About Us


The Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics is one of five Basic Science departments in the Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa. The department is currently composed of 37 faculty members, nineteen of whom hold primary appointments in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Although it is a relatively small department, the annual extramural support is approximately 8 million dollars and has contributed to making the department one of the most successful programs in physiology research in the nation. The department has a long history of productive research in molecular and cellular physiology. Particular distinction has been achieved in departmental laboratories studying the structure and function of cell membranes and ion channels as well as characterization of mechanisms for signal transduction across cell membranes. The department also has two particularly distinguished faculty members who are Investigators for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The majority of the Molecular Physiology and Biophysics department is located in the Bowen Science Building (BSB), which is part of the Health Science campus, occupying two of the six floors in the building. The other four basic science departments, PharmacologyMicrobiologyAnatomy and Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, are situated on the remaining floors. The department’s newly renovated lab facilities in the Bowen Science Building promote the development of innovative research and place faculty members and the students they mentor in close proximity to one another. Additional laboratory space is located in the newly constructed Carver Biomedical Research Building (CBRB) located nearby. This 135,000 square foot building, constructed in 2005, is designed to facilitate productive interactions between colleagues using state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratories.

The department plays an important role in educating and training professional and graduate students in medicine, dentistry, and nursing. Sixteen students are currently pursuing Ph.D. degrees in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics in the department’s graduate program. Nine of these students are members of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) pursing combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The significant number of students enrolled in the MSTP is reflective of the major contributions made by our laboratories toward the understanding of clinically relevant diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and hypertension.