Integrative Physiology

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Rong Ma, PhD, Graduate Advisor

Carl E. Everett Education and Administration Building, Room 324C | Phone: 817-735-2516 | E-mail:

Graduate Faculty: Tune (Chair); J. Cunningham; M. Cunningham; Dick; Goulopoulou; Ma; Mallet; Mathis; Rickards; Romero; Schreihofer; Smith; Yurvati

Physiology is an essential foundation for clinical and experimental medicine. The physiologist seeks an understanding of the physical and chemical mechanisms of biological processes. Integrative 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 faculty maintain active and productive research programs with special emphasis on cardiovascular physiology. Research interests of the faculty include autonomic neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, lipoprotein-based drug delivery, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy and failure, cardiac resuscitation, cardiac opioids, coronary circulation, adaptation to exercise and hypoxia, effects of aging and obesity, neurophysiology, stroke and neuroprotection, renal physiology and pathology, and calcium signaling. Faculty programs are funded by extramural sources including the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, American Osteopathic Association, Department of Defense, and Private Industry.

Students may enter the discipline after completing course work and laboratory rotations as required by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The discipline offers advanced courses designed to integrate the fundamental processes of molecular biology and neurophysiology with organ system functions. Students participate in teaching and seminars and receive extensive training in techniques of contemporary physiological research. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) students perform original, publishable research, and present their research findings at national scientific meetings. One to two years are required to complete the M.S. degree requirements. Three to five years are required to complete the Ph.D. degree requirements.

Graduates with advanced degrees find employment in higher education, industry and government agencies.

Stipend and benefits for PhD students

All students in our PhD in Biomedical Sciences program receive a benefits package that includes a stipend of $30,000 per year plus full tuition, fees, and health insurance. Students also have opportunities to apply for training grants, fellowships, and scholarships. 

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