Graduate Program

Physiology and Biophysics Academics Doo Dah gives to BCH
  • Course Descriptions

    The following is a brief description of courses included in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics curriculum.

    Required courses

    • ANAT. 713. Histology and Cell Biology. A study of the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs. (6 semester hours)
    •  BIOCH. 710. Biochemistry. Comprehensive course in biochemistry including chemistry of amino acids and proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids; enzymology; metabolism and metabolic regulation; membrane structure and function; physical biochemistry; cellular energy production; hormonal control mechanisms; differentiation; molecular genetics; and protein synthesis. This course extends over two quarters. (10 semester hours)
    • ID 709. Responsible Conduct of Research. A course designed to provide an understanding of ethics in scientific research and the basic skills important for both oral and written scientific communication. (1 semester hour)
    • ID 710/BIOCH 742. Research Tools in Molecular Biology. A course designed to introduce students to contemporary methods in molecular biology including cloning, mutagenesis, transgenic animals, genomics, proteomics, and gene expression. (3 semester hours)
    • ID 714. Professional Skills. A course designed for early to late graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to acquire skills needed to be successful in a scientific work environment, with special emphasis on oral and written communication skills, grantsmanship, career choices, laboratory management, and academic teaching skills (3 semester hours)
    • ID/PM 740. Statistical Methods in Research. This is an introduction to basic statistical methods for research and is designed to enable students to develop their data analysis and interpretation skills. In this course students will learn about experimental design, estimation, hypothesis testing, and how to apply statistical techniques such as point and interval estimation, tests of statistical significance, correlation, linear and non-linear regression, ANOVA, and longitudinal data (repeated measures) analysis. Analysis of small data sets (using non-parametric methods) is also covered. The emphasis will be on applied rather than theoretical statistics and on understanding and interpreting the results of statistical analyses. Data sets will be analyzed using the statistical package STATA. This is a "hands-on" class- in the computer lab. Data sets will be analyzed under the supervision of instructors.
    • PHARM. 722 . Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Students are introduced to the principles underlying the use of pharmacology agents in practice. Concepts related to drug distribution, drug-receptor interaction and drug metabolism are considered. In addition, the mechanism of action, therapeutic effects, adverse side-effects and common clinical applications of various drugs and drug classes are presented through a combination of lectures and clinical correlations.(12 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 701. Medical Physiology. Study of the functions of the body with special emphasis on the relationships of the different organs to each other. (12 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 702. Physiological Concepts. Individual study of important papers and books in various areas of physiology. (2 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 705. Seminar. (1 semester hour)
    • PHYSIO. 707. Research in Physiology. A course designed to provide hands-on exposure to laboratory research prior to selection of a dissertation project. (2 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 717. Circulatory Physiology. A reading and conference course that emphasizes regulation of cardiac output, body fluid volumes and arterial pressures. (7 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 731. Renal and Body Fluid Physiology. A seminar course that includes critical study of research methods, comparative renal physiology and literature on classical and contemporary principles of renal physiology and pathophysiology. (7 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 744. Simulation of Physiological Mechanisms. Introduction to mathematical analysis of physiological phenomena. Topics include ordinary differential equations, numerical methods for solving differential equations, elements of digital computer programming in high-level languages and the use of simulation packages and appropriate demonstrations. (3 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 798. Dissertation and Dissertation Research. (1 semester hour).

    Elective courses

    • ANAT. 715. Neurobiology. A study of the human nervous system. (6 semester hours)
    • MICRO. 761. Medical Immunology. This course comprises a section of the larger Medical Microbiology course (MICRO. 701) and is intended for students with an interest in immunology. (3 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 704. Molecular Physiology. A course designed to teach how state of the art approaches in molecular biology can be applied to cardiovascular and renal physiology. This course is structured as a laboratory format with some reading and lecture. Prerequisites are ID 710 and BIOCH 710 (2 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 715. Endocrinology. A course covering the historical, biochemical, and physiological aspects of the endocrine system. (2 semester hours)
    • PHYSIO. 734. Pathophysiology. This course will integrate clinical and basic sciences and will include brief case presentations and discussion of the molecular and physiological basis of common human diseases. (2 semester hours)

    Plan of Study

    Year 1


    PHYSIO 702Physiological Concepts2


    PHYSIO 701Medical Physiology 6
    BIOCH 710Biochemistry 10
    ANAT 713Histology & Cell Biology 3


    PHYSIO 701Medical Physiology 6
    ANAT 713Histology & Cell Biology 3
    ANAT 715Neurobiology (or Elective) 6
    ID 714Professional Skills 3


    Year 2


    PHYSIO 707Research in Physiology2


    PHYSIO 717Circulatory Physiology 7
    ID 740Statistical Methods in Research 3
    PHARM 722Pharmacology and Therapeutics 6
    ID 709Responsible Conduct of Research 1


    PHYSIO 731Renal Physiology 7
    PHYSIO 744Simulation of Physiological Mechanisms 3
    PHARM 722Pharmacology and Therapeutics 6
    ID 710/BIOCH 742Research Tools in Molecular Biology 3