Department faculty members are internationally recognized experts in their respective areas of study. They pursue investigator-initiated studies on molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying human disease. 

Jean Regal lab working in their lab*The diverse range of basic and translational research areas include:

  • blood brain barrier biology
  • mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicity
  • asthma
  • breast cancer metabolism
  • colorectal cancer genetics
  • sensory and respiratory neurophysiology
  • breast cancer endocrinology
  • cardiovascular, renal, exercise and behavioral physiology
  • extracellular microRNAs in disease
  • parasitic infectious diseases
  • Parkinsonian disorders
  • circadian rhythms and sleep

A student and professor working on something in the labThe evolving research emphasis of the department will focus on health issues relevant to rural and Native American communities.

They also carry out collaborative research with investigators in the College of Science and Engineering and College of Pharmacy on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus and in the colleges and schools of the Academic Health Center on the Twin Cities campus, as well as with numerous national and international scientists.

Epidermis image by Steve Downing

Histo Art by Dr. Stephen Downing



The integument (or skin) is the largest organ in the body. It has two layers: an outer epidermal layer and an inner (deeper) dermal layer. In this picture, the epidermal layer forms the bulk of the upper half of the image and the dermal layer forms the lower half of the image. The epidermis varies greatly in its thickness. In this particular area the epidermis is relatively thin, but on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, it can be much thicker. The deepest layer of the epidermis in this sample is heavily pigmented with melanin.