The Department of Physiology and Biophysics, in the Health Sciences Center, offers a program of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The department's principal areas of teaching and research specialization are 1) hormonal regulation of cell function and metabolism, with special emphasis on intercellular and intracellular signaling mechanisms; 2) biophysical studies of membranes; and 3) cellular physiology and electrophysiology. Studies are conducted at the molecular, subcellular, cellular, organ, and intact animal levels.
Faculty members collaborate in both teaching and research with scientists in the Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, Pharmacology, and Neurobiology departments, and students are encouraged to do likewise. In addition to advanced courses in biophysics and physical chemistry of biomembranes, and physiology and pharmacology of excitable membranes, the program involves tutorials, seminars, and independent research. During their first two years students generally rotate through three laboratories to gain research experience. After successful completion of the preliminary examinations, students choose their own independent area of research under the supervision of the faculty. The requirements are flexible and can be adapted to the individual's preference and needs. Close tutorial contact between the individual student and the faculty is regarded as the most important feature of the educational program. Additional information about department requirements and programs can be obtained by writing to the Graduate Program Administrator.