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Faculty Feature: Cynthia Gill

Submitted by on January 28, 2013 – 8:33 amNo Comment

Cynthia Gill, associate professor of physiology, received her B.S. in biology from the University of North Carolina and her Ph.D. in neuroendocrinology from the University of Virginia.

Professor Gill did postdoctoral research at the University of Texas examining the development of brain steroid receptor regulation in parthenogenetic and gender-reversed lizards.

She also studies neural regulation and connectivity in response to hormonally-mediated environmental cues.

Her interests span the areas of human and comparative physiology, neuroscience, endocrinology, herpetology, conservation biology, and behavioral biology. She’s also a triathlete and adventure racer with an interest in exercise physiology.

Selected Courses


Brain Mechanisms (Spring 2013)

In this course students will examine the function of the nervous system with particular focus on mechanisms at work in the brain. The course will link current advances in cell, molecular and developmental physiology research in the context of neuronal functional mechanisms. Topics may include neurotransmitter function and regulation, brain area function, integrative intracellular signaling pathways, neuroendocrine control. Advanced topics may include the correlation of ion channel properties and synaptic transmission with physiological functions such as learning and memory, circuits involved in behavior, and the organizational principles for the development of functional neural networks at synaptic and cellular levels. Along with regular discussion participation and problem solving, students will prepare papers and lead discussions on their own chosen topics. This course is particularly appropriate for students interested in behavioral mechanisms, neurophysiology, psychology, and neuroendocrinology. This is a course in the Culture, Brain and Development Program.

Animal Physiology (Fall 2012)
This course will cover physiology of organ systems within animal phyla with special emphasis on physiological adaptations of organisms to their environment. Topics will include osmoregulation, temperature regulation and neural, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, digestive and endocrine function. One focus will be on cellular and molecular mechanisms common across systems and phyla. We’ll also examine unique adaptations to extreme environments. Knowledge of basic biology and chemistry is not required but is recommended. Students will engage in class problems, lectures, and reading of text and primary scientific literature.

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