Molecular Physiology Laboratory

Research in the Molecular Physiology Laboratory (MPL) focuses on the neurogenic mechanisms of hypertension and associated cardiovascular diseases with particular emphasis on developing novel targets for disease treatment and management.


Location: Dow 521 ESE


Current Research

Research in the MPL focuses on the role of the brain’s (pro)renin receptor (PRR) and other members of the renin angiotensin system in the development of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and heart failure.

Cutting-Edge (Pro)renin Receptor Work

Recently, our research established that PRR, a new member of the renin angiotensin system, is involved in blood pressure regulation and cardiovascular homeostasis. PRR is a single trans-membrane protein that binds prorenin and renin with comparable affinity, facilitating local AngII generation. In addition, the (pro)renin-PRR complex triggers a signal transduction cascade to mediate regulation of downstream genes independently of AngII.

MPL has found that PRR has a profound effect on systemic blood pressure, baroreflex sensitivity, and brain inflammatory mediators, using gene transfer and genetic knockdown technologies.

The Lab’s data have shown that PRR in a specific area of the brain is also involved in the regulation of peripheral inflammation and that PRR expression is significantly increased in the hearts of myocardial infarction animal models. We will further investigate the detailed mechanism of brain PRR on the regulation of inflammation and heart failure.

Support This Lab

Undergraduate and graduate research opportunities are made possible in part by the generosity of donors and alumni.


  • Professor, Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  • Affiliated Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Affiliated Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests

  • Central Mechanism of Salt Sensitive Hypertension
  • Brain Prorenin Receptor and Hypertension
  • Brain Orexin System and Hypertension
  • Stress and Neuroinflammation and Hypertension
  • Neuronal Mechanism of Metabolic Syndrome