This is a great month for Physiology! Several of the local chapters of the American Physiological Society (APS) are having their annual meetings.


The Nebraska Physiological Society met this past weekend at the University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine. Here are the highlights from their meeting:

Dr. Bill Yates, Professor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine gave the APS sponsored keynote address on “Multisensory Control of Blood Pressure.” His research is focused on understanding the link between our vestibular system and blood pressure. The vestibular system in our inner ears is responsible for sensing the position and movement of our heads and therefore may be able to send signals to the brain that tell it to adjust blood pressure when our body position changes in an effort to maintain homeostasis.

Dr. Kathryn Meier from Washington State University gave the APS sponsored Advocacy Address on “Research Advocacy: Why Your Voice Matters”

Highlights from the Poster Sessions:

Image showing depicting inflammation and oxidative stress in the joints of someone with rheumatoid arthritis (right). Over time the disease damages the joint resulting in deformities. Image from

Cleofes Sarmiento, undergraduate student, described research on rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease in which the joints become inflamed and develop oxidative stress. His research was focused on the anti-inflammatory medication methotrexate, which is currently used to treat the disease. Through this research it was discovered that although the drug is referred to as an anti-inflammatory agent, it also acts as an antioxidant. Cleofes Sarmiento1, Michael J. Duryee2, Jun Tian2, Geoffrey M. Thiele2, Daniel R. Anderson2, Ted R. Mikuls2, Matthew C. Zimmerman2 . Methotrexate directly scavenges superoxide generated by xanthine oxidase. 1Wayne State College, Wayne, NE; 2University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.

Image of airway cilia from

Michael Price, Graduate student, presented research on how alcohol abuse promotes lung disease. Normally the cilia in our airways help to remove mucous and foreign particles. His research is aimed at trying to figure out what causes the cilia to become dysfunctional with alcohol abuse. Michael E. Price, Jacqueline A. Pavlik, Joseph H. Sisson. Alcohol-induced S-nitrosylation drives protein phosphatase 1-dependent motile airway cilia dysfunction. Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Physiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.

Fangfang Qiao, graduate student, spoke about a protein that specializes in breaking down misfolded proteins, ubiquilin-1, which when overexpressed in mice resulted in less weight gain as a result of less food intake along with increased energy expenditure. Fangfang Qiao, Evelyn Schlenker, Hongmin Wang. Overexpression of ubiquilin-1 diminishes the body weight gain in mice in a genetic background-dependent manner. Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD.

Image of perivascular adipose tissue on a blood vessel from


Redondo A, graduate student, presented findings on how the fat layer that surrounds blood vessels can secrete factors that given its proximity to the blood vessel, can promote the development of high blood pressure. Redondo A, Quesada I, Cejas J, Lucero A, Castro C. Perivascular adipose tissue secretome participates in the development of hypertension. Vascular Biology Lab (IMBECU-CONICET) and School of Medical Science, National University of Cuyo, Mendoza-Argentina.