Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Research is a foundational part of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Research Areas Heading link

There are six core research areas in the department. Learn more about the faculty in each area.

Cancer and Tumor Microenvironment

Research programs in our Department explore various aspects of tumor physiology including the mechanisms of hormone action and the role of the estrogen-receptor activity in breast cancer, the influence of the extracellular matrix on cancer metastasis, the study of cancer-cell metabolism, and the role of angiogenesis during tumor progression. Our goal is to better understand fundamental biological and physiological processes to devise novel anti-cancer strategies.


Research in vascular biology investigates molecular control mechanisms in health and disease in the regulation of the growth and function of the elements of the vascular system in coordination with neural and heart function. Research in cardiac physiology, pathology, and pharmacology centers on translational studies related to familial and acquired cardiomyopathies.

Cell Biology, Signaling and Endocrinology

We seek a better understanding of cell signaling and genomic pathways regulating basic and disease-related cellular processes in a broad range of tissues and organs including areas such as cancer, metabolism, and fertility.

Metabolism and Obesity

We are devoted to study all fundamental aspects of obesity, diabetes and metabolism syndrome, including adipose tissue physiology, how adipocytes are formed, impact of obesity on liver damage and insulin resistance, the role of the brain to energy homeostasis and more, with the mission to forward the understanding and treatment of obesity and related metabolic disease.

Neuroscience and Addiction

The focus of research range from molecular basis for depression to the acute and chronic actions of alcohol and drugs of abuse that alter the physiology of the brain. Both receptor-mediated actions of drugs and alcohol as well as epigenetic consequences of drug and alcohol exposure are studied in efforts to more fully understand the neurophysiological basis for brain disorders.

Systems Physiology

Systems physiology is an integrated discipline. It combines experimental, computational, and theoretical studies to advance our understanding of the functional interactions between body systems. Systems physiology can be investigated at the organism, organ system, cellular and molecular levels.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Heading link

There are many opportunities for motivated undergraduate students to get involved in research conducted in our department. Students are encourage to apply via the UIC Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) program.

Learn more about URE