Mark Milanick, PhD


My recent research focuses on developing clinically useful parameters, such as blood pH, plasma potassium, insulin, and osmolarity as well as stool (feces) characteristics in a cost effective way for use both in classroom teaching of health professionals as well as for point of care measurements, particularly in resource poor areas. I also am focused on developing more active learning and kinesthetic activities for teaching pre-health professional students clinically relevant aspects of physiology.

I have also worked on developing approaches for the measurement and interpretation of cortisol levels in humans and animals.

Previously I worked on developing erythrosensors, that is, red blood cells loaded with optically sensitive compounds, for the non-invasive measurement of blood parameters. Before that, I studied the kinetics of the sodium potassium pump, sodium calcium exchanger, plasma membrane calcium pump, and anion exchanger, particularly in red blood cells.

Academic Information



Columbia, MO 65212
United States

Research Interests

  • Erythrosensors
  • Active teaching innovations
  • Point of care techniques
  • Red blood cell physiology
  • Kinetics of membrane transport

Areas of Expertise

  • Sodium Pump Kinetics
  • Plasma Membrane Calcium Pump Kinetics
  • Flipped Classroom Activities
  • Red Blood Cell Physiology
  • Cortisol Physiology

Education & Training


1986, Postdoc, Yale University

Post-Graduate School

1981, PhD, University of Chicago

Awards & Honors

  • NIH funding for 18 years
  • NIH T90/R90 training grant PI
  • NIH postdoctoral fellowship
  • NSF predoctoral fellowship
  • IUPAB travel award to International Physiology Congress, Australia.
  • National Academy of Sciences Eastern European Exchange Fellowship


  • Prstojevich A, Uetrecht M, Watkins SN, Milanick MA. Elephants, snorkels, pressures: modeling snorkeling at depth. Adv Physiol Educ. 2019 Jun 1;43(2):155-158. doi: 10.1152/advan.00191.2018. PubMed PMID: 30933537.
  • Milanick MA. Close, squeeze, open: introducing the cardiac cycle and pressure-volume loop. Adv Physiol Educ. 2018 Jun 1;42(2):390-392. doi: 10.1152/advan.00005.2018. PubMed PMID: 29761709.
  • Guevara KA, Milanick MA. Clarifying renal clearance by visualizing virtual volumes. Adv Physiol Educ. 2017 Sep 1;41(3):441-443. doi: 10.1152/advan.00006.2017. PubMed PMID: 28679585.
  • Katherine Meidl, Samantha Browning, Margaret Urschler, Basima Khan, Mark Milanick Did foul play lead to the patient’s comas? Investigating possible attempted murders by insulin and related compounds. American Biology Teacher, 78(5):417-423. 2016.
  • Urschler, MM, Meidl, KA, Browning, SS. Khan BH, Milanick MA. A kinesthetic activity using LEGO™ and  buckets for illustrating the regulation of blood sugar. Advances in Physiology Education. 2015. Sep;39(3):250-2.
  • Urschler M, Meidl K, Browning S, Khan B, Milanick M. A kinesthetic activity using LEGO bricks and buckets for illustrating the regulation of blood sugar. Adv Physiol Educ. 2015 Sep;39(3):250-2. doi: 10.1152/advan.00056.2015. PubMed PMID: 26330048.
  • Stuart, PE, Lees, KD, Milanick, MA Are They Bloody Guilty? Blood Doping with Simulated Sample The American Biology Teacher 76:328-332, 2014
  • Hollabaugh CR, Milanick MA. Modern communication: exploring physiological transmission through tech-savvy analogies. Adv Physiol Educ. 2014 Jun;38(2):176-80. doi: 10.1152/advan.00071.2013. PubMed PMID: 24913454; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4056177.
  • Hollabaugh, CR, Milanick MA. Modern communication: exploring physiological transmission through tech-savvy analogies. Advances in Physiology Education. 38:176-180, 2014
  • Galva C, Gatto C, Milanick M. Soymilk: an effective and inexpensive blocking agent for immunoblotting. Anal Biochem. 2012 Jul 1;426(1):22-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2012.03.028. Epub 2012 Apr 4. PubMed PMID: 22484036; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3383026.
  • Milanick, MA, Graham K, Wessel, M. Why is That Dog Paralyzed? a Problem-Based Case & Laboratory Exercise about Neuromuscular Transmission. The American Biology Teacher 75:36-39, 2013
  • Milanick, MA, Prewitt, RL. Fact or Fiction? General Chemistry Helps Students Determine the Legitimacy of Television Program Situations. Journal of Chemical Education. 90:904-906, 2013 2012 Jul 1;426(1):22-3.
  • Milanick, MA. Units, Jargon, G-forces and Squirting Blood. The Physics Teacher. 50 410-411, 2012
  • Ritter SC, Milanick MA, Meissner KE. Encapsulation of FITC to monitor extracellular pH: a step towards the development of red blood cells as circulating blood analyte biosensors. Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Jul 1;2(7):2012-21. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.002012. Epub 2011 Jun 22. PubMed PMID: 21750776; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3130585.
  • Milanick MA, Ritter S, Meissner K. Engineering erythrocytes to be erythrosensors: first steps. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 47(2):100-6, 2011 Aug 15;47(2):100-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2011.05.001. PubMed PMID: 21641241.
  • Milanick M. Changes of membrane potential demonstrated by changes in solution color. Adv Physiol Educ. 2009 Sep;33(3):230. doi: 10.1152/advan.00052.2009. PubMed PMID: 19745050.
  • Gatto C, Milanick M. Red blood cell Na pump: Insights from species differences. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2009 May-Jun;42(3):192-200. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2009.01.011. Epub 2009 Mar 5. Review. PubMed PMID: 19268612; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2696618.