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Robin Michaels

Associate Professor

Robin L. Michaels, Assistant Professor

Assistant Dean, Essentials Core Medical Curriculum
Cell and Developmental Biology
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1983


Office Location: RC-1 South, Room 11124

Mailing Address:

Mail Stop 8108​
12801 East 17th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045

Phone (303) 724-3402
Fax: (303) 724-3420


Department Affiliations

Cell and Developmental Biology

Other Program Affiliations

Dean’s Office, School of Medicine
Colorado State Anatomical Board
Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center
CU Mini Med School
Academy of Medical Educators

Medical School Education and Curriculum Development

In August of 2005, the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine implemented a new curriculum that focused on presenting basic sciences in a clinical context, provided more active learning opportunities, and created a partnership between faculty, administration and students aimed at preparing our students for a career in medicine. The first class to complete the new four year curriculum graduated in the spring of 2009. The Department of Cell and Developmental Biology has a teaching mission that supports this new curriculum in a number of disciplines including gross anatomy, cell biology, embryology, histology and neurobiology.

Essentials Core Curriculum

The Essentials Core comprises the first 18 months of medical education and consists of nine blocks, co-directed by a basic scientist and a clinician. I have multiple roles in the Essentials Core:

Director and Interim Associate Dean of the Essentials Core Curriculum:

Overseeing student, faculty and block director issues in Phases I and II. Chair of the Essentials Core Block Directors (ECBD) Committee.

Director and/or lecturer in the following blocks:

Human Body Block, Phase 1: Lab instructor and lecturer
Digestive, Endocrine and Metabolic Systems Block, Phase II: Co-Director and lecturer
Life Cycle Block, Phase II: Lecturer


I am a member of the Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center that is housed in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. The NIH-funded Center consists of multiple investigators (Directors Tom Finger and Diego Restrepo) investigating various aspects of animal behavior in response to odors or tastants along with the cell and molecular aspects of sensory processing.

Rash, J.E., Davidson, K.G., Kamasawa, N., Yasumura, T., Kamasawa, M., Zhang, C., Michaels, R.L., Restrepo, D., Ottersen, O.P., Olson, C.O. and Nagy, J.I. (2006). Ultrastructural Localization of Connexins (Cx36, Cx43, Cx45), Glutamate Receptors and Aquaporin-4 in Rodent Olfactory Mucosa, Olfactory Nerve and Olfactory Bulb. J. Neurocytology, 34: 307-341.

Jafek, B.W., Murrow, B., Michaels, R.L., Restrepo, D. and M. Linschoten. (2002). Biopsies of human olfactory epithelium. Chem. Senses 27: 623-628.

Gomez, G., Rawson, N., Hahn, C., Michaels, R.L. and D. Restrepo. (2000). Characteristics of odorant elicited calcium changes in cultured human olfactory neurons. J. Neuroscience Res. 62: 737-749.

*Martinez-Dunst, C., *Michaels, R.L. and P.A. Fuchs. (1997). Release sites and calcium channels in hair cells of the chick’s cochlea. J. Neuroscience 17(23): 9133-9144 (*co-first author).

Fuchs, P.A., Zidanic, M., Michaels, R.L., Yuhas, W. and G.-J. Jiang. (1997). Ion channels and synaptic function in chick cochlear hair cells. In: Psychophysical and Physiological Advances in Hearing, 11th International Symposium on Hearing (Whurr Publishers, London).

Jiang, G.-J., Zidanic, M., Michaels, R.L., Michel, T., Griguer, C. and P. Fuchs. (1997). Cslo encodes calcium activated potassium channels in the chick’s cochlea. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 264: 731-737.