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Course Descriptions

Program in Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are required to complete an approved program of courses selected from the following:

GSAS 812 Cell Biology
MICR 811 Molecular Biology
PHY 704 General Physiology
PHY 506 Experimental Approaches in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
PHY 862 Neuroscience
BIOC 503 Biochemistry
PHY 852 Vascular Biology
PHY 813 Structure and Function of Biological Membranes
PHY 801 Physiology Seminar
  Advanced Graduate Courses
  Lab Rotations

An accelerated Ph.D. program for candidates with an M.D. degree is also offered.

Note Emphasis is placed on flexibility in the program. All programs are tailored to the needs and desires of the individual student.

University Health System P.O. Box 800736 Charlottesville, VA 22908-0736 (434) 924-5108 Fax: (434) 982-1616

Course Descriptions


PHY 506 - (4) (Y)
Experimental Approaches in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Prerequisite: BIOC 503, or equivalent.
Introduces various aspects of molecular biophysics, including structural biology, quantitative studies of molecular interactions, microscopy, electrophysiology, and a number of spectroscopic approaches (UV/vis, FTIR, Fluorescence, NMR, EPR). Discusses techniques and results. Students are required to present two or three original research papers on the various topics.

PHY 704 - (8) (Y)
General Physiology

Studies selected topics in cellular physiology, including the physiology of the human cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and endocrine systems. Emphasizes the cellular mechanisms involved in the functions of the various organ systems, the roles of the organ systems in homeostasis, and the control of the organ systems by neural and hormonal mechanisms. Lectures, discussions, and clinical correlations.

PHY 801, 802, 803, 434 - (2) (S)
Seminar in Physiology

Topics of current interest in physiology and related sciences are presented and discussed.

Note The following advanced courses will be offered as required.

PHY 810/BIOP 802 - (3) (Y)
Macromolecular Structure Determination

MSD treats the theory of X-ray scattering and focuses on the application of X-ray diffraction to macromolecular crystallography. Related topics such as low angle scattering, electron diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and determinants of protein structure are included to provide a basis for interpretation of the crystallographic results.

PHY 813 - (3) (Y)
Structure and Function of Biological Membranes

A special topics course for advanced graduates that is an in-depth assessment of the structure and function of biological membranes. Includes lectures as well as directed discussions of papers from the literature. Topics include membrane and membrane protein structure, lipid protein interactions, ion channels and their regulation, and active transport and ion driven molecular motors. Emphasizes biophysical approaches in these areas with the primary literature the main source of reading. Students present a final paper that is written in the format of a grant proposal as well as an oral presentation of the proposal.

PHY 831 - (2) (IR)
Topics in Cellular Physiology

Topics vary and include mathematical methods in physiology, electrophysiology, contractile systems, transport mechanisms.

PHY 842 - (2) (IR)
Topics in Cardiovascular Physiology

Study of selected areas in circulatory physiology, including physiology of cardiac muscle, cardiac control, and regulation of peripheral vasculature.

PHY 852 - (3) (E)
Vascular Biology

Prerequisite: One course in mammalian physiology and one in cell biology.
A broad interdisciplinary course considering the basis for vascular function from a physiological and pathophysiological perspective. Topics include basic microcirculatory function, smooth muscle and endothelial cell function and development, capillary exchange, inflammatory processes, leukocyte endothelial cell interactions, and the pathophysiology of atherogenesis.

PHY 862 - (2) (Y)

Selected topics in neurophysiology, emphasizing synaptic organization of the brain: how neurons convert physical stimuli into the sensations they evoke and how movement is controlled through integrative neuronal action. Explores the mechanisms of learning and memory at the neuronal and molecular levels.

PHY 892, 893 - (1-3) (S)
Directed Readings in Physiology

Readings in particular fields of physiology under supervision of the instructor.

PHY 897 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research

Taken before a thesis director is selected.

PHY 898 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research

For master's thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

PHY 995 - (3-12) (S)

Directed research on an approved problem in physiology.

PHY 996 - (3-12) (S)

Directed research on an approved problem in physiology.

PHY 997 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research

For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

PHY 999 - (3-12) (S)
Non-Topical Research

For doctoral dissertation.

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