Now featuring the Arizona Physiological Society, who held their annual meeting October 29-30. In attendance were students, postdocs, and faculty from the Downtown, Tempe and West campuses of Arizona State University, AT Still University, Glendale University, Midwestern University, Northern Arizona University, as well as the Phoenix and Tucson campuses of the University of Arizona.
The Keynote Address was given by Dr. William Karasov, from the University of Wisconsin Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology. In his talk entitled, “Wildlife Digestion: A View from Molecules to Ecosystems,“ he presented reasons why understanding digestive physiology, ecology, as well as toxicology could improve the management and conservation of species. He additionally spoke of how diet and digestive features are often matched in species. For example, birds that lack the enzyme sucrase in their digestive system are not able to digest sucrose, but rather rely on other carbohydrates instead. In contrast, other birds have a more flexible diet owing to an ability to rapidly up or down-regulate specific digestive enzymes. Similarly, bird species differ in their susceptibility to accumulating different environmental toxins owing to variations in intestinal absorption of the chemicals. This information may help determine regulations for environmental toxins.
The 2021 Arizona Distinguished Lecture was awarded to Dr. Steve Wright, from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Dr. Wright’s research focuses on how ions with a positive charge (aka: cations) are transported in the body. This is particularly relevant to people who take medications that are recognized by these receptors. In fact, approximately 40% of medications are moved from the blood to the urine by the kidneys. This presents a potential issue for people who take more than one medication as they could interact during this secretion process.