Students receiving the special designation of cellular and molecular physiology will focus their training on advanced methods necessary to examine physiological and pathophysiological processes. This training will provide students with an understanding of integrative biological approaches to the analysis of various disease processes.

Research in cellular and molecular physiology and cell biology is geared towards understanding the mechanisms that contribute to cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological and other organ and systems related diseases. The mechanisms that control physiology can be studied at many levels of complexity ranging from single molecule interactions to social and environmental pressures. As a highly integrated science, physiology uses techniques and ideas from chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology to synthesize, describe and elucidate the fundamental workings of the body. Animal and cellular models are commonly used to investigate human diseases and their progression. In discovering how the cell, organ and body functions, we can identify specific molecular targets required for the development of therapies to treat different human diseases. The cellular and molecular physiology faculty and students participate in research programs conducted in the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, the Aging Research Center, the Neuroscience Research Center, the Reye's Syndrome Research Center, the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute.


Noah Weisleder, PhD and Anasuya Sarkar, PhD
Faculty Liaisons

Program Curriculum

Course Requirements

In addition to the core requirements, for a student to receive on their transcript the special designation of cellular and molecular physiology, he/she must complete a minimum of four additional hours of specialized elective course work, at least two of which must be from the list of approved elective courses listed below. Up to two hours of other elective courses may substitute for the approved courses upon approval of the student’s dissertation advisory committee.

  • NEUROSC 7001 Foundations of Neuroscience (6  credit hours): Discusses basic principles of the cellular, molecular, neurophysiological, and neuropharmacological organization of the nervous system.

  • PHYSIO 6101 Advanced Human Physiology I (3 credit hours): First in a two semester graduate course sequence covering organ system physiology. PHYSIO 6101 will focus on cell physiology as well as nervous system,  musculoskeletal and cardiovascular physiology.

  • PHYSIO 6102 Advanced Human Physiology II (3 credit hours): Second in a two semester graduate course sequence covering organ system physiology. PHYSIO 6102 will focus on renal, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine/reproductive physiology.

  • PHARMCL 5600 Introduction to General Pharmacology (3 credit hours): Introduction to the general principles of pharmacology, drug classification, and the sites and mechanisms of drug action using a systems-based and mechanism-based approach.

  • PHR 8020 Advanced Pharmacokinetics (3 credit hours): Coverage of multiple general areas of pre-clinical, clinical, and population pharmacokinetic data analysis with a focus on modeling and PK study design.

  • PHYSIO 8101 Advanced Cardiac Physiology (3 credit hours): Advanced presentation of cardiovascular physiology using a didactic lecture and journal club format.


Due to the interdisciplinary nature of cellular and molecular physiology, relevant seminars are given through a variety of departments, centers, and programs (DHLRI, Biomedical Sciences, MCDB, OSBP, and various departmental seminar series). To receive this special graduate designation, students will be required to register for a total of six credit hours (i.e. 6 semesters) of such seminar programs.