The program is designed to provide training at the interface of genomics, cell biology, and organismal physiology. Specific topics include molecular endocrinology, cardiovascular research, cancer biology, membrane structure and signal transduction, host-microbial interaction, and the physiological bases of diseases.
Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) students will enter the physiology and integrative biology program by applying to the consolidated programs in molecular biosciences. Most Ph.D. students will receive a full tuition waiver, a stipend, and health benefits for the duration of their studies.
Direct admission to the program will also be considered for students with an advanced background (e.g., students transferring from other universities with advanced courses or a master of science [M.S.] degree), provided candidates have identified advisers within the program and advisers agree to provide students with financial support. In such cases, certain credits can be transferred toward the graduate degree.
A minimum of 72 credits will be required for the Ph.D. degree, of which at least 32 credits must come from formal coursework and at least 24 credits must come from thesis research. All required courses offered in the physiology and integrative biology program, including the core curriculum in the molecular biosciences program and elective courses, must be passed with a grade of B or better.
The qualifying examination for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree will consist of two parts: a written exam given at the end of the first year, and an oral exam to be given before the end of the student's second year in the program. The written exam will be based on the material studied in the required core courses of the first year and on a selection of journal articles provided to the students before the exam. The oral exam will consist of a formal written proposal of a project that may or may not be related to the student's thesis research.
Ph.D. students may also participate in the M.D./Ph.D. program. Such students will be expected to choose a laboratory and research sponsor during the second year of medical school, and begin full-time Ph.D. work in the following summer.
In addition to Ph.D., a program leading to an M.S. in
physiology and integrative biology is offered to meet the needs of students
with particular interests. The M.S. program offers cellular-, molecular-, and system-level coursework and outstanding research opportunities, which are designed to
strengthen the foundation of individuals with an interest in pursuing a career
in biomedical and biotech research or future studies toward a doctoral degree.
The M.S. program includes advanced coursework and intensive
laboratory investigation in a mentored environment with a final written thesis.
A minimum of 30 credits is required for the M.S. degree, consisting of at least
20 course credits and 6 research credits. Students can choose their research
focus from a wide array of research areas represented within the program.