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photo of Michael Kirifides

Contact Information

Michael L. Kirifides


Assistant Teaching Professor

Health Sciences Department

Michael L. Kirifides, PhD, is an assistant teaching professor in the Health Sciences program at the College of Nursing and Health Professions. He joined the Department of Health Sciences at Drexel University in 2008. His primary areas of instruction include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and toxicology. In addition to his responsibilities at Drexel, he’s been contributing as an assistant clinical professor for the Physician Assistant graduate program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine since 2009. His faculty appointments before joining Drexel included being a visiting assistant professor of Pharmacology at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where he taught graduate physiology and pharmacology in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. In addition to instruction and course directorship, his professional responsibilities include course and curriculum development in graduate pharmacology, medical terminology and psychiatry. Undergraduate course development included toxicology, physiology, anatomy and neuroscience.

Kirifides earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Drexel University School of Medicine. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1984 and Master of Science in Gerontology Administration in 1989 from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA.

In addition to teaching, Kirifides’ commitment to education includes advising the Health Science students in career planning and is an active member of the Careers Beyond the Bench committee for the Graduate Health Sciences program of Drexel School of Medicine.

Professional Society

Society for Neuroscience
Human Anatomy and Physiology Society
Pain Society

Selected Publications

Project: Electrophysiological, Pharmacological, and Neurochemical Characteristics of Masseter Muscle Afferent Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons

Publication: Harriott, A., Kirifides, M., Dessem, D., Gold, M. (2004). Regulating neuronal Excitability. J Pain, 5(3)

Project: Physiologic and Neurochemical Characterization of Cultured Chicken Trigeminal Ganglion Neurons to the Chemesthetic Compounds Methyl Anthranilate and Capsaicin

Publication: Kirifides, M. L., Kurnellas, M. P., Clark, L., & Bryant, B. (2004). Calcium responses of chick trigeminal ganglion neurons to methyl anthranilate and capsaicin. J Exp Biol, 207:715-722

Thesis: Topographic and Neurochemical Organization of the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus with Respect to the Ascending Trigeminal Somatosensory System in the Rat

Publication: Kirifides, M. L., Simpson, K. L., Lin, R. C., Waterhouse, B. D. (2001). Topographic Organization and Neurochemical Identity of Dorsal Raphe Neurons that Project to the Trigeminal Somatosensory Pathway in the Rat. J Comp Neurol, 435(3):325-40

Research Interests

Kirifides' research skills in neuroscience include active vs passive learning approaches in improving undergraduate performance in health sciences, as well as bench skills in biophysics using intracellular electrophysiology, ratiometric calcium imaging, fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.

2003 – 04 University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore MD 21201, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Dental Postdoctoral Research Training Program

2001 – 02 Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Postdoctoral Fellow

1992 – 99 Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA 19102, Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience

1989 St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA 19131, Master of Science in Gerontological Services

Administrative Internship: United Methodist House, Philadelphia, PA 19151

1984 St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA 19131, Bachelor of Science in Biology