Tom Cunningham, Ph.D., Graduate Adviser
Research and Education Building 302
Graduate Faculty: James L. Caffrey, Ph.D., Tom Cunningham, Ph.D., Fred Downey, Ph.D., Patricia Gwirtz,Ph.D., Rong Ma, MD., Ph.D., Robert Mallet, Ph.D., Steve Mifflin, Ph.D., Peter Raven, Ph.D., Ann Schreihofer, Ph.D., Xiangrong Shi, Ph.D., Michael L. Smith, Ph.D., and Joseph Yuan, Ph.D.
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 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 basic courses in physiology, neurobiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and biochemistry, and advanced courses in selected topics. 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 selecting the thesis option 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 Doctorate of Philosophy degree requirements.
It is expected that, prior to the awarding of the doctorate, the student will have published, have on 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.