A welcome from the Director of the Physiology Research Center

I would like to extend my warm welcome for visiting our website. The Physiology Research Center was established in the main campus of the Semnan University of Medical Sciences in 2003 and currently is known as one of the top 50 among 150 scientific institutions in Iran. The main goal of this center activities are as followings:

1- Neurobiology of learning and memory, using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques.

2- Acute and chronic stress effects on cognitive functions (learning and memory)

3- Behavioral, histological and molecular studies of chronic stress and related psychological disturbances

4- Cerebral ischemia and edema and therapeutic methods

5- Cardiovascular studies of high blood pressure and herbal therapeutic effects

6- Neuropathic pain studies

7- Drug dependency (opium) and non-medicinal treatments (physical exercise therapies)

The center is equipped with research laboratories, space for breeding and maintenance of animals (mostly rodents), a meeting room and student room for internet access. Some of the research labs in this center have cooperation with the main research institutions in the country and also have affiliation to National Cognitive Organization unit of governmental deputy of research.

The ten full time faculty of research at the center also have full time contribution to the medical education. Currently, there are PhD and Master’s students in physiology as well as other postgraduate students in biochemistry, biophysics and immunology and also medical students, who are training under the supervision at the center.  

One of the main goals of this center is to extend its cellular and molecular facilities and also have substantial contribution in research at the international levels. For this to be achieved, we are extending our research activities to overseas Universities and have our contributions with internationally well known researchers from different European, American and Asia-Pacific countries. Likewise, we would like to announce that we have enough space and facilities to admit postgraduate students with strong background in medical basic sciences from overseas for our educational new year, which starts at October 2016.

I would like to thank you for your interest in our center and looking forward to extend our greetings to new national and international researchers and students from various basic and interdisciplinary backgrounds. We do our best to provide a suitable professional and friendly environment for those who like to join our joyful and hard working team in future.

Best Regards,

Ali Rashidy-pour, PhD, Full Prof. Physiology(CV)

Director of the Physiology Research Center

Semnan University of Medical Sciences

Semnan, Iran

Phone: +98 023 33654170 (ext 551)

Email:  rashidy-pour@semums.ac.ir

A message from the Deputy Director of the Physiology Research Center

I would like to welcome your visit to The Physiology Research Center of the Semnan University of Medical Sciences. As a faculty member and deputy director of the center, I began my activities since fall 2014. Currently, besides my duties as the deputy director, I am engaged with three research projects in the area of the “neuropathic pain” and also a few research activities in the area of the cognition (learning and memory). I am also functioning as a co-advisor for some of the projects related to the PhD and doctorate students.

I would be happy to announce that we have enough facilities for admission of new postgraduate students in various fields of the medical sciences and particularly PhD by research in physiology.

Please feel free to contact me at my office any time for more information regarding center facilities and our rule and regulation for new student admission.

Best Regards,

Ali Ghanbari, PhD,(CV)

Deputy Director of The Physiology Research Center

Assistant Prof. in Neuroscience

Phone:+98 023 33654170 (ext 308)


Learning and memory Laboratories

The main research activities in these labs include: electrophysiology and Behavioral studies. 

Dr. Rashidy-Pour's laboratory & Dr Vafaei as collaborator

A- Electrophysiological Recording Lab.

The principal research interest of this laboratory is to understand the cellular / neurophysiological mechanisms underlying neuronal function with focus on the critical role of the hippocampus and other brain areas in neuronal plasticity.  Also we focus particularly on a remarkable form of synaptic plasticity known as long-term potentiation or LTP on hippocampus, single unit recording and field potential from brain nucleus, which are involved in processes of learning and memory.

Lab facilities and instruments

Oscilloscopes, Microelectrode amplifiers. Stimulators, Steriotaxic and Brain Vibroslices and so on. 

Ali Rashidy-Pour, Ph.D, Professor of physiology

Email: rashidy-pour@semums.ac.ir

Dr. Vafaei's  laboratory & Dr Rashidy-pour as collaborator

B- Behavioral Laboratories

The main goal of this lab is testing the effects of environmental, physical and pharmacological agents on various aspects of cognitive functions in experimental animals including rats and mice. We use different models for testing the spatial and non-spatial (classical and inhibitory conditioning) memory and anxiety. These methods are as following:

- Auditory Fear conditioning task

- Passive Avoidance task

- T maze

- Fear conditioning task

-Morris water maze

- Elevated plus maze

- Motor movement measurement

Abbas Ali Vafaei, Ph.D, Professor of physiology,(CV)

Email: aavaf43@semums.ac.ir

Students in our labs are:

Shafiaa S, Drafshpour L, Dadkhah M, Moradi N, Abdollahi P, Ghalandari M, Nourizad S (PhD students)

Mohammadi F, Shahroudi A (MSc students)

Boustani A, Rajabzadeh H (medical students)

Currently, we have few vacancies for new postgraduate students in physiology.

Current research projects:

- Studying the effect of voluntary exercise and crocin on cognitive and behavioral impairments induced by juvenile’ chronic stress in adult male rats

- Investigating the effects and potential mechanisms of the protective effects of acute morphine administration on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder –PTSD- in an experimental model

- Studying the role of pre and infra limbic of prefrontal cortex and glucocorticoid receptors on retrieval and extinction memory in fear conditional model in rat: Behavioral, Biochemical, Histological study

- Studying the interaction of cannabinoid and glucocorticoid receptors in Infralimbic of prefrontal cortex, CA1 of Hippocampus and Basolateral amygdala on extinction memory in fear conditional model in rat

- Studying the therapeutic effects of spirulina microalgae, voluntary exercise and environmental enrichment on cognitive-behavioral impairment, structural, molecular and electrophysiological changes induced by juvenile stress in adult female rats

Recent Publications

- Shafiee SM, Vafaei AA, Rashidy-Pour A. Effects of maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy on learning, memory and hippocampal BDNF in rat pups: Beneficial effects of exercise.Neuroscience. 2016 Aug 4;329:151-61.

- Amiri S, Jafarian Z, Vafaei AA, Motaghed-Larijani Z, Samaei SA, Rashidy-Pour A. Glucocorticoids Interact with Cholinergic System in Impairing Memory Reconsolidation of an Inhibitory Avoidance Task in Mice.Basic Clin Neurosci. 2015 Jul;6(3):155-62.

- Ahmadalipour A, Sadeghzadeh J, Vafaei AA, Bandegi AR, Mohammadkhani R,Rashidy-Pour A. Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral deficits and alterations in hippocampal BDNF induced by prenatal exposure to morphine in juvenile rats.Neuroscience. 2015 Oct 1;305:372-83

- Mohammadkhani R, Darbandi N, Vafaei AA, Ahmadalipour A, Rashidy-Pour A.

Glucocorticoid-induced impairment of long-term memory retrieval in female rats: influences of estrous cycle and estrogen.Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Feb;118:209-15. 

Dr K. Sedaghat's Laboratory

My laboratory is basically engaged with molecular and histological studies after a period of chronic stress. My main interest is studying the neuroenocrinological bases of alterations that chronic stress induces on the brain morphology and function. In this regard, the neuropsychological disturbances, such as “depression” is of the particular interest to me. The scope of my interest also extends to cognitive modulations at the behavioral and cellular levels, which are provoked by periods of chronic stress. Currently, we are examining the “chronic unpredictable mild stress, CUMS” and “chronic constriction stress” models to enforce the changes in rodent mood and cognition, in respective order. Then brains are taken for the protein assays, using western blot and immunohistochemistry, to detect further molecular alterations and also histological studies for studying the morphological modulations.

At the mean time, I am supervising two Master’s students and my lab has vacancies for other postgraduate students who want to pursue their research experiences in the field of neuroendocrinology.

Katayoun Sedaghat, PhD,(CV )

Assistant Prof. in Neuroscience/physiology

Email: katsedaghat@gmail.com

Dr. Zahedi Khorasani's Laboratory

Cardiovascular & Hypertension Lab

My lab is engaged with mainly studying the underlying mechanisms of hypertension and finding novel therapeutic agents such as medical plants as an anti-hypertensive medicine. Part of the experiments and research subjects are also conducted under the supervision of Dr. Abedin Vakili. The Hypertension & Cardiovascular Research lab was established in 2007 as part of physiological research center.  Arterial hypertension is the number one risk factor for cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases, which leads to death of many human beings each year. Arterial hypertension is responsible for multiple target organ damages. It promotes (i) atherosclerotic macroangiopathy ensuing stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and myocardial infarction; (ii) atherosclerotic microangiopathy ensuing stroke, vascular dementia, hypertensive retinopathy, and nephropathy (iii) intracerebral haemorrhage; (iv) cardiac failure. Animal models such as Goldblatt hypertension are used for the investigating the underlying mechanisms of hypertension and development of new drug therapies. In "Goldblatt" hypertension experiments, the renal arteries of one or two kidneys are clamped, reducing renal perfusion pressure and flow. This activates renin-angiotension system chronically and subsequently increased blood pressure continuously. Since drug therapy has many problems and side effects, we are interested in considering alternative treatments like exercise, reduction in stress and phytotherapy. Our lab facilities are consisted of: physiograph & blood pressure transducerc, Pneumatic plethysmograph, binocular surgical microscope, temperature control unite and isometric contraction transducer & blood e Pressure transducer.

We produce hypertension by Goldblatt method:

Animals anesthetized with ketamin-xylocine the left kidney exposed and a silver clip with internal diameter of 0.2 mm placed on the kidney’s artery and sutures the surgery site. One month later, hypertensive rats are anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium and placed on the rat temperature unit to maintain a constant rectal temperature of 36.5 ±0.5 °C. Femoral vein is cannulated for extract injection. Femoral artery also is cannulated with a heparinized cannula that connected to a pressure transducer for continuous measurements of arterial BP and heart rate.  

Some of our research subjects are as following:

·        Evaluating the effect of Teucrium polium extract (oral) on high blood pressure in rat model of renovascular hypertension: Goldblatt method (worked as a Master’s student thesis project)  

·        Evaluating the therapeutic effect of Grape seed extract on high blood pressure induced by lead Poisonous in the rat

·        Evaluation effect of Ferula persicaand Viscum album on hypertension (Master’s student project)

·        Evaluation effect of medical plants on hypertension associated with diabetes mellitus (medical student research project)

Some of my recent papers are as following:

Naciri Z, Zahedi Khorasani M, Vakili A, Sameni HR, Jarrahi M. Dietary saffron reduced the blood pressure and prevented remodeling of the aorta in L-NAME-induced hypertensive rats. IJBMS , in press 2015.

MomenAbadi S, Zahedi Khorasani M, Vakili A. Evaluation the effects of intravenous and intraperitoneal injection of Lavandula angustifolia L. oil on normal blood pressure in the male rat. J Gorgan Uni Med Sci, in press 2015.

MomenAbadi S, Sameni HR, Zahedi Khorasani M, Vakili A.  Evaluation the nutritional effect of Lavandula angustifolia L. essential oil on normal and high blood pressure and changes of the aorta in the rat. J Med Plants, in press, 2015

Currently there are few vacancies in this lab for Master’s and PhD students in physiology.

M. Zahedi Khorasani, PhD,(CV)

Associate Prof. in Physiology



Dr Jarrahi's  Laboratory

 I pursue my subjects of interests in neurophysiology in three subjects and in three laboratores, which were established in 2005 as a part of physiology research center.

Neurophysiology Simulation (Action potential, NCV and EMG) Research Lab

The neurophysiology simulation research lab is engaged with electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and Action potential experiments.

EMG involves inserting a fine needle into a muscle to compare the amount of electrical activity present when muscles are at rest and when they contract. EMG tests can help differentiate between muscle and nerve disorders.

NCV tests can precisely measure the degree of damage in larger nerve fibers, revealing whether symptoms are being caused by degeneration of the myelin sheath or the axon. During this test, a probe electrically stimulates a nerve fiber, which responds by generating its own electrical impulse. An electrode placed further along the nerve’s pathway measures the speed of impulse transmission along the axon. Slow transmission rates and impulse blockage tend to indicate damage to the myelin sheath, while a reduction in the strength of impulses is a sign of axonal degeneration.

The primary goal of our research is to identify new drugs for treating some kinds of neuropathies. One of the subjects of our investigations is:

The effects of progesterone on neuropathic pain responses in an experimental animal model for peripheral neuropathy in the rat: a behavioral and electrophysiological study.

Wound healing Lab

Wound healing, is the body's natural process of regenerating dermal and epidermal tissue. Plants and their extracts have immense potential for treatment of wounds.

Our researchlabhas been focused on treatment of wounds by medicinal plants and folk remedy. Animal models of wounds can be great help for research of therapeutic strategies. The wound healing lab has facilities such as: Surgery suite – small animals (guinea pigs – Rat – and rabbit), general and local anesthesia, individual housing, planimetry analysis for measuring wound contraction, histological measurements of wound healing and biomechanical characteristics of wound (in related departments).

Motor Coordination Lab

The Motor Coordination Laboratory is designed for the study of neurophysiological and biomechanical factors in rat motor control. The laboratory is equipped with a variety of equipments such as rotarod, beam walking and a new designed apparatus. The rotarod test is used to assess motor coordination and balance in rodents. Rats have to keep their balance on a rotating rod. It measures the time (latency) which takes the rat to fall off the rod rotating at different speeds or under continuous acceleration (e.g. from 4 to 40rpm). We have designed a new apparatus for the study of motor Coordination in rat considering:

·        Comparison of beam walking with and without our new designed apparatus to measure the fine motor control

·        Testing the new designed apparatus for motor skills memory

At the meantime, there are few vacancies for Master’s student at my lab.

M. Jarrahi, PhD,(CV).

Assistant Prof. in Neuroscience

Email: jarrahi44@yahoo.com

Dr. Miladi-Gorji's  Laboratory

Laboratory of Animal Addiction Models

The Laboratory of Animal Addiction Models was established at the physiology Research Center. So far, different models of drug dependency (morphine, methamphetamine) and tolerance to analgesic effects of morphine and Conditioned place preference (CPP) were conducted in this laboratory. My main research interests include the evaluation of exercise (Voluntary running wheel, Treadmill, Swimming), environmental enrichment and also herbal medicine on drug abuse-induced cognitive, behavioral deficits, such as; Learning and memory, Behavioral withdrawal signs, grooming behaviors, (OCD), anxiety, voluntary drug consumption using a two-bottle choice paradigm (TBC), behavioral sensitization, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying drug addiction, Brain BDNF, apoptosis-associated proteins, hippocampus neuron counting and so on. I have supervised several theses of graduate and medical students.  Meantime, there are two Masters and two PhD students working in this laboratory. In near future, human studies of addictionis planned to be pursued by my lab.


Head of this center
Dr. Ali Rashidi poor
Ph.D Physiology