My primary research goal is to better understand the basic biology of the aging process. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for most cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. However, it has proven difficult to infer the relative_importance of the many processes that contribute to aging. We are using the powerful genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila to better understand the molecular biology of aging.
The Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology (formerly the Department of Physiological Science) is dedicated to explaining the function of complex biological systems, in cells, organs, and individuals. The recent rapid advances in molecular and cell biology and genetics, including the sequencing of numerous genomes, has provided an unprecedented opportunity to use this new information to understand how the genes interact to produce emergent phenotypes in complex systems. The research of our faculty spans many levels. We use approaches that range from RNA interference to ion channel electrophysiology to genetic intervention in behavior to mathematical modeling to robotics, all to make sense of sensory, motor, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems.
At the undergraduate level, the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology offers the B.S. degree in Physiological Science, and contributes strongly to the
Interdepartmental Undergraduate Program in
Neuroscience. The Department also offers a 2-year research-oriented M.S. program in Physiological Science. Ph.D. students in the Department come from a variety of interdepartmental programs, including, the Ph.D. Program in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology, and the Interdepartment Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience.