Physiology & Endocrinology

Faculty Contacts: Francisco Villarreal & Sasha Kauffman

Physiology focuses on the study of biological systems at many levels of complexity ranging from molecules and genes, to cells, organs, and organisms. The goal of this training area is to prepare students to address mechanistic questions in both humans and model organisms. Physiological training has the ultimate goal of linking molecular information to function. Likewise, because physiology is central to medicine, physiology students will be well-trained to study issues directly relevant to human disease. Physiology training area students will be trained via the BMS core curriculum as well as specialized courses that highlight the complexity of normal and abnormal integrative biology. Training area faculty are happy to work with students who wish to incorporate advanced physiological training into an individualized program of instruction.

After finishing three rotations in any of the BMS laboratories, students specializing in physiology & endocrinology can choose to do their thesis research in a number of laboratories. Training area faculty are engaged in the study of all major organ systems and are investigating physiological phenomena at levels ranging from molecules to organs. This diverse group of faculty is united by a common interest in integrative function. In the context of the thesis laboratory, the student's training will be supplemented with journal clubs and research seminars specific to the area of interest.

Find BMS Faculty in Physiology & Endocrinology

Required course work for BMS students

BMS students take a core curriculum that provides the foundation to allow them to specialize in any of the offered training areas. In the Fall quarter, "Molecules to Organisms" (BIOM 200A&B) provides a systematic approach to current Biomedical Research, using analysis of selected topics to focus on the process of research discovery and its critical evaluation. "Seminar in Biomedical Research" (BIOM 201) includes attendance at one of the UC San Diego seminar series and is designed to provoke critical discussion of the presented findings and scientific approaches in a small group setting. BMS students also take short courses in statistical analysis of data (BIOM 285) and ethics in research (BIOM 219) in the second or third quarter of their first year.

Specialized Coursework

Physiology Requirements (6 units) Course Title Units
BIOM 212 A/B Drugs and Disease: the pathophysiological and molecular bases of disease and drug therapy (Barrett/Heller Brown) 3

Recommended Electives

Recommended Electives Course Title Units
Systems Pharmacology and Translational Biology (Brunton)
(Intensive three-week summer lab course)
BIOM 250 Modern Methodologies in Physiological Science (Hogan) 2
BIOM Fluorescence Tools for Cellular and Molecular Events (Tsien) ?
BIOM 231 Careers in Biomedical Sciences (Heller-Brown) 1
BIOM Critical Reading in Physiology (Physiology faculty) 2
BIOM Functional Genomics and Systems Biology (Powell) 2
BIOM 226 Hormone Action
BME 207 Neuromuscular Physiology and Mechanics 3
BME 211, 12 and 13 Systems Biology and Bioengineering ?
BME 230C and D Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal Physiology 4
BME 238 Molecular Biology of Cardiovascular System 4
BME 241 A,B and C Tissue Engineering Science 4
BME 250 A and B Biomechanics 4
BME 253 Biomechanic Transport Phenomena 4
BME 267 Microcirculation 4

NOTE: Bioengineering (BME) courses may have prerequisites so check the catalog or contact the instructor.

Non-course Requirements

Physiology Seminars (1 unit). Students are required to participate in the monthly Physiology seminar series and in at least one specialized seminar series. Typically this will be the regular seminar series attended by major professors in physiology.

Journal Club. Students are required to participated in a journal club linked to their thesis laboratory (e.g., Muscle Physiology, Respiratory and Exercise Physiology, Cardiovascular Physiology, Cellular Physiology). Students read and critically analyze recent papers in the field with other faculty, students and postdoctoral trainees.