Department of Physiology and Pharmacology


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.

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Last Updated: 5/3/19