Keck School of Medicine of USC Department of Physiology and Neuroscience was ranked #1 in NIH Funding

In 2022, the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience ranked #1 in NIH funding and over the past 5 years has consistently ranked in the top 5 for NIH funding. The faculty carry out cutting-edge research in Alzheimer’s disease, other neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, sensory systems and circuits, renal physiology, and kidney-brain axis. Faculty members also support master’s of medical physiology candidates as thesis mentors.

Research Focuses

Janos Peti-Peterdi, MD, PhD

Peti-Peterdi’s research focuses on renal (patho)physiology, the role of kidneys in maintaining body fluid and electrolyte hemostasis and blood pressure in health and diseases, including chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy and hypertension; kidney tissue remodeling and nephron regeneration; function of macula densa cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus (JGA); and the role of podocytes in the maintenance and pathology of the glomerular filtration barrier.

Li Zhang, PhD

Zhang’s research focuses on representation and processing in sensory cortex, development of cortical organizations, formation and plasticity of cortical microcircuitry and neural basis for cortical pathologies.

Berislav Zlokovic, MD, PhD

Zlokovic’s laboratory focuses on the blood-brain barrier and neurovascular regulations, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and stroke. Using animal models and studying human brain, his laboratory has shown that dysfunction in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and brain microcirculation can accumulate before neuronal dysfunction and contribute to the onset and progression of different neurological phenotypes and symptoms including cognitive impairment.