The study of physiology is at the core of modern biomedical research, which more than ever relies on integrating fundamental concepts of whole animal and organ physiology with sophisticated molecular and cellular approaches to investigate important questions related to human disease.
The faculty of the Integrated Physiology Program is an exceptional group of creative research scientists and dedicated teachers, whose studies embrace both basic
cellular and physiological processes, including seminal work on muscle physiology, renal and cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and disorders of nutrition, pregnancy and reproduction.
Integrated Physiology faculty and students are united in the goal of improving human health through mechanistic research in areas of cellular physiology, endocrine systems and metabolism, reproductive science, and vascular biology. With a faculty composed of both basic and clinical research scientists, our program offers students opportunities to learn about how to target basic research to clinically important problems and to develop translational research projects. Graduates from our research programs have careers in academic and private research institutes, industry, and government laboratories.
IPHY provided a very supportive and collaborative environment. The diverse training and curriculum allowed me to be well prepared for the rigors of a postdoc.
Mike Oliphant, PhD; Graduated 2019
NCI F99/K00 Postdoctoral Fellow, Joan Brugge and Senthil Muthuswamy Labs, Harvard Medical School
Graduate education in general | Doctoral education is the foundation of future scholarship and the primary “engine” driving the research enterprise. It prepares future faculty and leaders in academia as well as in many other areas of industry, government, and society in general.
Integrated Physiology program in specific | Understanding mechanisms underlying the function of various systems in the body that contribute to both normal and pathological physiology is the fundamental prerequisite for all applied research in biology. Doctoral education in Integrated Physiology trains students in basic integrated physiology concepts spanning multiple organ systems from molecular/cellular physiology to systems physiology using state of the art approaches.
The philosophy of our graduate program is to emphasize state-of-the-art research approaches at all stages; and that begins with the recruitment phase. We identify candidates with excellent undergraduate academic credentials, with a strong preference for those who have participated in independent research. During the first year in the program, students must complete three formal laboratory-based research rotations. Each research rotation is intended to examine testable hypotheses, as well as to provide exposure to new laboratory techniques. At the conclusion of each rotation, a post-rotational seminar is presented to the Program Faculty and Students.
During the first two years in the program, students are required to take a number of courses to prepare them for research careers in physiology. These include a core course in molecular and cellular biology overseen by the Graduate School, and Program core courses in Comprehensive Physiology and Histophysiology. Additional requirements include courses in Ethics, Biostatistics, and Rigor & reproducibility. Beginning in the second year, a number of electives are also available emphasizing topics such as: neuropharmacology/neurobiology, cancer biology, bioinformatics, principles of pharmacology, advanced topics in molecular biology, cell and molecular signaling, and structural biology. Students are also required to participate in weekly Integrated Physiology Journal Clubs and Seminar Series throughout their time in the program.
The PhD program in Integrated Physiology trains graduate students to become proficient and successful investigators who are able to: