Rafael Gruener

Rafael Gruener

Designated Campus Colleague


            University of Arizona Department of Physiology, College of Medicine

            Assistant Professor                                                                 1968-1972

            Associate Professor                                                                 1972-1980

            Professor                                                                                 1980-2009

            Director, Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs                       1989-1995

            Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona                             2009-present

            Scientist in Residence, NPC UA Tucson AZ                         2010-2014

            Scientist in Residence, CEAC UA Tucson AZ                      2015-present


            University of Arizona Office of Economic Development

            Director, Technology Initiatives                                              2005-2009



            U. California @ San-Diego; Scripps Inst. Oceanography          1967-1968

             University College London, Great Britain                                1966-1967

             The Salk Institute @ La Jolla, CA (summers)                         1977-1980  

             U. Maryland, Baltimore MD; Department of Physiology          1985-6

                DLR (German Space Biology Lab), Cologne                           1988

      Tokyo Medical & Dental University                                              1990, 1991

                Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Neurobiology Dept                 1994-1995

                Nagoya Institute for Environmental Medicine & Biology          1996-1997



            Developmental Neurobiology, Space Biology, Membrane Excitability,

                Translational Research, Economic Development of Science Parks & International

                Biotechnology collaborations, Plant Science (Aeroponics, Hydroponics)



NASA Research Grant (Synaptic Development)                                         1984-1992

NASA Research Grant (Synaptic Development)                                         1987-1991

Flinn Foundation Senior Investigator Grant                                                  1987-1990

NATO Senior Investigator Fellowship                                                           1989-1990

Japanese Government Science Exchange Fellow                                       1992

NASA Contract: Space Flight Expt: Myocytes in Culture                             1992-1993                           

NASA Research Grant (Co-I; Dominick Deluca PI)                                     2001-2003

NIH/NIDA Cholinergic receptor desensitization (PI: Ron Lukas)                 2003-2005

EDA Economic Impact of Science Park on Disadvanated communities

                CoI, Lay Gibson, PI                                                                       2007-2008

NASA Grant: Effects of Vector-Averaged Gravity on Immune Cells           2007-2008

                                PI (at request of UA/NASA subsequent to death

                             Of Dr. Dom DeLuca, original PI)

IALC Seed Grant: Germination of Recalcitrant Seeds of

Medicinal Plants. PI (Elaine Solowey, Arava Inst., Co-PI)                          2013-2014


National & International outreach Service                  

Comm. Space Res (COSPAR), meeting session organizer                      1990-2

ASGSB, meeting session organizer                                                           1991, 1992

National Research Council, NAS Special Grants Review Panel               1996-2002

Nagoya University Foreign Advisory Board                                               1996-2002

Organizer, State of AZ delegation to BIO                                                    2003,2004

Organizer & Leader, Tucson Technology Mission to Israel (OED)            2004

Organizer, Technology Innovation Awards (OED)                                     2005-2009



            Director of Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs 1989-1995

                        Directed academic and budget activities of 19

                        graduate interdisciplinary programs




                Dept of Commerce, Economic Develop (appt)                             2002-2005

                Dept of Commerce, Marketing (appt)                                            2002-2005

                Battelle Study Advisory Committee (substitute)                            2002-2004

                Arizona BioIndustry Association (Board member, elected)          2002-2004, 2006-8


                Biology 21 chairs and directors Group                                         1990-1996

                Executive Board, Office of International Programs                      1994-1996

                Chair, University Research Policy Committee                             1997-1999

                Science & Technology Park Exec Comm (ex-officio)                 1997-1998

              Faculty Governance

            Committee of Eleven (elected)                                                         1992-2009

                Faculty Senate (elected)                                                               1993-2009

              Technology Transfer Comm. Ex-Officio                                         1997-1999

            College of Medicine                                  

                Neurology Dept Review Committee (co-chair)                             1989           

                MD/PhD Program Advisory Committee                                        1990-1998


                Assn. Neurosci. Depts. & Prog. (ANDP) UA Rep.                    1983-1898                   

                ANDP, Exec. Council Member (elected)                                    1985-1987                      

                ASGSB, Board of Governors (elected)                                      1989-1992

                NSF Ad-Hoc Grant Review Panel                                              1990, 1991,1999,2000

              National Research Council Fellowship Evaluation Comm           1996-2001

                Foreign Advisory Board, University of  NagoyaRIEM               1995-2008


UA Innovation Day Celebration (founding organizer; introducer of 5' videos)




PUBLICATIONS (selected )                                                                      

D. Geduldig and R. Gruener. Voltage Clamp of the Aplysia Giant Neurone: Early Sodium and Calcium Currents. J. Physiol.(London) 211:217-244, 1970.                                                                                                   

R. Gruener and T. Narahashi. The Mechanism of Excitability Blockade by Chlorpromazine. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap. 181:161-170, 1972.                                                                                         

R. Gruener. Mode of Action of the Venom of the Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus Hesperus) on the Excitability of the Squid Giant Axon. Toxicon 11 (2):155-166, 1973.                                     

R. Gruener, N. Baumbach, and D. Coffee. Reduction of Denervation Supersensitivity of Muscle by SubMechanical Threshold Stimulation. Nature 248:68-69, 1974.                                            

Y. Kidokoro and R. Gruener. Distribution and Density of a-Bungarotoxin Binding Sites on Innervated and Noninnervated Xenopus Muscle Cells in Culture. Dev. Biol. 91:78-85, 1982.                                                                                                               

R. Gruener and Y. Kidokoro. Acetylcholine Sensitivity of Innervated and Noninnervated Xenopus Muscle Cells in Culture. Dev. Biol. 91:86-92, 1982.                                                                                                                   

B. J. Kripke, T. J. J. Blanck, D. A. Sizemore, F. L. Comunale, J. Christiansen, and R. Gruener. Association of Post-Anesthetic Hyperthermia with Abnormal Muscle Characteristics. Can. Anesth. Soc. J. 30(3):290-294, 1983.                                                                                        

J. Lechleiter and R. Gruener. Halothane Shortens Acetylcholine Receptor Channel Kinetics without Affecting Conductance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 81:2929-2936, 1984.                 

Gruener, R. and Hoeger, G. Vector-Free Gravity Disrupts Synapse Formation in Cell Culture. Am. J. Physiol. 258 (Cell Physiol. 27): C489-C494, 1990

R. Gruener, R. Roberts and R. Reitstetter. Reduced receptor aggregation and altered cytoskeleton in cultured myocytes after space-flight. Japanese J. of Biol. Sci. in Space 8(2): 79-93, 1994.

H. M. Chang, R. Reitstetter, R.P. Mason and R. Gruener. Attenuation of channel kinetics and conductance by cholesterol: An interpretation using structural stress as a unifying concept. J. Memb. Biol. 143: 56-63, 1995.

R. Reitstetter, R. Lukas & R. Gruener. Dependence of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Recovery from Desensitization on the Duration of Agonist Exposure. J. Pharm. Exptl. Ther. 289(2): 656-660,  1999.

Woods CC. Banks KE. Gruener R. DeLuca D. Loss of T cell precursors after spaceflight and exposure to vector-averaged gravity. FASEB Journal. 17(11):1526-8, 2003.

Gibson L, Wright B, Gruener R & Kochi-Pavlakovich V. Closing the Industry-Community Gap Through Community Engagement: Hi Tech/Biotech’s new Frontier. EDA Proj 077905928 (2008)

Lebsack TW, Fa V, Woods CC, Gruener R, Manziello AM, Pecaut MJ, Gridley DS, Stodieck LS, Ferguson VL, Deluca D.: Microarray analysis of spaceflown murine thymus tissue reveals changes in gene expression regulating stress and glucocorticoid receptors. J Cell Biochem. 2010 110(2):372-81.

Woods CC, Banks KE, Lebsack TW, White TC, Anderson GA, Maccallum T, Gruener R, DeLuca D.: Use of a microgravity organ culture dish system to demonstrate the signal dampening effects of modeled microgravity during T cell development. Dev Comp Immunol. 2005 29(6):565-82.


Publications from CALS, SNRE & NPC                                                                                     

E. M. Kithsiri Wijeratne, Patricia Espinosa-Artiles, Raphael Gruener, and A. A. Leslie Gunatilaka: Thielavialides A−E, Nor-Spiro-azaphilones, and a Bis-spiroazaphilone from Thielavia sp. PA0001, An Endophytic Fungus Isolated from Aeroponically Grown Physalis alkekengi† Jnl Natural Products 77: 1467-1472, 2014


Bieberstein Pv, Xu Ym, Gunatilaka AAL, Gruener R: Biomass Production and Withaferin A Synthesis by Withania somnifera  Grown in Aeroponics and Hydroponics. HORTScience 49 (12): 1506-1509,  2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rev 5-2015


  • U. California, Berkeley (Physiology), B. Sc. 1961
  • U. Illinois, Urbana (Physiology & Biochemistry), Ph. D. 1966