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Physiological and Structural Systems

Name Email Phone Room
Mamta  Rawat (703) 292-7265  E12325  
Irwin  Forseth (703) 292-7862  E12336  
Purnima  Bhanot (703) 292-2053  C12033  
Emily  Carrington (703) 292-4415  E12318  
Rollie  Clem (703) 292-8413  E12300  
Kathryn  Dickson (703) 292-7380  E12319  
Michael  Mishkind (703) 292-8413  E12332  
Theodore  Morgan (703) 292-7868  E12315  
Ann  Powell (702) 292-8265  E12329  
Gerald  Schoenknecht (703) 292-5076  E12337  


A new solicitation is forthcoming to replace 17-508. NO PRE-PROPOSALS WILL BE ACCEPTED IN 2018.

The Physiological and Structural Systems (PSS) Cluster supports research to advance understanding of whole organism physiological mechanisms and functional morphology.  PSS supports hypothesis-and discovery-based organismal research encompassing a wide range of approaches and perspectives.  Although research supported by the PSS Cluster includes molecular approaches and the interface of organismal biology with population biology, the intellectual focus of this research is on understanding whole organisms.  The Cluster encourages submission of proposals aimed at 1) identifying fundamental design principles of physiological and structural systems; 2) understanding why particular morphological and physiological mechanisms have evolved; and 3) how they are integrated at the level of the whole organism.  The Cluster welcomes projects involving modeling and theoretical approaches integrated with experimental approaches.  Multidisciplinary research at the interfaces of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering is encouraged.  The PSS Cluster will not consider projects that are primarily focused on environmental toxicology or endocrine disrupting chemicals.  Projects that are entirely focused at the cellular and/or biochemical level, without integration at the organismal level, are not appropriate for this cluster. 

Proposals should be directed to one of the three programs described below:

The Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition Program (SDS) supports research on processes mediating both antagonistic and beneficial symbiotic interactions, as well as mechanisms of self/non-self recognition, within and between animals, fungi, protists (including photosynthetic protists), prokaryotes, and viruses.  The program welcomes proposals on the dynamics of initiation, transmission, maintenance and dissolution of these complex associations, including studies of metabolic interactions, immune defenses (especially involving comparative studies, new systems or novel mechanisms), host-symbiont regulation, and recognition, signaling, communication, and reciprocal responses among interacting species. Integrative approaches and attention to emergent effects of symbiotic interactions are encouraged. All aspects of symbiosis among and between non-plant organisms are supported, including commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, host-pathogen interactions, and mechanisms of foreign organelle acquisition.

Special Note: Proposals on plant symbioses and self/non-self recognition formerly submitted to the SDS Program should be submitted to a new program, Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI), NSF 17-551, jointly administered by IOS and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  A new solicitation is forthcoming to replace 17-551.

The Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics Program (PMB) supports research on the physiological mechanisms and structural features of organisms.  Broad thematic areas include, but are not limited to  signaling mechanisms, solute transport, gas exchange, circulation, osmoregulation, metabolism, energetics, endocrinology, reproductive physiology, muscle physiology, biomechanics, biomaterials and functional morphology.  Systems approaches that predict or reveal the nature of coordination among functional processes and/or structural components as a means to further the understanding of organismal integrity are particularly encouraged.  Projects focused exclusively on cellular or subcellular structure and function without integration at the whole organism level of analysis are not appropriate for this program. 

The Integrative Ecological Physiology Program (IEP) supports research on the structural and physiological traits of organisms that underlie their capacities to live in various ecological settings.  A central focus of the program is research on physiological mechanisms underlying organism responses to abiotic and biotic components of their environments.  The program seeks proposals framed in explicit ecological or evolutionary contexts, and therefore projects may address time scales ranging from the short-term to evolutionary.  Projects focused on understanding how genetic, biochemical, morphological and physiological processes integratively result in the capacities of organisms to live in dynamic and stressful environments are encouraged.  The IEP Program particularly encourages proposals focused on using physiological traits to improve predictive models of organismal responses to environmental changes.  Projects focused exclusively on cellular or subcellular processes without integration at the whole organism level of analysis are not appropriate for this program.

Program Directors:

Mamta Rawat.  Integrative Ecological Physiology

Irwin Forseth.  Integrative Ecological Physiology

Purnima Bhanot.  Symbiosis, Defense & Self-recognition  

Emily Carrington.  Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics

Rollie Clem.  Symbiosis, Defense & Self-recognition  

Kathryn Dickson.  Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics

Michael Mishkind. Plant Biotic Interactions

Theodore Morgan.  Integrative Ecological Physiology

Ann Powell.  Plant Biotic Interactions

Gerald Schoenknecht.  Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics