Physiology is an essential foundation for clinical and experimental medicine. The physiologist seeks an understanding of the physical and chemical mechanisms of biological processes. Thus, physiology is the study of the function of living organisms and their various components. It encompasses normal and abnormal function and ranges in scope from an understanding of basic molecular and cellular functions to a cognizance of biological control systems and of the integration of bodily functions among multiple organ systems.
The Department of Integrative Physiology and Anatomy maintains an active and productive research program with special emphasis on cardiovascular physiology. Research interests of the faculty include cardioprotection, myocardial energy metabolism, cardiac endocrinology, coronary flow and flow regulation, cardiovascular responses to exercise, and mechanisms of blood pressure and blood volume regulation. Faculty programs are funded by extramural sources including the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, the Department of Defense, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Students may enter the program with a variety of academic backgrounds, providing that they have fulfilled prerequisite courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The graduate training program involves one year of courses in biomedical sciences and advanced courses in physiology, neurobiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and biochemistry. The program is designed to integrate the fundamental processes of molecular biology with organ system functions. Students participate in teaching and seminars and receive extensive training in techniques of contemporary physiological research. Doctoral students and Master of Science students perform original, publishable research and present their research findings at national scientific meetings. At the end of the first year, all graduate students must pass an oral physiology progress examination. One to two years are required to complete the Master of Science degree requirements. Three to five years are required to complete the Doctor of Philosophy degree requirements. It is expected that, prior to the awarding of the doctorate, the student will have published, have in press or have submitted two first-author publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Graduates with advanced degrees find employment in higher education, industry and government agencies.
Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy
Prior to registration for Grant Writing (BMSC 6310), and before completion of 72 SCH of course work, doctoral students are required to pass an oral qualifying examination. I is recommended that the exam take place during the spring or summer semester of the student’s second year in the program. The examination will be administered by a departmental examining committee, which will not include the student’s mentor. The examination may address all aspects of physiology and, in addition, assess the student’s research skills and aptitude.
A maximum of two attempts to pass the qualifying examination will be allowed. A doctoral student who does not pass after the second attempt may be is missed or allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.
Upon approval of the research proposal, the student is advanced to candidacy.
This page was last modified on October 24, 2017