Erik Silldorff


Erik Silldorff

Contact Information

Smith Hall, Room No. 347
By Appointment Only


B.A. Biology and Chemistry, University of Delaware
Ph. D. Physiology, University of Delaware

Areas of Expertise

Hormonal control of capillary blood flow in the mammalian kidney


I am not currently performing laboratory research. Over the past several years I have been working with several publishers to develop ideas for a textbook in Human Physiology. I recently formalized an agreement with Jones and Bartlett Learning to produce the book, Mechanisms and Logic in Human Physiology for undergraduate students in Biology and Allied Health fields. Assuming production as planned, this text will come to print (and electronic media) in 2018. 

My research interests and training are in cardiovascular and renal (kidney) physiology. As an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Delaware, I worked in the area of comparative physiology of the renin-angiotensin system. Specifically, I studied the mechanisms of angiotensin II action on the vasculature and cardiac performance in reptiles, including the American alligator. As a post-doctoral fellow at both Penn State and University of Maryland medical schools I worked in the area of hormonal control of capillary blood flow in the mammalian kidney. Studies examined the contractile characteristics of the kidney microcirculation, specifically the descending vasa recta (a particular capillary network), to determine the potential for regulation of total and regional renal blood flow. Focus was on the effects and interactions of molecules acting in a paracrine or autocrine (local) manner within the cortex (outer region) and medulla (inner region) of the kidney. These blood flow studies provided information about the regulation of the urine concentrating mechanism, blood pressure control, and pathological conditions such as acute ischemic renal failure. Techniques utilized included in vitro microperfusion and videomicroscopy for the measurement of blood vessel contractility as well as fluorescent imaging and photometry for the measurement of cellular signaling events. Grants from the American Heart Association and NIH supported this research.


Courses Taught

  • Spring: BIOL 222/222L Humn Anat-Phys II