Course Descriptions

Physiol 404: Laboratory in Human Physiology

(Research & Coursework) FALL This course utilizes a data acquisition system to allow students to study the muscle, nerve, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.  Each student will record data using himself/herself as the subject, analyze and interpret the data acquired and then submit a laboratory report after each meeting.
Prerequisite:  Physiology 201 or 502 

Physiol 502: Human Physiology

(Research & Coursework) FALL Objectives of the course include: (i) Description of physiological functions in terms of physical and chemical laws. (ii) Understanding of the functions of individual cells as the basis for understanding the functions of organs. (iii) Demonstrating the coordination of physiological processes that underlies homeostasis- the maintenance of a stable internal environment. (iv) Explaining the role of different organ systems in maintaining homeostasis. 

Physiol 592: Integrative Neuroscience

(Coursework) WINTER This survey course will cover basic principles in neuroscience including: basic neuroanatomy, cell and molecular neurobiology, synaptic neurophysiology as well as the neural basis of perception, movement, complex behavior and cognition.  More advanced topics will include the neurobiological basis of psychiatric and neurological disease states. 

Physiol 605: Physiology Seminar

(Research & Coursework) FALL & WINTER The goal of this seminar is to improve the critical thinking and public speaking of master’s students in Molecular & Integrative Physiology. This course will provide students with the opportunity to present data, critique the scientific literature, and develop the ability to provide constructive criticism to their peers. Students present a critical review of a topic from the current scientific literature or from their own research each term. The faculty coordinate the program, establish ground-rules and organize the schedule for each term.

Physiol 610: Pathophysiology & Translational Physiology

(Research & Coursework) WINTER This master's student course focuses on (1) understanding how altered structure and function link to the onset and progression of disease and (2) considering the translation of information between bench and bedside.  Students will investigate a translational research topic of their choice and deliver an oral presentation to the class near the end of the term.

Physiol 700: Physiology Masters Capstone Project (Coursework Track only)

(Coursework) SPRING To introduce the master’s student to scientific method, interpretation of basic and translational research publications, scientific writing and in depth understanding of an area of the students’ choosing in the field of Physiology.  Capstone projects are intended to be intensive review of current literature, requiring significant effort in the planning and implementation, as well as preparation of a substantial final written work product, 40-50 pages in length.  Students will also be responsible for giving a 15 minute presentation on the highlights of their topic to the rest of the class. 

Physiol 702: Physiology Masters Research Project

(Research) FALL/WINTER/SPRING or Summer Half Term Students will perform physiology-related research for 3 full terms, under the guidance of a MIP faculty member and a committee of at least 3 MIP faculty.  The research project will culminate in a written thesis and an oral thesis defense. The students will be able to select a mentor from our primary or joint faculty that collectively total more than 60 faculty members. 

Physiol 703:Physiology Masters Research Capstone Project (Research Track ONLY)

(Coursework) WINTER For the final term of the program, Research Track M.S. Students in Physiology will write up a complete paper including background materials and methods, results and discussion on their research project. The paper is followed by an oral presentation.

ANATOMY 403: Human Anatomy: Structure and Function

(Coursework) FALL Organized around eight major informational blocks, each of which covers the major anatomical systems, their structure, and functioning. The coverage within each block follows a general sequence of embryology, gross anatomy, and histology. In addition, the anatomy presented in this course draws heavily on how the various cells, tissues, organs, and systems function. Every attempt will be made to build current hypotheses and understandings of structure and function on a base of our classical understandings of the human body before and after birth. 

Biostats 521: Applied Biostatistics

(Coursework) FALL Fundamental statistical concepts related to the practice of public health: descriptive statistics; probability; sampling; statistical distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; chi-square tests; simple and multiple linear regression; one-way ANOVA. Taught at a more advanced mathematical level than Biostat 503. Use of computer in statistical analysis. 

Biolchem 515: Introduction Biochemistry

This course provides a broad survey for graduate students majoring in science and healthcare.  Students explore the molecular basis of life, including the structures and functions of proteins, enzymes, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.  Topics include bioenergetics, metabolism, signal transduction and genetics, with emphasis on health, disease, physiology and medicine.

CDB 550: Histology

(Coursework) WINTER This course explores cells and tissues of the human body (histology or micro-anatomy) by the use of various microscopic techniques. Special emphasis will be placed on the structure-function relationship in different tissues and organs and the role of stem cells in tissue regeneration. The lectures will be supplemented by the practical analysis of various organs, tissues and cells using virtual microscopy. This course is geared towards graduate and upper level undergraduate students with an interest in the biomedical sciences and with a basic knowledge in cell biology and/or biochemistry. At the end of the course students should be able to recognize and interpret microscopic tissue images and understand how the cellular organization of organs enables them to perform their specific functions. 

Alternate Courses:

**This is a list of previously approved Alternate Courses. Students must have previously completed the Core Courses, or their approved equivalent, prior to being considered eligible for Alternate Courses.**

Physiol 506: Extreme Physiology (Alternate to Physiol 502)

(Research & Coursework) FALL This course will cover unique adaptations (anatomical, physiological, and behavioral) to extreme environments and/or lifestyles, with an emphasis on human physiology. Discussion of system functions related to human exploration (high altitude, deep ocean, space), gut microbiota, endurance and survival, endocrine disruptors, and pathophysiological extremes will be used to further clarify and consolidate student understanding of underlying basic principles. 

Physiol 510: Systems & Integrative Physiology (Alternate to Physiol 502)

(Research, PhD-track) WINTER This course addresses major principles of how the various physiological systems of the body function, both individually and as an integrated unit. The first part of the course deals with principles of physiological communication as it relates to homeostasis, biological rhythms, and both neural and endocrine communication. This is followed by consideration of various physiological regulatory systems including muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and reproductive physiology. Emphasis is given not only to major principles but also to how these principles were developed. The class format consists of lectures, student/faculty discussions of primary research literature, and informal discussions aimed at illustrating how individual physiological regulatory systems are integrated to allow adaptation to changes in the internal and external environments during everyday life experiences and at times of stress and disease. 

Human Genetics 541: Molecular Genetics

(Elective) This course provides training in current molecular genetic investigation. A combination of classic and current papers accompanies the lecture material (1-2 papers per lecture), supported by readings from recent texts (particularly Recombinant DNA: Genes and Genomes, Watson et al., 3rd ed.). The course covers both the fundamentals and the current research methods for analysis of gene structure and gene expression, including transcriptional and posttranscriptional control. Modern genomics is introduced via discussion of the Human Genome Project. Topics in gene mapping and identification, genetic heterogeneity and comparative genomics are covered using examples from current literature. Developmental genetics and strategies of developmental regulation will be presented, and comparison made between the temporal and spatial control of gene expression in vertebrates and invertebrates. Genetic engineering topics include gene targeting and transgenesis, with applications to understanding tissue specific control of gene expression and mechanisms underlying human disease. The basics of DNA recombination, repair, and transposition are covered in relationship to cancer, evolution, and mutagenesis. 
Pre-requisites: college-level introductory biology class and a more advanced class in either genetics or biochemistry is required. 

Physiol 520: Computational Systems Biology in Physiology

(Elective) This course is an introduction to dynamic modeling in physiology for both experimentally and theoretically inclined students. We use selected physiological systems to introduce concepts in computational systems biology. This is done through the use of increasingly more complex cellular functions modeled with scientific software. Backgrounds in mathematics are not required. 

Physiol 555: Integrative Genomics

(Elective) The recent completion of the human genome opens the door to exciting new opportunities in the biomedical sciences. Integrative Genomics focuses on the study of functional biology in genetically engineered animal models. An appreciation of genetic variables, including gender and genetic background, biological variables, including organ function and issues relating to aging, and environmental variables, including, nutrition, exercise, stress, and pathogens is a central feature of the class. It is the study of the inherent complexities of genes, biology, and environment in animals that forms the unique underpinnings of the exciting new field of Integrative Genomics. The course features limited class size, and faculty from several different departments in the Medical School. Unique educational features of the class include student developed grants, oral presentations, and student-led study section evaluations of grants. 

Biolchem 451: Advanced Biochemistry: Macromoleuclar Structure & Function

(Research/Coursework) FALL Taught from a chemical perspective with emphasis on understanding biochemical phenomena through chemical stucture and mechanism, this course in intended for students pursuing the BS concentration in biochemistry. It provides an in-depth treatment of such topics as protein/nucleic acid structure, protein folding/stability, enzyme mechanisma/kinetics, bioenergetics/photosynthesis and the regulation fo metabolic pathways.

Immuno 440: Immunology

(Coursework) FALL This course will provide a broad overview of the rapidly advancing field of modern immunology in both the basic and clinical sciences. Lectures will emphasize experimental and clinical observations to highlight key concepts. 

Kinesiology 545: Metabolic Responses to Exercise

(Elective) The course aims are to (i) advance understanding of metabolic aspects of exercise, integrating molecular, cellular & physiologic research, (ii) enhance use of databases and critical thinking and interpretive skills that will facilitate identifying and understanding scientific literature, and (iii) improve skills required to organize and discuss (orally and in writing) current research publications.  

MCDB 436: Introductory Immunology

(Coursework) FALL Detailed study of the organs, cells, and molecules that constitute the vertebrate immune system. Cellular interactions involved in initiating and mediating an immune response. Role of the immune system in organ transplants, cancer therapy, infections, allergies, and immunodeficiency diseases. Methods and clinical case studies relating immunological problems to current biomedical research. 

Pharmacology 601: From Molecules to Patients: Basic Quantitative Principles of Pharmacology

(Elective) This course examines the fundamental principles of pharmacology and their quantitative treatment as a basis for understanding the properties and mechanism of action of drugs. The course is aimed at, but not limited to students of Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Toxicology, Bioinformatics, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Engineering and Psychology. 
Pre-requisites: Students enrolling in the course should have a good biochemistry and/or physiology background or permission of the instructor. 

CDB 530: Cell Biology

Epid 515: Genetics in Public Health

This course is designed for students with biology or genetics background, that are interested in understanding genetics in public health.  This course will provide  an in depth examination of genetics in public health including new born screening diseases and practices, fundamentals, of population genetics, and the genetics of common chronic diseases.

Human Genetics 541: Molecular Genetics

This course explores how the information content of the DNA genome is (i) organized, propagated, and altered, and (ii) functionally expressed by regulated transcription into RNA - the core molecular properties and processes of genetic systems that underlie all further investigations of organismal, clinical, and population genetics. As a graduate level course, it is expected that students will enter HG541 with a basic understanding of the nature of biological systems, DNA, RNA, replication, and transcription. HG541 will focus on developing an advanced modern understanding of these molecules and reactions. We will explore what experimental research in model organisms and humans has taught us about the molecular encoding of genetic information while simultaneously exposing gaps in our understanding. Throughout, attention will be given to newer genome-wide analysis methods that are dramatically increasing our understanding of the extent of genetic variation and the many modes of gene expression. Also, students will be introduced to recombinant DNA technologies as one important way that molecular genetic insight is reduced to practice in biological research. Upon completion of HG541, students will appreciate the directions research in molecular genetics is heading and be able to draw on this insight as they pursue further studies and research in diverse areas of genetics and biology.

MCDB 440: Cell Cycle Control and Cancer

This course is an examination of current genetic and cell biology research on the topic of cell cycle control and cancer biology, designed for graduate and advanced undergraduates. This course involves introductory lectures, reading and analysis of current primary scientific literature and careful analysis of "pop-science" representations of cancer research.

Micrbiol 430: Microbial Symbiosis

We live in constant contract with the microbial world.  In fact, human-associated microbes outnumber our own cells by at least 10-fold and these interactions are most often beneficial to our normal health.  This course draws upon the recent literature describing the role of the human microbiota from the perspectives of microbial evolution, ecology, and host physiology.

Micrbiol 440: Immunology

This upper level undergraduate course will provide a broad overview of the rapidly advancing field of modern immunology in both the basic and clinical sciences. Topics to be covered include: Cells and Organs of the Immune System, Generation of T-Cell and B-Cell Responses, Immune Effector Mechanisms (including cellular and antibody-mediated responses), and The Immune System in Health and Disease (including AIDS and other immunodeficiencies, immune responses to infectious diseases, vaccines, transplantation and cancer immunology and autoimmunity). Lectures will emphasize experimental and clinical observations to highlight key concepts. Course will utilize lecture and textbook based learning complemented with web-based online resources directly linked to textbook, including chapter-by-chapter study guides, animations and molecular visualization of key concepts, and clinical case studies. Upon completion of this course, students will possess a solid understanding of immunological principles and concepts as they are applied to a growing cross-section of both the basic and clinical sciences.

Micrbiol 460: Eukaryotic Microbiology

This upper level undergraduate course will cover the biology of eukaryotic microbes and the competitive environments in which they live. Eukaryotic microbes include fungi, protozoa, and helminths (worms). They are found in the soil, water (pond and tap), and even in our gastrointestinal tract. Fungi are critical for the nutritional cycle of life and act as the major composting organisms in the soil. They also are responsible for the production of bread, beer, wine, and "natural flavors" used by the food industry. A common feature of all eukaryotic microbes is that they have all developed strategies to outcompete other microbes (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) and survive in the environment and in hosts (animals, plants, insects). We will cover these biochemical and biological strategies, which include antibiotics, phase changes, and evasion of host defenses. Eukaryotic microbes are also a significant cause of disease in humans (e. g. malaria, AIDS-associated infections, allergies and chronic infections) and plants (e. g. dutch elm disease, potato blight, corn smut) and we will also highlight the mechanisms by which hosts defend themselves against these microbes. Overall, the student will gain an understanding of the impact of these organisms on the environment and on everyday life.