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Virginia H. Huxley, PhD

Director, the National Center for Gender Physiology, Professor, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Dalton Investigator


Medical Pharmacology and Physiology
One Hospital Drive, M453
Columbia, MO 65212


Dr. Huxley is currently the Director for the National Center for Gender Phsyiology, as well as the Director of the Human Translational Research Laboratory.


Dr. Huxley's laboratory effort is directed towards understanding the structure and regulation of the barriers separating circulating blood from tissue. This barrier is formed by the vessel walls of microscopic capillaries. Studies of the transcapillary barrier are conducted on single capillaries as they lie in functioning tissue. These vessels are chosen from tissues of contrasting function in a variety of animals. New models of arterioles and venules isolated from previously thought to be "inaccessible" organs, such as the heart, have been developed. These approaches provide useful insight into how the barriers to solutes (such as nutrients, hormones, and proteins) and water are structured. Further, they want to know how these structures change to meet changes in metabolic status. These perfused microvessel techniques offer the unique opportunity to define the location of the vessel under study and make physical measurements of the exchange surface size and shape. We define the physical forces at the capillary wall (e.g., osmotic, oncotic, and hydrostatic pressures) and manipulate the composition of the media perfusing and superfusing the vessel. Additionally, their laboratory uses and continues to develop new techniques for measuring transcapillary movement of water and solutes. With these preparations they can make detailed quantitative transport measurements in a well- defined and physiologically active system. Their goal is to develop a greater understanding of how these microvessels are controlled in health and disease and how their behavior affects organ homeostasis.


More on Dr. Huxley and her lab can be found here.


Research Areas of Interest

Biological physics/research
Biomedical engineering
Cardiovascular biology
Cardiovascular research
Cell biology
Cellular signaling
Comparative physiology
Confocal fluorescence microscopy
Exercise physiology
Hormone action
Immunocytochemistry EM/LM
Membrane transport
Microvascular physiology
Physiological recordings
Protein biology
Protein structure/function
Real-time PCR
Signal transduction