Mary Weiser-Evans

Mary Weiser-Evans, PhD

Program Director

Contact Mary Weiser-Evans

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. 

  • Integrated Physiology training faculty are drawn from 11 different departments.
  • All training faculty maintain up-to-date research laboratories located on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
  • Anschutz Medical Campus investigators receive over $400M in research awards per year
  • Integrated Physiology students have opportunities to receive translational research training through the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

Learning Outcomes for the Integrated Physiology PhD Program

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:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.
  • Understand the current concepts in Integrated Physiology.
  • Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature relevant to physiology, in specific, and the basic and clinical biomedical sciences, in general.
  • Formulate hypotheses based on current concepts in the field and design, conduct, and interpret their own research projects.
  • Present research results in peer-reviewed publications and in a doctoral dissertation.
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.
  • Understand the basis of writing and submitting competitive applications for research funding.
  • Be competent in self-evaluation of acquired skills and understand how these skills may be perceived by external peers.
  • Develop a mature and meaningful Personal Development Plan (PDP) that will facilitate attainment of career objectives.

Financial Support

The Integrated Physiology PhD program is fully funded. Departmental and research grant funds are used to provide all graduate students with a stipend and to pay the costs of tuition and fees as well as the student's individual health and dental insurance. The stipend is $37,000 (effective Jan 2023), which is comparable to or better than graduate programs of other universities in this region. Students receive support from the Graduate School for their first year. After their first year, student support comes from their research mentor. Students who are US citizens and are not residents of Colorado are expected to become Colorado residents. More information about Colorado Residency

Michael Oliphant
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

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