Internationally recognized physiologist Nancy K. Wills appointed to faculty

Nancy K. Wills
Nancy K. Wills

Dec. 18, 2012 - Nancy K. Wills, an internationally recognized physiologist, has been appointed to the founding faculty of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.

Wills, a professor in the Department of Medical Sciences, is responsible for developing the physiology curriculum for the medical school, which will open in the Fall of 2013.

"I am very pleased to have Nancy as a member of our faculty," said Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the School of Medicine. "She has extensive experience teaching physiology, and will bring that experience to the school to help shape our curriculum."

Wills comes to Quinnipiac from the Texas Chiropractic College, where she was a professor and interim chair in the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry. Before that, she spent the majority of her academic career at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, where her last appointment was as a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology.

Her research interests are in epithelial cell physiology, including epithelial ion channels, physiological mechanisms of diseases in the human retina, and cadmium toxicity in epithelial cells. She is the co-editor and co-author of the textbook, "Epithelial Transport: A Guide to Methods and Experimental Analysis."

In 2006, Wills received a Hope for Vision Award for her innovative contributions in the field of epithelial ion channels in human retinal cells. Hope for Vision supports research aimed at developing treatments and cures for orphan retinal degenerative diseases including retinitis pigmentosa.

Wills earned her doctorate and master's degree in physiological psychology from the University of Virginia. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ohio State University. She also completed postdoctoral training in physiology and biophysics at the University of Texas Medical Branch and in physiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Wills is a member of the American Physiological Society and a former treasurer of the Society of General Physiologists.

In October 2012, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education granted preliminary accreditation and Connecticut's State Board of Education approved the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, which is located on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus.
The medical school, which will train primary care physicians, is aiming to become a national model of interprofessional health professions education and improve the way health care is delivered.

The medical school has named St. Vincent's Medical Center of Bridgeport as its primary clinical partner. It also has affiliations with MidState Medical Center of Meriden and Middlesex Hospital of Middletown.