Department of Physiology and Pharmacology


Congratulations to Dr. Cameron McCarthy from the Joe Lab! His manuscript was accepted for publication in AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Reconstitution of autophagy ameliorates vascular function and arterial stiffening in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Cameron McCarthy, Camilla Wenceslau, Fabiano Calmasini, Nicole Klee, Michael Brands, Bina Joe, and R. Clinton Webb

Congratulations to Blair from the Joe Lab! Her manuscript was accepted in PLOS One. QTL mapping of rat blood pressure loci on RNO1 within a homologous region linked to human hypertension on HSA15. Blair Mell, Xi Cheng, Bina Joe

Congratulations to Emma (Mengjie) Wang! Dr. Emma Wang from Dr. Jennifer Hill’s Lab successfully defended her thesis on July 23, 2019. Well done, Emma!

Congratulations to Dr. Sivarajan Kumarasamy! He has been invited by the American Heart Association to be part of the AHA Institutional Research Enhancement Award (AIREA) study section. This is to support small-scale research projects related to cardiovascular diseases and stroke at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees but that have not been major recipients of NIH support.

He also received an invitation from the AHA to sit on the Council on Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee (HTN TAC) – which “aims to foster the development of trainees and early career professionals in the field of hypertension and related fields, including research scientists and clinicians”.

Congratulations to Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik and Lab!  Two of Dr. Lecka-Czernik’s students received New Investigator Travel Awards to attend a meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) to present their research on common mechanisms regulating bone mass and energy metabolism.
Amit Chougule has been selected for oral presentation: “Dual Role of Carboxypeptidase E (CPE) in Regulation of Energy Metabolism and Bone Mass” by Amit Chougule, Vipula Kolli, Sudipta Baroi, Piotr Czernik, Peng Loh, Beata Lecka-Czernik
Sudipta Baroi will present plenary poster: “PPARγ Regulation of Osteocyte Fuel Dependency and Capacity Contributes to the Balance of Systemic Energy Metabolism” by Sudipta Baroi, Amit Chougule, Patrick Griffin, Beata Lecka-Czernik. Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Cara Peter from Dr. Ritu Chakravarti’s Lab! She successfully defended her thesis on July 18, 2019. Well done, Cara!

A warm welcome to Dr. Tao Yang and Dr. Guannan Zhou! They are from the University of Florida. Dr. Tang is a Dean’s Postdoctoral to Faculty Fellow and will be working in my lab.  Dr. Tang is funded for his research on microbiota through the Biocodex  foundation.  Dr. Zhou is a Postdoctoral Fellow and will be working in Dr. Lauren Koch’s lab.

Kudos to Dr. Cameron McCarthy! He has been selected to receive the HTN New Investigator Travel Award of the Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions! The award will be presented to him during a ceremony in New Orleans.  ABSTRACT: Control 59, Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Synthesis Contributes to the Anti-Vascular Aging Effect of Autophagy Well done!

Hearty congratulations to Dr. Cheng! His grant titled Genome-wide investigation of circular RNAs in alcohol-related phenotypes using the Hybrid Rat Diversity Panel, has been funded by the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Center of Excellence in Omics, Systems Genetics, and the Addictome.

Congrats to Shaunak Roy! (Wenceslau Lab) He has been selected to receive the "Hypertension Trainee Advocacy Committee New Investigator Travel Grant" sponsored by the Trainee Advocacy Committee of the AHA's Council on Hypertension! As described on their website, "Four awardees will be presented a travel grant to help defray travel expenses to attend the Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2019 and will receive complimentary registration to the conference."

Congratulations to the Kumarasamy Lab!  A review article with Dr. Kumarasamy as the lead author was accepted for publication in the Endocrinology journal.  Regulated Endocrine-Specific Protein-18, an emerging endocrine protein in physiology: A literature review . Ealla Atari, Mitchel C. Perry, Pedro A. Jose, and Sivarajan Kumarasamy

Congratulations to Dr. Edwin Sanchez!  He received a new R01 grant from the NIH for his project titled, “Nuclear Receptor Chaperones in Signaling and Metabolism”.  Well done!

 The APS published a feature about Dr. Bina Joe's work on their website. View the whole article here:

Congratulations to Dr. Cameron McCarthy, Shaunak Roy, Jonnelle Edwards and Usman Ashraf!

 They have all been notified that their abstracts for the AHA 2019 Scientific Sessions Council for Hypertension have been accepted for oral presentation. The meeting takes place in New Orleans, September 5-8.
Congratulations to each of you!

 Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Koch! She had a book chapter published in Rat Genomics – Here are the details:

Chapter 15 “Rat Models of Exercise for the Study of Complex Disease.”
Koch LG, Britton SL.
Methods Mol Biol. 2019;2018:309-317. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9581-3_15.

Dr. Koch mentions “this book provides both a historical perspective on rat research through the years and practical information to support researchers either currently involved in genomic research or planning to begin such a project.”

 Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti and Lab! Their manuscript, “14-3-3zeta - A Novel Immunogen Promotes Inflammatory Cytokine Production” was accepted for publication in Frontiers in Immunology

Authors: Jenna McGowan, Cara Peter, Saurabh Chattopadhyay, and Ritu Chakravarti
Abstract: The presence of autoantibodies against 14-3-3z in human autoimmune diseases indicates its antigenic function. However, neither the cause nor the consequence of this newly-identified antigenic function of 14-3-3z protein is known. To address this, we investigated the immunological functions of 14-3-3z by studying ex vivo effects on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) proliferation, polarization and cytokine production. Exogenous 14-3-3z promoted PBMC proliferation and T cell polarization towards increasing Th1 and Th17 populations. Significant increases in IFN-g and IL-17 levels were observed in the presence of 14-3-3z. A specific increase in Th1 cells and IFN-g production provided strong evidence for MHC class II presentation of 14-3-3z antigen. Particularly HLA-DRB1*0401 allele strongly promoted 14-3-3z-induced IFN-g producing cells. In contrast, prednisolone treatment inhibited 14-3-3z-induced both T cell polarization and cytokine production. Overall, we show that MHC presentation and adaptor functions of 14-3-3z participate in promoting IFN-g and IL-17 production, two of the cytokines commonly associated with autoimmune diseases. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the ex vivo antigenic function of 14-3-3z with human PBMC, thereby providing the basis of its immunological role in human diseases.

Congratulations to the Dr. Vijay Kumar and Lab! Their manuscript, “Enterobactin, an Iron Chelating Bacterial Siderophore, Arrests Cancer Cell Proliferation” was accepted for publication in Journal of Biochemical Pharmacology.

Authors:Piu Saha, Beng San Yeoh, Xia Xiao, Rachel M. Golonka, Sivarajan Kumarasamy and Matam Vijay-Kumar

Abstract: Iron is essential for many biological functions, including being a cofactor for enzymes involved in cell proliferation. In line, it has been shown that cancer cells can perturb their iron metabolism towards retaining an abundant iron supply for growth and survival. Accordingly, it has been suggested that iron deprivation through the use of iron chelators could attenuate cancer progression. While they have exhibited anti-tumor properties in vitro, the current therapeutic iron chelators are inadequate due to their low efficacy. Therefore, we investigated whether the bacterial catecholate-type siderophore, enterobactin (Ent), could be used as a potent anti-cancer agent given its strong iron chelation property. We demonstrated that iron-free Ent can exert cytotoxic effects specifically towards monocyte-related tumor cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1), but not primary cells, i.e. bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs), through two mechanisms. First, we observed that RAW264.7 and J774A.1 cells preserve a bountiful intracellular labile iron pool (LIP), whose homeostasis can be disrupted by Ent. This may be due, in part, to the lower levels of lipocalin 2 (Lcn2; an Ent-binding protein) in these cell lines, whereas the higher levels of Lcn2 in BMDMs could prevent Ent from hindering their LIP. Secondly, we observed that Ent could dose-dependently impede reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in the mitochondria. Such disruption in LIP balance and mitochondrial function may in turn promote cancer cell apoptosis. Collectively, our study highlights Ent as an anti-cancer siderophore, which can be exploited as an unique agent for cancer therapy.

 Shaun Roy from Dr. Camilla Wenceslau’s lab won first place in the poster competition at the 46th Annual Pharmacology Colloquium held Friday, June 21, 2019. Congratulations!

 It is exciting for our Department to be hosting the 46th Annual Colloquium on June 21st. Dr. Clinton Webb will also be with us as the Keynote speaker. Many thanks to Dr. Andrew Beavis for coordinating this event for so many years.

 Dr. Bina Joe has been selected to receive the Harriet Dustan Award sponsored by the Council on Hypertension. This award recognizes female investigators who make outstanding contributions in the field of Hypertension. The award will be presented during the Hypertension Scientific Sessions in September in New Orleans.

Nineteen High School students, 47 volunteers and 5 days is what it took to successfully complete the first Pre-Med Summer Camp organized by our Department! The camp was led by Dr. Ritu Chakravarti.  We had raving reviews from both the students and their parents on the content and organization of this camp. Students came from places as far as California, Texas, Indiana and also from several schools in the Toledo area. Besides getting exposure to the clinical facets, they appreciated the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments in genomic medicine for a whole week! Sincere thanks to the 5 laboratories that participated: Dr. Chakravarti, Dr. Wenceslau, Dr. Kumar, Dr. Kumarasamy and Dr. Joe. Special thanks to faculty, staff and students of the UT community who also contributed their time for our camp.

Dr. Bina Joe was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $65,000 from Women & Philanthropy for the Women & Philanthropy Gnotobiotic (Germ-Free) Rat Facility for Biomedical Research.

 Dr. Vijay Kumar and Lab had a manuscript accepted in Current Pharmacology Reports. This is the second review article where Rachel has been first author. Well done!

The review is entitled: "Dietary Additives and Supplements Revisited: The Fewer, the Safer for Liver and Gut Health" Authors: Rachel M. Golonka, Beng San Yeoh, Matam Vijay-Kumar

Abstract:Purpose of Review The supplementation of dietary additives into processed foods has exponentially increased in the past few decades. Similarly, the incidence rates of various diseases, including metabolic syndrome, gut dysbiosis and hepatocarcinogenesis, have been elevating. Current research reveals that there is a positive association between food additives and these pathophysiological diseases. This review highlights the research published within the past 5 years that elucidate and update the effects of dietary supplements on liver and intestinal health.

Recent Findings Some of the key findings include: enterocyte dysfunction of fructose clearance causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); non-caloric sweeteners are hepatotoxic; dietary emulsifiers instigate gut dysbiosis and hepatocarcinogenesis; and certain prebiotics can induce cholestatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in gut dysbiotic mice. Overall, multiple reports suggest that the administration of purified, dietary supplements could cause functional damage to both the liver and gut.

Summary The extraction of bioactive components from natural resources was considered a brilliant method to modulate human health. However, current research highlights that such purified components may negatively affect individuals with microbiotal dysbiosis, resulting in a deeper break of the symbiotic relationship between the host and gut microbiota, which can lead to repercussions on gut and liver health. Therefore, ingestion of these dietary additives should not go without some caution!

 Congratulations to Matthew Dailey, recipient of the Edward J. Cafruny Outstanding Achievement Award in Physiology and Emily Armbruster, recipient of the Edward J. Cafruny Award for Excellence in Pharmacology. This is a COMLS Graduation Award selected each year by departmental faculty since 1981.

 The Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine’s annual World Hypertension Day display was a successful day of bringing hypertension awareness to staff and visitors of the Health Science Campus. Many stopped to check their blood pressure and to receive additional information regarding hypertension and high blood pressure. A big thank you to CHPM trainees, Rachel Golonka (Kumar Lab) and Stephanie Clark (Joe Lab) and CHPM secretary, Melody Knotts for making this activity a success!

Rachel Golonka from Dr. Kumar’s Lab recently participated in the WISDOM (Women in STEMM Day of Meetings) event as a chaperone/tour guide. Female sophomore high school students were invited to explore some different areas in the medical field. During this event, they toured the Anatomy Museum while learning about plastination; learned how to make hand sanitizer from scratch (interesting side note: UT is the only university in the country with an undergraduate program for cosmetology); and also visited the SIM center, specifically the 'i' space, which provides 3D visualization of human anatomy and other simulations.

Congratulations to Dr. Edwin Sanchez! He has been invited to the IUBMB Focused meeting in Belgrade, Serbia in September, 2020. The topic of the meeting is: “Challenges in Molecular Biology” – 2nd Congress of Molecular Biologists of Serbia and meeting organizers plan to include the following Sessions: Molecular Biomedicine, Molecular Mechanisms of Cell Functions and Molecular Biotechnology. It is expect to have around 300 participants.

Dr. Ritu Chakravarti recently presented her study, “Characterizing antigenic functions of 14-3-3z-A Novel autoantigen” at the Annual Meeting of American Association of Immunologists in San Diego, CA. She also received an Early Career Faculty Travel grant from AAI. Congrats!

 May 20th Dr. Joe had the pleasure of speaking at the Toledo Rotary Club, Downtown Toledo. The talk was titled ‘Pressure from the Bugs Within’. It was well attended by about 250 Rotarians and others and was well received in the community.

Dr. Terry Hinds’ lab was one of five groups that were highlighted by the UT President for research at UT. They had an interactive exhibit that discussed their new patent on Pegylated-Bilirubin for obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. There were over 350 donors that attended the reception. Congratulations!

Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar was selected as the recipient of the 2019 Lustgarten-Thermo Fisher Scientific Memorial Award and presented with this award at the AAI Annual Meeting – IMMUNOLOGY 2019TM (May 9-13), in San Diego, CA. 

Established to honor the memory of AAI member Joseph Lustgarten, Ph.D., this award is intended to advance the career of a mid-career scientist who attends the AAI annual meeting and presents an outstanding abstract specifically in the area of immune regulation. This award is generously supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific.  Congrats!

 Congratulations to Drs. Guillermo Vazquez and Matam Vijay Kumar! They have been selected as members of UT Leadership Institute (UTLI).  “Participants were selected to represent a range of colleges, faculty rank, current leadership roles, and overall leadership experiences and will acquire broad perspectives and knowledge of higher education, leadership and careers paths.Discussions will address a range of issues such as the administrative structure of higher education, leadership styles, critical issues facing administrators, funding, diversity and inclusion. The 2019 institute will convene in September, 2019 and consist of eight monthly sessions, concluding in May, 2020. Selected participants will meet once per month to discuss various aspects of leadership in higher education.”

Dr. Andrew Beavis received one of the Robert T. Tidrick Golden Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence in the Basic Sciences. He was presented with the award at the COMLS Graduation Awards Ceremony last Thursday. Congratulations!

The Phys/Pharm support staff attended the second annual Lessons in LEADherSHIP Conference Tuesday, April 30th. The conference was designed to help grow female leadership in the Toledo community and was sponsored by Rocket alumna Kelly Savage from Savage & Associates.

Dr. Matam Vijay Kumar recently was invited to several regional area universities. He recently gave a talk titled, “Interplay between dietary fiber and gut microbiota in liver cancer: The dark side of fermentation” at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and also at the Cleveland Clinic. 

May 2-4, 2019 many members and trainees from our Department and the Center for Hypertension and Precision Medicine had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Gull Lake Regional Hypertension meeting. It was a valuable experience networking with other researchers in the hypertension field from around the Ohio/Michigan areas. Many of our Department members and trainees presented their research. It was a delight to hear from the organizers from Michigan State University and Faculty members from other Institutions that our student presentations were among the best. This, to me, speaks volumes to the significant improvements in training our students, especially through the TLC. Congratulations to the individual PIs who put their time and effort in conducting cutting-edge research and for being excellent mentors.

Dr. Bina Joe had the opportunity to attend an Honors Class Research Celebration of the Ottawa Hills High School held at the ProMedica Steel Plant in Downtown Toledo.  About 10 years ago, Mr. Jeremy Nixon, the Honors Biology Teacher at Ottawa Hills High School spent his summer conducting research in her laboratory as part of an NSF funded program. Since then, he has developed a Research Class where select high school students are required to conduct research as part of their honors curriculum. Dr. Hill and Dr. Hinds from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology also participated in mentoring some of these young people.

Dr. Ritu Chakravarti has reached out to McCord Junior High School in Sylvania to mentor a Science Teacher, Ms. Mary Janelle Low. Dr. Chakravarti’s application with Ms. Low as the mentee was selected by the American Association of Immunology for their nationwide ‘High School Teachers Summer Research Program in Immunology’. This is an outreach program to popularize immunology in schools. Generally 6-7 applications are selected every year nationwide. This summer, look out for Ms. Low as she will shadow Dr. Charkravarti. Mrs. Low has to come up with a plan to incorporate her experience in her classroom. Congrats on the great community outreach effort, Dr. Chakravarti!

Dr. Terry Hinds, Assistant Professor of Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, was the Max Miller Lecture in Diabetes Research Invited Speaker, for the 59th Annual Max Miller Lecture in Diabetes Research. The talk titled, “Bilirubin, from toxic bile substance to metabolic hormone” was given at the Metabolism Club during the 2019 Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meetingin Chicago, IL.

 Saroj Chakraborty, trainee of Dr. Bina Joe, was recently featured in the newest edition of The Science Breaker on his work about the relationship between metabolism and hypertension. The article can be viewed here:

 Dr. Matam Vijay Kumar, Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology and Director of the UT Microbiome Consortium recently traveled to Vienna, Austria as an invited speaker in The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) annual conference, The International Liver Congress. The unique session in which he spoke was on ‘Critical reflection on Landmark papers 2018’. In this session 4 landmark papers were selected by a task force. One of the papers is his Cell paper along with 3 others published in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet and Science

The lead author of the publication presents first for 15 minutes and then is challenged by an expert in the field for 15 minutes. Later 10 minutes of questions from the challenger and audience. It was elaborate and very well organized and more than 1,000 audience members were present. 

Several members of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology attended the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Florida at the beginning of April. While several trainees of the Department delivered poster presentations many of the faculty and trainees received awards in several different categories.

  • Dr. Bina Joe, Distinguished University Professor and Chair, chaired a symposium titled, “Physiological Omics (P-omics) Interest Group” and as recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Lectureship Award, delivered a distinguished lecture during an award ceremony in her honor.
  • Dr. Terry Hinds, Assistant Professor, is the recipient of the American Physiological Society New Investigator Award in Endocrinology and Metabolism.
  • Dr. Cameron McCarthy, Postdoc to Faculty Fellow, placed 3rd in the Cardiovascular Young Investigator competition session.
  • Jonnelle Edwards, trainee of Dr. Camilla Wenceslau, is a recipient of the Martin Frank Diversity Travel Award.
  • Shaunak Roy, MSBS student rotating in Dr. Camilla Wenceslau’s Lab is the recipient of The Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award for Meritorious Research.

Saroj Chakraborty from Dr. Bina Joe’s lab was featured on March 31, 2019 in the Toledo Blade. The article highlights his research on blood pressure and can be viewed here: 

A very hearty congratulations to Dr. Andrew Beavis! He has been selected by the 2109 College of Medicine and Life Sciences graduating class to receive one of the Robert T. Tidrick Golden Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence in the Basic Sciences. He will be formally recognized and presented with the award at the COMLS Graduation Awards Ceremony in May.  

 Congratulations to Dr. Siva Kumarasamy! His manuscript, “CACNB2 is associated with aberrant RAS-MAPK signaling in hypertensive Dahl Salt-Sensitive rats” was accepted in the journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (BBRC).

Authors: Vishnuprabu Durairaj Pandian, Ph.D; Guillermo Vazquez, Ph.D; David R Giovannucci, Ph.D; Sivarajan Kumarasamy, Ph.D.

 Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, Associate Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology and Director of the University of Toledo Microbiome Consortium, has been invited to speak at the upcoming AACR Special Conference on The Microbiome and Viruses. The conference will be held from Friday, February 21, 2020 to Monday, February 24, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Orlando, Florida. The session in which he was invited to speak is titled, “Microbiota and Gastrointestinal Cancers”

Congratulations to  MOME Track MD/PhD candidate Sarah Galla (Joe Lab) for placing 2nd in oral presentation at the 2019 Graduate Research Forum and MOME Track PhD candidate Rachel Golonka (Vijay-Kumar Lab) for placing 3rd poster presentation!

Congratulations, Anita Easterly!

Anita has 20 years of service with the University of Toledo and will be honored during the annual Service Award program.

During her years of service she has received the Outstanding Staff Award (was also a previous runner-up for the Outstanding Staff Award) and has been recognized by the President’s Advisory Council as an individual who exemplifies two or more of UT’s core institutional values.

Fifteen of her twenty years of service have been with the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. Thank you and Congratulations, Anita!

 Congratulations to Dr. Vijay Kumar!

He has been invited by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), International Liver Congress™ 2019 to present and discuss the article “Dysregulated microbial fermentation of soluble fiber induces cholestatic liver cancer” (published in Cell) during the “Critical reflection on landmark papers 2018” session. The meeting is held in Vienna, Austria.

He has also been invited to co-chair a Block Symposium of oral abstract presentations at for the American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting IMMUNOLOGY 2019 to be held in San Diego CA on May 9-13, 2019.  The session title is: Innate Immune Mechanisms.

 Dr. Lauren Gerard Koch co-authored a consensus paper, “Precision Exercise Medicine: Understanding Exercise Response Variability,” in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM). The paper was the outcome of a Symposium on Exercise Variability at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge in October 2017, hosted by Professor Claude Bouchard, a pioneer in human exercise genomics. Dr. Koch was the only invited participant with expertise in the development of animal models among the group of international researchers with experience in characterizing individual response to exercise. Ross, Goodpaster, Koch et al., Br J Sports Med 2019;0:1–13.

 Dr. Ritu Chakravarti is a recipient of a 2019 AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant to attend the AAI Annual Meeting – IMMUNOLOGY 2019TM (May 9-13), in San Diego, California.


 Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Lustgarten-Thermo Fisher Scientific Memorial Award. He will be recognized and presented with this award at the AAI Annual Meeting – IMMUNOLOGY 2019TM (May 9-13), in San Diego, CA. 

Established to honor the memory of AAI member Joseph Lustgarten, Ph.D., this award is intended to advance the career of a mid-career scientist who attends the AAI annual meeting and presents an outstanding abstract specifically in the area of immune regulation. This award is generously supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific.  Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dr. Sivarajan Kumarasamy and Lab! Their manuscript, “SAR and molecular mechanism studies of monoamine oxidase inhibition by selected chalcone analogues” was accepted for publication to the Journal  of Enzyme Inhibition And Medicinal Chemistry.

The authors are:  Shalaby, Raed; Petzer, Jacobus P. ; Petzer, Anel; Ashraf, Usman; Atari, Ealla ; Alasmari, Fawaz; Kumarasamy, Sivarajan; Sari, Youssef; Khalil, Ashraf Abd El Sabour.

 Dr. Bina Joe and Dr. Jennifer Hill have been selected to receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Grantmanship and will receive the awards and attend a reception at Dr. Gaber’s home in April.


 The University of Toledo media team produced a short video on the research of Dr. Vijay Kumar and Dr. Vishal Singh on Fiber and IBD. Please view the video on youtube:

 Dr. Camilla Wenceslau was featured in a podcast by the Editor-in-Chief of AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.  She was an invited subject expert in vascular physiology to discuss a paper published on perivascular adipose tissue in the context of obesity.

The podcast can be found here: This is also available on the Facebook page (AJPHeartandCirc), Twitter feed (@ajpheartcirc) and Circ journal website or on iTunes.

Hats off to Rachel Golonka (Dr. Vijay Kumar’s lab) who was one of eight finalists for the Three Minute Thesis competition and won the People’s Choice award! Great creativity using Winnie the Pooh to explain Bile Physiology.

Congratulations to Dr. Vishal Singh! He has been promoted to the Rank of Assistant Professor on the Research Track in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.

 Congratulations to Dr. Vijay Kumar and Beng Yeoh, whose manuscript, “Adaptive Immunity Induces Tolerance to Flagellin by Attenuating TLR5 and NLRC4-mediated Innate Immune Responses” was accepted in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology! Authors are: Beng San Yeoh, Andrew T Gerwitz and Matam Vijay-Kumar. View the article here:

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Hill! Her manuscript, “Oxytocin Neurons Enable Melanocortin Regulation of Male Sexual Function in Mice” was accepted for publication in Molecular Neurobiology. The authors are: Erin Semple, Firas Shalabi, Jennifer W. Hill. 

 View the article here:

Congratulations to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and Lab! A news release about their research on IBD came out on February 5, 2019. Read about it here:

Congratulations to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and Lab! Their manuscript, "PAD4-dependent NETs generation are indispensable for intestinal clearance of Citrobacter rodentium" was accepted in Mucosal Immunology. Authors: Piu Saha, Beng San Yeoh, Xia Xiao, Rachel M. Golonka, Vishal Singh, Yanming Wang,and Matam Vijay-Kumar

Congratulations to Dr. Bina Joe! She has been nominated and selected by the Physiological Omic Group to be the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Lectureship Award! The award recognizes a distinguished lecturer in the area of physiological -omics and she will also present the distinguished lecture at the Physiological -Omics Group Symposium at the Experimental Biology 2019 meeting.

 Congratulations to Shaunak Roy, MSBS student of Dr. Camilla Wenceslau’s lab!

 Shaun was selected by the APS Women in Physiology Committee as one of the recipients of the 2019 Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Awards.

As a tum Suden/Hellebrandt Awardee, he will receive a certificate of recognition, early-rate meeting registration reimbursement, and a cash prize upon presentation of his poster at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2019 meeting.

 Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Hill and Lab! Their manuscript, "Oxytocin neurons enable melanocortin regulation of male sexual function in mice" has been accepted for publication in Molecular Neurobiology. The authors are Erin Semple, Feras Shalabi, and Jennifer Hill.

Congratulations to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar! He has been invited to speak at the 2019 NCI CCR Liver Cancer Program (LCP) Special Conference on Tumor Metabolism at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which will be held October 28-29, 2019 at the Masur Auditorium of the NIH Clinical Center, on the NIH Bethesda campus. The conference is organized by the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Liver Cancer Program.

Congratulations to MOME Track Ph.D. candidate Shermel Sherman!  She was accepted into the “Frontiers in Reproduction” 6-week summer intensive training program in reproductive biology and surgery.  This program is hosted by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  

Congratulations to MOME Track MD/PhD candidate Darren Gordon as he’s been selected by the American Physiological Society Trainee Advisory Committee (TAC) to serve as a Graduate Student Ambassador during the 2019-2021 term.

Congratulations to Jonnelle Edwards as she’s been selected by the Porter Physiology Development and Minority Affairs Committee to receive a Martin Frank Diversity Travel Award to attend the Experimental Biology (EB) 2019 Meeting, held from April 6-9, in Orlando, Florida.

 Congratulations to Dr. Terry Hinds! He was selected to receive the 2019 Endocrinology & Metabolism Section New Investigator Award

He will receive his award during the Endocrinology & Metabolism Awards Reception at the Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando in April.

Congratulations to Drs. Kumar and Cheng! They are co-authors in a new publication in Nature Communications titled, " Enhancement of the gut barrier integrity by a microbial metabolite through the Nrf2 pathway". 

Congratulations to Drs. Wenceslau and McCarthy! Their manuscript, "Formyl peptide receptor-1 activation exerts a critical role for the dynamic plasticity of arteries via actin polymerization" was accepted for publication in Pharmacological Research.

Congratulations to Dr. Vijay Kumar’s Lab! Their manuscript, “Deoxyribonuclease I activity, cell-free DNA and risk of liver cancer in a prospective cohort”  was recently accepted for publication by the Journal of National Cancer Institute – Cancer Spectrum (JNCICS). The authors are: Rachel M. Golonka, Beng San Yeoh, Jessica L. Petrick, Stephanie J. Weinstein, Demetrius Albanes, Andrew T. Gewirtz, Katherine A. McGlynn, Matam Vijay-Kumar.

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Hill’s lab! Their manuscript, "Ablating Astrocyte Insulin Receptors Leads to Delayed Puberty and Hypogonadism in Mice" has just been accepted for publication in PLOS Biology (IF 9.16). The authors are: Iyad H. Manaserh, Lakshmikanth Chikkamenahalli, Samyuktha Ravi, Prabhatchandra R. Dube, Joshua J. Park and Jennifer W. Hill.

 Congratulations to Sarah Galla from the Joe Lab! Her research story , "Researchers study link between bacteria, blood pressure", was published in the Toledo Blade, January 7, 2019.

Congratulations to Dr. Vishal Singh from the Kumar Lab! He was awarded a Career Development grant from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and funding is effective January 1, 2019. The title of the grant is, “Metabolite-sensing receptors mediated regulation of immune response in inflammatory bowel disease”.  The duration of the award is three years.

 Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Cameron McCarthy! He was selected by the American Physiological Society-Cardiovascular Section awards committee as a finalist for the 2019 APS-Cardiovascular Section Outstanding Postdoctoral Trainee Award. His application associated with abstract, “BetaHOB Increases Nitric Oxide Synthase Activity in Resistance Arteries from Dahl Salt Sensitive Rats”, was amongst the most highly rated applications submitted to the committee. 

He will orally present his research as part of the Featured Topic Session, “Cardiovascular Section Young Investigator Competition" which will occur on Monday, April 8, 2019. 

Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Vijay Kumar’s Lab, whose manuscript titled, Microbiota Fermentation-NLRP3 Axis Shapes the Impact of Dietary Fibers on Intestinal Inflammation” was accepted in Gut which is the second ranked leading international journal (impact factor 17) in gastroenterology and hepatology.

List of Authors: Vishal Singh, Beng San Yeoh, Rachel E. Walker, Xia Xiao, Piu Saha, Rachel M. Golonka, Jingwei Cai, Alexis Charles Andre Bretin,Xi Cheng, Qing Liu, Michael D. Flythe,Benoit Chassaing, Gregory C. Shearer, Andrew D. Patterson, Andrew T. Gewirtz, and Matam Vijay-Kumar. 

Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Camilla Wenceslau and Dr. Cameron McCarthy! They were both invited and have accepted to join the AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology Editorial Board! Their terms begin January 2019.

 Congratulations to Dr. Vishal Singh! He has been selected for lecture presentation during the 2019 Crohn’s & Colitis Congress®, being held at the Bellagio Las Vegas, Feb. 7-9, 2019.

His presentation will be titled: Environmental Triggers and Stemming the Rising Tide of IBD.

 Congratulations to Dr. Sivarajan Kumarasamy and lab! Their manuscript, "COUP-TFII Revisited: Its Role in Metabolic Gene Regulation" was accepted in Steroids journal. Authors are: Usman M Ashraf, Edwin R Sanchez and Sivarajan Kumarasamy.

2018 News Archive

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2012 News Archive




Last Updated: 8/19/19