J. Fernando Garcia-Diaz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

J. Fernando Garcia-Diaz
  • Title Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics
  • Office W408J
  • Phone (617) 358-8477
  • Education Licenciado en Ciencias Fisicas
    Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain
    MS, Medical Biophysics, Indiana University
    Ph.D., Universidad de Malaga, Spain

Dr. Garcia-Diaz initial research focused on epithelial electrophysiology, exploring the correlations between ion transport and electrical phenomena in leaky epithelia (intestine, gallbladder). Further work identified the ion channels responsible for the conductance of the basolateral membrane of frog skin, a classical model of tight epithelia, applying single channel recording techniques. Afterward, Dr. Garcia-Diaz’s research focused on the expression pattern of ion channels in the cochlear ganglion during neural development, and the role played by neurotrophins.

In the past twenty years Dr. Garcia-Diaz has been mostly engaged on the education of students from the School of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program, Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS), and the School of Dentistry. He is deeply involved in the MS in Medical Sciences (MAMS) program, as Director of the Human Physiology courses (PH 730 & PH 731) and academic advisor to these students. Students in the MAMS program take several first-year medical school classes to demonstrate their academic proficiency in a medical school curriculum. Since its inception, the program has been successful in identifying many students who have thrived in medical school and beyond. Dr. Garcia-Diaz also acted as a mentor in Physiology to students in the Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP), a partnership between BUSM and 14 undergraduate colleges, including ten historically black institutions, that facilitates acceptance into medical school of underrepresented minority students.

Role as Educator

Dr. Garcia-Diaz is a principal member of the teaching faculty in the following courses, encompassing the areas of cellular, neuro and physiological systems:

• MD 514 Dental Physiology Goldman School of Dental Medicine
• PH 730 & 731 Human Physiology A & B MAMS (GMS). Course Director
• PS 702 Physiology Physician Assistant Program
• FC 717 Physiology of Specialized Cells Graduate Medical Sciences
• MS 144 Medical Neurosciences Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
• MS 145M1 Cardiovascular System Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
• MS 145M2 Respiratory System Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
• MS 146M1 GI & Nutrition Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
• MS 146M2 Endo & Repro Systems Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

As Director, Dr Garcia-Diaz is involved in the daily management of the GMS Physiology courses, as well as in the development of handouts and other teaching material. A major component is the design of discussion problems and clinical cases that involve basic science concepts. Besides mentoring students in the MAMS program, Dr. Garcia-Diaz also serves as Thesis Reader for these students and in the Academic Policy Committee of the GMS Division. He was Director of the Graduate Program in the former Physiology Department and received the 2016 Educator of the Year Award in Graduate Medical Sciences.

Contributions to Science

Factors affecting ion channel expression during development

1. Garcia-Diaz, J.F. Development of a fast transient potassium current in chick cochlear ganglion neurons. Hearing Research 135:124-134, 1999.

2. Jimenez, C., F. Giraldez, J. Represa and J.F. Garcia Diaz. Calcium currents in dissociated cochlear neurons from the chick embryo and their modification by Neurotrophin 3. Neuroscience 77:673 682, 1997.

Ion channels and electrophysiology of epithelia

3. Garcia Diaz, J.F. Whole cell and single channel K+ and Cl currents in epithelial cells of frog skin. J. Gen. Physiol.98:131 161, 1991.

4. Nagel, W., J.F. Garcia Diaz and A. Essig. Voltage dependence of cellular currents and conductances in frog skin. J.Membrane Biol. 106:13 28, 1988.

5. Garcia Diaz, J.F., G. Klemperer, L.M. Baxendale and A. Essig. Cell sodium activity and sodium pump function in frog skin. J. Membrane Biol. 92:37 46, 1986.

6. Garcia Diaz, J.F. and A. Essig. Capacitative transients in voltage clamped epithelia. Biophys. J. 48:519 523, 1985.

Development of ion-selective microelectrodes and the measurement of intracellular ion activities

7. Nagel, W., J.F. Garcia Diaz and W.McD. Armstrong. Intracellular ionic activities in frog skin. J. Membrane Biol. 61:127 134, 1981.

8. Armstrong, W.McD. and J.F. Garcia Diaz. Ion selective microelectrodes. Theory and technique. Federation Proc. 39:2851 2859, 1980.

9. Garcia Diaz, J.F. and W.McD. Armstrong. The steady state relationship between sodium and chloride transmembrane electrochemical potential differences in Necturus gallbladder. J.Membrane Biol.55:213 222, 1980.

10. O’Doherty, J., J.F. Garcia Diaz and W.McD. Armstrong. Sodium selective liquid ion exchanger microelectrodes for intracellular measurements. Science 203: 1349 1351, 1979.


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J. Fernando Garcia-Diaz, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics
Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
700 Albany Street, W408J
Boston MA 02118-2526

Phone:(617) 358-8477
e-mail: fgarcia@bu.edu

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