Cell Biology and Physiology Track


Track Leader: Dr. Rosalia Simmen (SimmenRosalia@uams.edu)


The GPIBS Cell Biology and Physiology (CBP) Track is designed to offer Ph.D. students a wide range of educational and research opportunities in the study of biological function at the level of the gene, protein, organelle, cell, tissue, organ system and intact organism.  A major commonality is the use of cell and molecular methods to ask questions of physiological importance and within the framework of integrative (regulatory) physiology.  The CBP Track prepares students for research, teaching and/or leadership positions within academia, industry, government and the health professions.  The CBP track currently has 63 faculty participants from multiple departments and divisions within the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of cell biology, cell physiology and integrative (systems) physiology, as well as the strengths and diversity provided by the CBP track.

The curriculum includes required and elective coursework, seminars, and workshops to establish fundamental concepts in disciplines related to Cell Biology and Physiology.  Ph.D. students are able to select from a range of elective courses according to their interests and career goals.  Choice of mentor and supervisory committee allows for pursuit of dissertation research in specific areas of interest.

Research areas available via the CBP track faculty and their laboratories include (but are not limited to):

  • Bacterial, viral, yeast, insect, rodent and human molecular biology, genomics and genetics
  • Animal models of human diseases
  • Molecular cell biology, membrane trafficking, cell signaling, stem cells, cell modification, receptor and channel biology, and biochemistry
  • Physiology of oxidative stress at the cellular and organ system levels
  • Protein structure (crystallography and computational biology)
  • Cancer biology
  • Neurological diseases
  • Biology of bone
  • Reproductive biology and endocrinology
  • Cardiovascular biology
  • Liver and gastrointestinal diseases
  • Drug discovery
  • Systems biology
  • Molecular mechanisms of radiotherapy and radioresistance
  • Developmental origins of disease and obesity
  • Nano-medicine applications

A number of innovative research techniques and approached are available including:

  • Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry
  • Confocal, electron and super-resolution microscopy
  • Glycomics
  • Non-invasive whole body monitoring of rodent and human physiology
  • State-of-the-art molecular, cellular and physiological techniques

To view a list of faculty associated with this track, click here.

To view current students, click here

Year 1 Fall (12 credit hours)

GPIBS Core Curriculum

Year 1 Spring (10 credit hours)

1 credit hour Seminar (PHYO 5106)
1 credit hour Scientific Communication and Ethics II (PCOL 5119)
3 credit hours General Physiology (PHYO 5103)
3 credit hours Biostatistics I (BIOS 5013)-may take other selective and take biostats in fall year 2
2 credit hours Electives and/or Research

Each summer until graduation

1 credit hour Research

Year 2 Fall (10 credit hours)

1 credit hour Seminar (PHYO 5106)
1 credit hour Scientific Communication and Ethics III (PCOL 5120)
3 credit hours Molecular Cell Biology (MBIM 6103)
5 credit hours Electives and/or Research

Year 2 Spring (10 credit hours)

1 credit hour Seminar (PHYO 5106)
1 credit hour Scientific Communications and Ethics IV (PCOL 5121)
8 credit hours Electives and/or Research

A minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework. Electives are chosen based on advice from the student’s mentor and/or advisory committee. Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology (PHYO 5104) is a potential elective that is recommended for students in the CBP track.

Year 2 Summer

Candidacy Exam (research proposal submitted to committee followed by oral defense)

Years 3- Until Degree Completion

Students will enroll in 1 credit hour Seminar (PHYO 5106) for each of the remaining semesters and 9 credit hours of Dissertation Research (until reach 18) and/or Research.

Students must successfully defend their research project in written and oral format prior to completion of the degree.