Graduate Research

The basic goals in research training are to develop skills in: hypothesis development, experimental design to test hypotheses, technical execution, data analysis, and data interpretation. The faculty associated with the advanced concentration in Physiology and Pharmacology have expertise in a variety of biomedical disciplines, including cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, neuroscience, biochemistry, genetics and immunology and bring together unique strengths to provide the students with diverse training. Major research interests include:

  • Aging and obesity
  • Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cancer biology and treatment
  • Drug development
  • Endocrine systems
  • Gene therapy
  • Heart Failure and stroke
  • Hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Ion channels and membrane transport
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Pregnancy and fetal development
  • Renin-angiotension systems
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Toxicology and environmental medicine
  • Vascular biology

Ph.D. candidacy is granted after successful completion of the minimum required course work and a qualifying exam. This exam consists of an oral defense of a dissertation research proposal written using the National Institutes of Health training grant application format. The student is examined for broad knowledge in their field. The dissertation research project is overseen by a committee consisting of the supervisory faculty member and other graduate faculty. After finishing the dissertation research, the student presents their research in a seminar to the faculty at-large and then defends this research to their supervisory committee. The typical student will take approximately 4-5 years to complete the necessary requirements leading to the Ph.D. degree.

In summary, students entering the advanced concentration in Physiology and Pharmacology will be able to tailor their educational experience in order to meet their individual needs and interests. The intellectual development and practical expertise learned will prepare the students to meet the challenges on the path establishing independent scientific careers.