Michael J. Caplan, M.D. ’87, Ph.D. ’87, was appointed chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, effective April 1. Caplan is an expert in membrane trafficking and the regulation of ion transport proteins in the kidney, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in polycystic kidney disease. He is the C.N.H. Long Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology and professor of cell biology. He also serves as associate director for basic research for the M.D./Ph.D. Program at the School of Medicine.

Caplan’s laboratory focuses on the molecular signals and cellular machinery involved in generating epithelial polarity.

He has received numerous awards, including the School of Medicine’s Charles W. Bohmfalk Teaching Prize, a science and engineering fellowship from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Nephrology, the Henry Pickering Bowditch Award Lectureship of the American Physiological Society, and a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award.

Caplan has led the department since 2008, following the death of his colleague and predecessor, Steven C. Hebert, M.D.