The major research strengths of the department are in neuroscience/neurophysiology and toxicology/pharmacology, but departmental faculty work on a wide range of research topics. Research in the neuroscience/neurophysiology area includes studies of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, neural control of cough, respiration and the cardiovascular system, and neural regulation of airway function in diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma. Departmental faculty also have interests in hypertension and peripheral sensory systems.
Research in the area of toxicology/pharmacology includes basic toxicology, toxicogenomics, aquatic toxicology using zebrafish and other experimental models, toxicologic risk assessment, environmental endocrine disruptors, drug residues in meat-producing animals, and the emerging field of nanotoxicology. The department also has faculty members working in a variety of other areas, such as bone metabolism and periodontitis, metabolomics and lipidomics, CRISPR technology, neuroendocrine tumors, especially of the adrenal gland, epigenetics, endocrinology and male and female reproductive biology.
The department maintains a large and robust graduate program. Presently, approximately fifteen students are pursuing graduate work leading to the MS or PhD degrees, and a number of postdoctoral fellows are also training in the department.
Departmental faculty vigorously pursue research support from a wide range of public and private agencies and currently all faculty have external research funding. The largest source of our funding is NIH, but departmental faculty also currently receive support from USDA, NSF, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the European Union and the U.S. Department of Defense. Our faculty also receive support from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Health and from a wide variety of other intramural and extramural sources.