Physiology is the study of the functions of body systems. Developmental Biology is the study of how specific genes govern differentiation of cells, tissues, and organs with unique structure and functions. Neuroscience is the study of the development and function of the central nervous system and its connection to influencing/regulating behavior.
Graduate programs within the department offer research training and classroom instruction in a wide range of areas pertaining to these disciplines. A biophysics research group is also part of the department. Areas of research include neuroendocrinology and reproduction, endocrine and immune interactions, pulmonology and maternal-fetal interactions, development of the central nervous system, hereditary connective tissue disorders, mouse and chick models of development, exercise physiology and glucose metabolism, membrane transport and channel structure, synaptic vesicle recycling, and blood pressure control by the autonomic nervous system.
In addition to working with department faculty, graduate students have the option of performing cross disciplinary research with faculty members in Nutritional Science with diverse research foci including prostate cancer, phytochemicals and cancer, beta cell biology/diabetes, and energy metabolism.
The Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology offers four graduate degrees: Physiology and Developmental Biology—MS, Neuroscience—MS, Physiology and Developmental Biology—PhD, and Neuroscience—PhD.
The department has approximately thirty-five graduate students enrolled each year. Students working toward a master’s degree generally complete all requirements within two years. PhD students generally complete all requirements in four to five years.