Randall L. Given, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor

  • Affiliations:
    Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology, School of Medicine
  • Member, Division of Anatomy
  • Member, Division of Humanities and Basic Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences
  • Director, Molecules, Cells and Tissues Course, School of Medicine Year 1 Curriculum
  • Route: 1069 2.143K Medical Research Building (MRB)
  • Tel: (409) 772-3366
  • Fax: (409) 762-9382
  • rlgiven@utmb.edu
  • Given CV

Randall L. Given, Ph.D.


Bachelor of Science, University of Idaho, 1972

Doctor of Philosophy, Washington University, Saint Louis, 1978

Postgraduate Research Biologist, University of California at Davis, 1976-1979

Postgraduate Developmental Biologist, Oregon Health Sciences University, 1979-1982

Educational Interests

I have been involved in the first year curriculum in the Schools of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences for many years teaching Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology.  I have major responsibilities in the teaching of Gross Anatomy to medical students and physicians assistant and physical therapy students.  I participate in lecture and laboratory teaching and as a facilitator in the problem-based small group activities.  We cover all aspects of gross anatomy as well as cross-sectional anatomy and its applications to MRI and CT imaging.  In addition, I present several lectures in the area of developmental biology and systems embryology, an area close to my research interests.  Recently, I became the course director for the year one module Molecules, Cells, and Tissues (MCT).  I administer all aspects of the presentation of the course including lectures, labs, PBL sessions, and examinations.  The general aims of the MCT course are twofold. First, to help students obtain knowledge, at an introductory level, of relevant concepts that deal with the normal structure and function of the body at the near cellular level and second, to help students obtain experience in applying those introductory concepts to understand and resolve human diseases. The course is divided into six thematic topic areas which progress from an overall view of the cell to its basic functions, its influence in the organism, and in turn its susceptibility to outside factors. The course examines development at the cellular and tissue level and major functions of the cell such as signaling, energy metabolism, contractility, and membrane transport and excitability. Structure and function of DNA and proteins and their translation to molecular and Mendelian genetics are discussed. Influences on the cell are discussed in terms of pharmacology and pharmaco-genetics.  Courses in the first year curriculum are described further at the Instruction Management Office website.

Research Interests

My research interests over the years have revolved around structural and functions changes related to the first interactions of the embryo with the maternal endometrium, a process called implantation.  I have looked at several species, including the mouse, rat, hamster, and rhesus.  This research has included fine structural studies of endometrial changes during the delayed and induced implantation periods and the differentiation of the primitive endoderm of the mouse.  Other studies involve structural, cytochemical, and immunohistochemical changes in the trophoblast and endometrium during the peri-implantation period with particular emphasis on changes in the basal lamina adjacent to the invading embryo and its barrier function.  Adjacent decidual cells were found to play a key role in potentiating movement of trophoblast cell processes through this area.  These studies utilized light and electron microscopy, biochemical assays, and development of immunohistochemical staining protocols.  Recently work has evaluated the role of nitric oxide on the development of the mouse and rat embryo during the peri-implantation period and correlated development to changes in nitric oxide synthase activity in adjacent endometrial vasculature.  Immunochemical studies have also examined the role of gastrin on tumor development in wild type and transgenic gastrin enhanced mice.  Other studies examined of the synergistic role of antiprogestins combined with aromatase and nitric oxide synthase inhibitors in the continuation and duration of early pregnancy in the rat and hamster.

Selected Publications

Enders, A.C., Given, R.L. and Schlafke, S.  Differentiation and migration of endoderm in the rat and mouse at implantation.  Anat. Rec. 190:65-78, 1978.

Schlafke, S., Enders, A.C., and Given, R.L. Cytology of the endometrium of delayed and early implantation. J. Reprod. Fertil. Suppl. 29:135-141, 1980.

Given, R.L. and Weitlauf, H.M. Resumption of DNA synthesis during activation of delayed implanting mouse blastocysts.  J. Exp. Zool. 218, 253-295, 1981.

Given, R.L. and Enders, A.C.  The endometrium of delayed and early implantation. In, BIOLOGY OF THE UTERUS, R.M. Wynn and W.P. Jollie, (eds.).  Plenum Publishing Corp., New York, pp. 175-231, 1989.

Blankenship, T.N., Given, R.L., and Parkening, T.A.  Blastocyst implantation in the Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus)  Am. J. Anat. 187:137-157, 1990.

Blankenship, T.N. and Given, R.L.  Penetration of the uterine epithelial basement membrane during blastocyst implantation in the mouse.  Anat. Rec. 233:196-204, 1992.

Collins, T.J., Given, R.L., Hulsebosch, C.E., and Miller, B.T.  Status of gross anatomy in the U.S.A. and Canada.  Dilemma for the 21st Century, Clinical Anatomy 7:275-296, 1994.

Blankenship, T.N. and Given, R.L.  Distribution of laminin and type IV collagen I the endometrium during implantation in the mouse.  Anat. Rec. 243:27-36, 1995.

Purcell, T.L., Buhimschi, I., Given, R., Chwalisz, K., and Garfield, R.E.  The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is present in the rat placenta at the fetal-maternal interface and decreases prior to labour. Molecular Human Reprod., 3:485-491, 1997.

Purcell, T.L., Buhimshi, I., Given, R., Chwalisz, K., and Garfield, R.E.  Nitric oxide synthase distribution during implantation in the mouse. Molecular Human Reprod., 5:467-475, 1999.

Cobb, S., Wood, T., Tessarollo, L., Velasco, M., Given, R., Varro, A., Tarasova, N., and Singh, P.  Deletion of functional gastrin gene markedly increases colon carcinogenesis in response to azoxymethane in mice.  Gastroenterology 123:516-530, 2002.

Shi, L., Shi, S-Q., Given, R., von Hertzen, H., and Garfield, R.  Synergistic effect of antiprogestins and iNOS or aromatase inhibitors on establishment and maintenance of pregnancy.  Steriods 68:1077-1084, 2003.