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Eileen S. Rodriguez-Tapia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor (Fixed Term),

Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Dr. Eileen S. Rodriguez-Tapia
1355 Bogue St.
East Lansing, MI 48824


Phone: (517) 353-7145 | 

  • 2009 - B.S. Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico-Cayey
  • 2015 - Ph.D. Neuroscience, Michigan State University 
  • Dr. Eileen Rodríguez comes from the island of Puerto Rico.  As an individual coming from an underrepresented minority background, she participated for several years in research education programs established at MSU.  These training programs helped her develop a set of skills that were critical for the start and successful completion of a doctorate degree in Neuroscience at MSU.  During her doctorate thesis she used selective neurotoxins and electrophysiology to study the physiological role of neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels in regulating intestinal motility patterns.  She has a strong commitment with outreach activities that help promote diversity in our institution.  In this line, she collaborated to organize and conduct an interactive workshop targeted to Hispanic students to promote awareness of research and science as viable career options.  Her current research interests focus on identifying the physiological role of ion channels, particularly neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels, in diseases that affect the nervous system. In addition, she is particularly interested in furthering understanding of how the gut environment can modulate diseases of the nervous system through the brain-gut axis.  Dr. Rodríguez is also working to support current training grants and help establish new research education programs to enhance the ability to recruit, train, and most importantly to retain underrepresented minority students and contribute to increase diversity in our institutional community.  
  • 2017 - Selected as Junior Faculty-Mentor for the National Enhancement of Underrepresented Academic Leaders (NEURAL). 
  • 2015 - John Forte Gastrointestinal and Liver Section Distinguished Abstract Plenary Session, Experimental Biology National Conference 
  • 2014 - 2016 National Institute of Health Grant Supplement Award: "Purinergic Neurotransmission in the Gut"
  • 2014 - Next Generation Award Co-Recipient, Society for Neuroscience  
  • 2013 - 2014 Future Academic Scholars in Teaching Fellowship Sponsored by the MSU Center for the Integration of research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), Michigan State University 

Colón-Rodríguez A, Tiernan CT, Rodríguez-Tapia ES, Atchison WD. Bridge to neuroscience workshop: An effective educational tool to introduce principles of neuroscience to Hispanics students.  PLoS ONE. 2019;14(12):e0225116. 
Rodríguez-Tapia E, Perez-Medina A, Bian X, Galligan JJ. Functional up-regulation of L-type calcium channel function in the colon of P/Q-type calcium channel deficient (Tottering) mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol.2016;311(4):G763-G774. 
Rodríguez-Tapia E, Naidoo V, DeVries M, Perez-Medina A, Galligan J.  R-type Ca2+ channels couple to nitric oxide-mediated but not purinergic inhibitory neuromuscular transmission in the longitudinal muscle of the guinea pig ileum. Exp Physiol.2017;102(3):299-313.   

Rodríguez-Tapia E, Galligan JJ.   2011.  A new player in neuromuscular transmission in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterology.2011;140(2):397-400 (editorial).