Skip to Main Content

Hector Rasgado-Flores, PhD

Associate Professor


The aim of our laboratory is to contribute to the understanding of how cells regulate the transport of ions and solutes across their membranes under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In collaboration with Dr. Robert Bridges (RFUMS-North Chicago, USA) we study how exposure to hyperosmotic challenges increase mucocilliary clearance in Cystic Fibrosis patients. In collaboration with Dr. Alicia Ortega (UNAM-Mexico City), we study the biophysical properties of natural and artificial lung surfactants. In collaboration with Dr. Richard Hawkins (RFUMS-North Chicago, USA), we study the mechanisms of transport of taurine across the brain blood barrier.  An additional personal interest is to help understand the physical and physiological basis of why music is such a powerful mood modifier.



Rasgado-Flores, H., Theobald, J., Ruiz, J., Bitner, J.B., Markowitz, S., Zlatnick, D., Yee, P-A., Yee, P-P., Trais, L., Gohar, K., Hergan, D., Buechler,. R., Lajvardi, R.,. and Pena-Rasgado, C. (2004). Cell Volume Sensing and Regulation in Skeletal Muscle Cells: Lessons from an Invertebrate. In Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. Vol. 559. pp 263-292. Cell Volume and Signal Transduction. (P. K. Lauf. And N. Adragna, ed.) Springer. N.Y.

Rasgado-Flores, H., Taylor, S.R., Pena-Rasgado, C., Orgel, J., and Gonzalez-Serratos, H. (2004). Muscle contraction and cell volume changes in skeletal muscle. J. Muscle  Res. Cell. Motil. 25:592-595.

Rasgado-Flores, H., Abel. M.S., Galvez Correa M.C., Peña-Rasgado, C., Rasgado, V. (2006). Science and Music; Music and Science; The Science of Music; The Music of Science (and the making of “Body Notes” a Symphonic Suite about Human Physiology). The Physiologists. 49: 81-87.

DeSantiago, J., Batlle, D., Khilnani, M, Dedhia, S., Kulczyk, J., Duque, R., Ruiz, J., Pena-Rasgado, C., and Rasgado-Flores, H. (2007). Ca2+/H+ exchange via the plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase in skeletal muscle. Frontiers in Bioscience. 12: 4641-4660.

Hubert, M.D., Indyk, E., Pena-Rasgado, C., Pierce, S.K., Rasgado-Flores, H., and Garber, S. (2007). Contribution of Na+/K+ ATPase to volume regulation in a human embryonic kidney cell line. Frontiers in Bioscience. 12: 4352-4361.

Gonzalez-Serratos, H., and Rasgado-Flores, H. (2011). Regulation of intracellular Ca2+ in invertebrate skeletal muscles.  Cell Physiology. (N. Sperelakis, ed). Academic Press.

Rasgado-Flores, Mokashi, A., and Hawkins, R. (2012). Sodium-dependent transport of taurine is found only on the abluminal membrane of the blood-brain blood barrier. Experimental Neurology. 233:457-462

Rasgado-Flores, H., Krishna Mandava, V., Siman, H., Van Driessche, W., Pilewski, J. M., Randell, S., and Bridges R. J. (2013). Effect of Apical Hyperosmotic Sodium Challenge and Amiloride on Sodium Transport in human Bronchial Epithelial Cells from Cystic Fibrosis Donors. Amer. J. Physiol. (Cell Physiol). 305 (11): C1114-22

Rasgado-Flores H. (2015). La simplicidad Cerebral y la Percepción Musical. Las proteínas; en la intersección entre las matemáticas, la física, la química y la biología. Colegio Nacional México. Eds. A. Ortega. E. Juaristi, & S. Gitler. Colegio Nacional. Eds. A. Ortega. E. Juaristi, & S. Gitler. pp: 277-292


Cell Transport and Regulation of Ca2+, Mg2+,

H+, amino acids, Cell Volume Regulation

The goal of our laboratory is to determine how skeletal muscle cells regulate their intracellular environment in response to changes in their needs and function as well as in response to alterations in their extracellular environment. Three main lines of research are pursued: i) Study of the molecular mechanisms of ionic translocation mediated by the sarcolemmal Na+/Ca2+ exchanger and the Ca2+ pump; ii) Characterization of the mechanisms of transport of Mg2+ across the sarcolemma; and iii) Study of the mechanisms by which cells sense and maintain their volume under resting conditions and in response to contraction and changes in the extracellular environment.

Two experimental models are used. The first consists of internally perfused, voltage-clamped, barnacle skeletal muscle cells. This preparation is used to study membrane transport of solutes under conditions in which all the relevant physiological parameters are measured and controlled (i.e., membrane potential , composition of the intra and extracellular environment, membrane tension, and intracellular pressure). The second preparation consists of intact barnacle muscle cells whose basal end is mounted in a glass cannula (to measure intracellular pressure) and the tendon end is mounted in a force transducer. This preparation is used to measure the effect of electrical stimulation on cell volume, isometric force, and intracellular pressure.


Just as important as my scientific career is my role as educator. In particular, I am committed to increasing the participation of Latino students to higher education. 

As an educator I developed a multimedia presentation entitled “Brain, Music and Science”, which led me to be named in 2011 the “Santiago Ramon y Cajal Professor” by the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. I have also received on two occasions the Golden Apple Award for my teaching at the Rosalind Franklin University, and in 2012 I was named “Master Teacher” by this University.

In science policy I have been the Chair of the International Physiology Committee of the American Physiological Society, Member of the U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Physiological Sciences, and Chair of the Research Council of the American Heart Association.

As a promoter of science in Latin America, I founded the Society of Latin American Biophysicists, and also served as its president.  I developed the Latin American initiative project of the American Physiological Society which has supported over 30 symposia in 8 Latin-American countries.

As a promoter of the education of Hispanics in the U.S., I developed the INSPIRE program at the Rosalind Franklin University. This program aims to bring under-represented minority students to higher education. This work has been supported by the Kerr foundation and Abbvie.

Music Compositions

The Elements Suite

Body Notes