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Charles McCormack, PHD


During my first 25 years at FUHS/CMS (1964-1990), I maintained a productive research program in neuroendocrinology, publishing numerous papers on the control of (1) the ovulation-inducing luteinizing hormone (LH) surge,(2) the timing of ovulation, and (3) seasonal reproduction. The most significant achievements of my students and I were (a) showing that the progesterone which is secreted prior to ovulation facilitates LH secretion, and (b) proving that the rhythm of LH secretion is circadian in nature, and that the phase of the rhythm can be shifted by light-dark signals. Although I am no longer actively involved in research, I still enjoy attending the journal clubs of the endocrine physiologists in our department, i.e. Drs. Celia Sladek and Janice Urban, and also serve on the Ph.D. thesis committees of some of their students. Currently, my major role in the department is to direct our medical physiology course. As an important part of this, I lecture in the following areas: pulmonary function, exercise, integrative acid-base balance, adrenal hormones, insulin, glucagon, diabetes mellitus, fasting, and calcium homeostasis. I also teach elective courses for second year medical students on cardiovascular pathophysiology and pulmonary pathophysiology. Having taught almost all areas of physiology, I am able to recognize the physiological relationships that are essential for survival more readily than can someone who has taught in only one area. I am also very interested in developing ways to help students understand the essential physiological concepts that comprise the basis of medical practice. This includes (1) development of test questions (multiple choice) that can only be answered correctly if the student understands the concept being tested - students should need more than a good memory to pass our examinations; (2) development of practice problem sets in all areas of physiology, so students know what is expected of them; (3) development of review materials in physiology for Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination