduate students, Umesh Bhattari and Madison Newberry, received Pre-doctoral Poster Presentation Awards.  They presented at the 2022 School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences Research Day.



Pictured L to R:
Umesh Bhattari and Madison Newberry

Granger strives to strengthen pipeline of research talent, research infrastructure

When Dr. Joey Granger accepted the role of associate vice chancellor for research this summer, he was adding a seventh position to his current cache at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Dr. Joey Granger was appointed associate vice chancellor for research in July.

He's also Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank at UMMC; dean of the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences; professor of physiology and medicine; and director of three programs: Cardiovascular-Renal Research Center; Center for Clinical and Translational Research; and Hypertension and Cardiorenal Disease Training Program.

 A 32-year faculty member at UMMC, Granger says the workload isn't as bad as it seems since there's a lot of overlap, he has a good team that helps run the multiple ships and he loves what he does.


Click here to read the full article. 

National Postdoc Appreciation Week – September 19-23, 2022

Portrait of Dr. Olufunto BadmusDr. Olufunto D. Badmus

Postdoc Research Fellow

Physiology and Biophysics

Research Interest: How Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Promotes Cardiovascular Disease

Education: MSc, PhD

Hobbies/Interests Outside of Work: Reading, traveling
Portrait of Dr. Ana OmotoDr. Ana Carolina Mieka Omoto


Physiology and Biophysics

Research Interest: Cardiometabolic Effects of the CNS Leptin-melanocortin System in Myocardial Ischemia-reperfusion

Education: BSc Biomedicine: Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. MSc General and Applied Biology: Sao Paulo State University. Brazil. PhD Physiology: University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Awards/Honors Received Within the Past Year: American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship/Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)

"Obesity, Cardiorenal and Metabolic Disease Center" - Pilot Grant

Hobbies/ Interests Outside of Work: Yoga practice, gardening and hand crafting



2022 Last Lecture honoree Dr. John Hall answers student questions about mentorship and the Textbook of Medical Physiology during the 2022 Last Lecture.Hall, second from right, stands with members of the Student Alumni Representatives. From left, they are medical students Luke Wojohn, John Whitaker and Monica Kala, and graduate student Casey Boothe.

Dr. John Hall, the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, talked about his luck and life at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s 2022 Last Lecture April 26 in the School of Medicine.

A preeminent scholar in cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity, Hall told students he wouldn’t give “another lecture on acid-base balance or renal physiology.” Instead, he discussed the basis for his success as a scientist and educator.

“Seek the best teachers and mentors throughout your life,” he said. “Lifelong learning should be an aspiration for everyone.”

In his 48 years at UMMC, Hall has taught hundreds of students in his laboratory and thousands in classrooms. He’s also taught countless others around the world. Besides the more than 600 papers he’s written or co-written now in the scientific literature, Hall is the editor of the Textbook of Medical Physiology, now in its 14th edition and translated into 22 languages.

Read more about Last Lecture 2022: A lucky guy finds his ikigai

Grants and Awards


Portrait of Dr. Yingjie ChenDr. Yingjie Chen, professor of physiology and biophysics, received a five-year, $2.87 million award from the National Institutes of Health for the project, “Mechanism of PD1 on cardiac inflammation resolution during heart failure development.”

Portrait of Dr. John HallDr. John Hall, Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, received $387,364 from the NIH for the project, “Cardiorenal and Metabolic Diseases Research Center 2021-2022 supplement.”

Portrait of Dr. Xuan LiDr. Xuan Li, instructor in physiology and biophysics, received $73,458 from the American Heart Association for the project, “Role of sestrin2 in endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis and cardiac protection during ischemia/reperfusion injury.”

Portrait of Erin TaylorDr. Erin Taylor, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, received a two-year, $498,000 from the NIH for the project, “Immune system dysfunction and gut dysbiosis in the pathogenesis of vascular dysfunction in autoimmunity.”


Robert Hester.jpgDr. Robert Hester, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor and professor of physiology and biophysics, will be the 2022 recipient of the American Physiological Society’s Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship Award. Hester, a member of the UMMC faculty since 1985, is the primary architect of HumMod, a computer and mathematics-based tool for modeling human physiology. In addition to its expansive research utility, Hester uses the simulation to teach students how to apply physiologic principles and enhance their understanding of acute and chronic conditions throughout the body. Hester also developed a related education package, “Just Physiology,” based on HumMod.

2022 Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship Award – American Physiology Society     


Excellence in Research Awards Program has recognized investigators who have attracted significant extramural funding and who have advanced science through their distinctive research programs. Medallion Awards are based on the total amount of qualifying extramural funding received by the investigator.

2021 Excellence in Research Awards
Faculty headshot of Yingjie Chen.Faculty headshot of Joshua Speed.Faculty headshot of Erin Taylor.
Dr. Yingjie Chen
Gold Recipient
Dr. Josh Speed
Assistant Professor
Gold Recipient
Dr. Erin Taylor
Silver Recipient

Read more about UMMC's 2021 research awards.



Laura Coats, PhD, postdoctoral fellow

2021 Regions Outstanding Graduate Research Awards



Osvaldo Ozzy Rivera Gonzalez

Osvaldo Rivera-Gonzalez, PhD student 

Abstract Award, Endocrinology 2021

Endocrinology & Metabolism Section – Steven B. Horvath Professional Opportunity Award, American Physiological Society, Experimental Biology

F31 Predoctoral Fellowship Award, National Institutes of Health


Dr. Barbara Alexander standing with four grad students

On October 1, at the 2021 PhD Welcome and Lab Coat Ceremony, our first- and second-year Physiology PhD students received their lab coats. Congratulations to all of you!

Pictured L to R: Jordan Hart (G1), Jordan Mallette (G1), Dr. Barbara Alexander-Physiology Director of Graduate Studies, Casie O'Quinn (G1), and Breland Crudup (G2)

David Stec

     Dr. David Stec, professor

  • Chair of the 2021 American Heart Association Hypertension (Organ Studies 1) Peer Review Committee, November 3rd, 2021
  • Guest editor for Frontiers in Pharmacology Topic Insights in Drug Metabolism and Transport 2021
  • Featured Paper in the journal Cells (Impact Factor=6.60) entitled “Adipose-specific PPARα
    knockout mice have increased lipogenesis by PASK-SREBP1 signaling and a polarity
    shift to inflammatory macrophages in white adipose tissue
    ” 2021 Dec 21;11(1):4 for Special Issue "Adipocytes and Metabolic Health - Second Edition." Selected by the scientific editors, these papers represent the most advanced research with significant potential for high impact in the field.

Joshua Speed.jpgDr. Josh Speed, assistant professor 

One of those researchers is Dr. Joshua Speed, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, who received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of endothelin-1 in obesity and insulin resistance.

Endothelin-1 is a “small peptide produced in blood vessels,” Speed said. “Its production is increased in obesity, and this increase leads to insulin resistance and dyslipidemia” but researchers are not certain why.

With the new grant, his laboratory will study how changes that happen in obesity “disrupt the cellular crosstalk, especially in liver tissue, where we also see an increase in fatty acids in obesity.”

Speed is also interested in the effects on muscle, where cell-signaling molecules called adipokines help manage sugar and fat metabolism.

UMMC research breaks funding record

Portrait of Barbara AlexanderDr. Barbara Alexander, professor 

A driving force behind the Medical Center’s reputation in women’s health research, AlexanderShe  developed an animal model now used by researchers around the world to study pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication indicated by high blood pressure and signs of damage to organs, such as the liver and kidneys. pressure. hasade major contributions to the understanding of the link between birth weight and blood

Alexander is also director of basic research for the Mississippi Center for Excellence in Perinatal Research, and director of the UMMC Analytical and Assay Research Core.

Robert Hester.jpg

Dr. Robert Hester, professor

Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor (2015-2020), professor physiology & biophysics and orthopaedic surgery, and interim chair of data science

Dr. Hester’s research has led to a greater understanding of human physiology.

He “has made outstanding contributions to the field of microcirculatory physiology,” said Dr. Joey Granger, dean of the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, professor of physiology, and director of the Cardiovascular-Renal Research Center.           

Billy S. Guyton Distinguised Professors

Tom Coleman

Dr. Thomas G. Coleman, UMMC professor emeritus of physiology and biophysics who Dr. Richard L. Summers, UMMC associate vice chancellor for research, described as a “revolutionary thinker” in biomedical research, died Feb. 27. He was 80.

Summers said Coleman, who spent his entire career working and teaching at UMMC, was one of the first in the world to use computer models and simulations to perform physiologic systems analyses.

  In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas G. Coleman


John Clemmer


 John Clemmer, PhD, instructor

Received funding for a new NIH K99 grant


DThales Barbosar. Thales C. Barbosa, recently a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Neural Cardiovascular Control Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, at the University of Texas at Arlington, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an instructor in physiology and biophysics.

Barbosa received his B.B.S. in scientific research in physiology and pharmacology in 2010, his M.S. in cardiovascular sciences in 2013 and his Ph.D. in cardiovascular sciences in 2016 from Fluminense Federal University, Brazil. He then had his postdoctoral fellowship from 2016-20.

New Instructor Joins Department of Physiology and Biophysics

2020 Excellence in Research Awards
Faculty headshot of Yingjie Chen, PhD.Faculty headshot of Erin Taylor.Faculty Headshot of Zhen Wang, PhD
Dr. Yingjie Chen
Silver Recipient
Dr. Erin Taylor
Bronze Recipient
Zhen Wang, PhD
Assisstant Professor
Silver Recipient

Read more about UMMC's 2020 research awards.

Dr. John Hall and Dr. Michael hall holding up a copy of the Textbook of Medical Physiology

Dr. John Hall, chair of physiology and biophysics
Dr. Michael Hall, associate professor of cardiology

The book that has attracted rave reviews for decades, drummed up crowds of autograph seekers, been translated into about two dozen languages, and remained in demand in this country and several others around the world since its first printing in 1956, is now in its 14th edition.

Father-son duo update world's most important physiology book


Barbara Alexander.jpgDr. Barbara Alexander, professor

Dr. Barbara Alexander says “It takes a village to raise a scientist,” and she certainly has found her village at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Alexander, a professor of physiology and biophysics, is the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences’ 2019 Distinguished Alumna.

Distinguished alumna recounts mentors' roles at SGSHS Research Day

Robert Hester.jpg Dr. Robert Hesterprofessor

Dr. Robert Hester, professor of physiology and biophysics and interim chair of data science, has been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers, the AIMBE College of Fellows honors society members who have made outstanding contributions to engineering and medicine-related research, practice or education; are pioneers in new and developing fields of technology; or who have advanced traditional areas of biological engineering.

Hester was nominated and elected by his peers for his “significant contributions in renal and cardiovascular research, professional society leadership and physiological modeling environment development.”

Physiology professor gains fellow status