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Department of Pharmacology & Systems Physiology

Special Master’s Program in Physiology

Program Faculty

Many of the primary faculty, secondary faculty, and faculty emeriti of the Department of Pharmacology & Systems Physiology participate in the special master's program in physiology by teaching or by serving as Faculty Mentors. More information about program leadership and course directors is provide here.

SMP Faculty 18-19 (PDF)

Dr. Lorenz photoDr. John Lorenz
Program Director

Hi I'm John Lorenz, and I am the Director of the UC special Master's Program in Physiology. I am the primary contact for students' questions and concerns, along with Dr. Banks, who is the founding Director of the program. It is also my job to write letters and transmit progress reports for the students as they navigate the curriculum. In addition to directing this program, I also do a good deal of teaching in the medical school curriculum in both the first and second year.

My area of expertise is cardiovascular and renal physiology and I have a research lab that also focuses on cardio-renal biology. We specialize on the use of genetically modified mouse models to examine mechanisms of body fluid and blood pressure regulation. I also participate in our faculty mentoring program, offering both literature review and laboratory thesis options.


Mackenzie216x270Dr. Bryan Mackenzie
Program Co-Director | Director of Admissions
Associate Professor

Hello, I'm Bryan Mackenzie. I serve as co-director of the SMP in physiology and as the director of admissions. I am the course director for Interprofessional Education in the fall semester, and for Statistics & Experimental Design in the spring semester. I also teach in Graduate Medical Physiology. I actively serve as an adviser to students in the SMP.

My research program explores the molecular physiology of iron transport, absorption, and homeostasis. Iron metabolism is of major public-health significance because of the huge worldwide prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia, and also common hereditary disorders that lead to iron overload and consequent organ damage. My lab focuses on the mechanisms and structure–function of the iron transporters divalent metal-ion transporter-1 (DMT1)—responsible for cellular iron uptake in the intestine, erythroid precursor cells, and many other cell types—and ferroportin, a cellular iron exporter that delivers iron to the blood plasma from enterocytes and macrophages. Approaches in my lab include functional assays in RNA-injected Xenopus oocytes expressing iron transporters, and iron absorption and homeostasis in genetically modified mouse models.


Dr. Worrell photoDr. Roger Worrell
Curriculum Co-Director
Associate Professor

I am the curriculum co-director for the UC Special Master’s Program in Physiology. I direct the Critical Analysis in Physiology & Medicine course and participate in the teaching of Graduate Medical Physiology. I am a broadly trained physiologist and have taught physiology at the undergraduate, Pharmacy School, Medical School, Allied Health Professions, and PhD graduate student levels. I also currently direct the PhD program in Systems Biology & Physiology. I also participate in our faculty mentoring program. If you have a wild idea, come see me!

My research expertise centers around epithelial ion transport in health and disease, with primary interest in intestinal transport and its relation to microbial niche development and maintenance, as well as interest in renal transport mechanisms. Research methods employed in these areas include cellular, cultured organoid, organ, and whole animal levels. Focus is both on mechanisms and regulation in health as well as in disease states. Disease states include but are not limited to; Cystic Fibrosis, hypertension, endocrine disorders, hepatic encephalopathy, and diarrhea (C. difficile) and intestinal microbial dysbiosis. Professionally, I have been actively involved in the American Physiological Society (APS) since my graduate school days and have been an active member of The Ohio Physiological Society (OPS) since 2001. 


Dr. Banks photoDr. Robert Banks
Director Emeritus
Professor Emeritus

Hello everyone, I'm Bob Banks and I am Professor Emeritus of Physiology. I have been very involved in the UC Special Masters Program in Physiology since our inaugural class was accepted in 2007. As Dr. Lorenz has noted I continue to assist him in many facets of this program and remain committed to helping each of you succeed in achieving your long-term goals.

I also teach Body-Fluid spaces as well as the Renal and Acid-Base sections of our Graduate Medical Physiology courses in the MS curriculum. My area of expertise is cardiovascular and renal physiology and, although I no longer have an active laboratory, I remain very interested in these areas. Finally, I also participate in our faculty mentoring program and assist students in reviewing topics related to those areas.


Ms. Cummins photoMs. Jeannie Cummins
Program Manager

Hello! I'm Jeannie Cummins, Program Manager of the UC Special Master's Program in Physiology. I am your contact for questions pertaining to the program beginning with the application process... All the way through our accepted student's graduation. I am in constant contact with current students and encourage them to stop by my office as I adhere to an open door policy. Interacting with the applicants, students, faculty, and staff at UC is something I thoroughly enjoy and I have been known to lend a friendly maternal ear now and then! My husband, two daughters, two pups, and I were born and raised in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati, so feel free to ask me about the area!


Course Directors

Department faculty who serve as course directors and block leaders in MCP-coded courses are listed below. (This list does not include the instructors from the medical curriculum, i.e. GNTD-coded courses.)

  • Judith Heiny, PhD  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Cell and Membrane, Muscle)
  • Katharine Hobbing, Ph.D. |  Professional Development 
  • John Lorenz, PhD  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Whole-Body Fluid Homeostasis, Cardiovascular, Respiratory)
  • Bryan Mackenzie, PhD  |  Interprofessional Education  |  Statistics & Experimental Design  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Blood)
  • Aaron Marshall, PhD  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Endocrine, Reproductive)
  • Sarah Pixley, PhD  |  Neurophysiology
  • Theresa Reyes, PhD  |  Neurophysiology
  • Roger Worrell, PhD  |  Physiology Capstone  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Renal, Acid–Base)
  • Yana Zavros, PhD  |  Graduate Medical Physiology (Gastrointestinal)  


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John Lorenz
Program Director

Bryan Mackenzie
Program Co-Director
Director of Admissions

Roger T. Worrell
Curriculum Co-Director

Jeannie Cummins
Program Manager