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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.


Chair: Donald Bartlett Jr.

Professors D. Bartlett Jr., R. A. Darnall (Pediatrics and Physiology), J. A. Daubenspeck (Physiology and Biomedical Engineering), G. Fejes-Toth, V. A. Galton, P. M. Guyre, L. P. Henderson (Physiology and Biochemistry), G. M. Langford (Biological Sciences and Physiology), J. C. Leiter (Physiology and Medicine), R. A. Maue (Physiology and Biochemistry), A. Naray-Fejes-Toth, E. E. Nattie, W. G. North, D. L. St. Germain (Medicine and Physiology), W. M. St. John, B. A. Stanton, H. M. Swartz (Radiology, Physiology and Community and Family Medicine), C. R. Wira; Visiting Professor A. Katz (Medicine and Physiology); Associate Professors H. L. Manning (Medicine and Physiology), P. M. Simon (Medicine and Physiology); Assistant Professor E. deMuinck (Medicine and Physiology); Research Associate Professors J. E. Bodwell, A. L. Givan; Research Assistant Professors A. Curran, J.V. Fahey, A. Li, M. Niblock, P. A. Pioli, M. J. Schneider, L. A. Sheldon, A. Swiatecka-Urban.

The Physiology Graduate Program is centered in the Physiology Department of Dartmouth Medical School, which is located in the Borwell Building at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. It includes faculty from other departments in the Medical School. The courses listed below are designed for graduate students.


To qualify for award of the Ph.D. degree, a student must fulfill the following requirements:

1. The Medical Physiology courses (Physiology 110 and 111) plus an additional section in Gastro-Intestinal Physiology.

2. Two terms of Biochemistry.

3. The Medical Neuroscience course.

4. The Critical Reading of Scientific Literature course.

5. A course on Scientific Ethics.

6. The Comprehensive Examination.

7. Three research rotations.

8. Two Advanced Physiology courses.

9. Two elective courses, which may be either a core course or an advanced course offered by either Physiology or another department.

10. Two propositional examinations.

11. Laboratory research leading to the preparation of a thesis.

12. Defense of the thesis.


110, 111. Medical Physiology

Fall 2005 (110), Winter 2006 (111)

The human organism is approached by an introduction to general principles, the properties of living cells, and a description of organ systems and their characteristics. Emphasis is placed upon mechanisms of integration and control.

Physiology 110 (58 hours) deals with cardiovascular and respiratory mechanisms; Physiology 111 (58 hours) deals with renal and endocrine physiology. Both courses are required of all medical students. The staff.

Graduate or Elective Courses. Two of the following courses are usually offered each academic year. Graduate students must take at least three of them. They are available as electives to medical and other qualified students. In addition to these graduate courses, special topics requested by students and/or of timely importance may be offered. Students may also elect courses given by other departments.

114. Advanced Respiratory Physiology

(The staff). Spring 2007, every 4th year

115. Advanced Endocrine Physiology

(The staff). Fall 2007, every 4th year

116. Advanced Cardiovascular Physiology

(The staff). Winter 2009, every 4th year

117. Advanced Renal Physiology

(The staff). Fall 2005, every 4th year

118. Advanced Neurophysiology

(The staff). As requested

119. Advanced Immunology: Mucosal Immunity

(The staff). Fall 2005, every 2nd year

124. Ethical Conduct of Research (Identical to Pharmacology 124)

(The staff). Fall 2005, offered every year

This course is required for all graduate students supported by NIH training grants within the institution, but all other graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend. There will be approximately seven one-hour lecture/discussion sessions with the times to be arranged. Topics will include: scientific freedom, ethical treatment of data, ethical use of laboratory animals, priority of discovery, fraud and deception, and science and the political process.

Faculty lectures and discussion. Prerequisite: none. Instructors: North, Reagan, Green, Brown, Hoopes, Kavanagh, and others.

125. Critical Reading of Scientific Literature

Spring annually

Critical reading of scientific literature is a skill that can be learned. This course exposes students to readings from the physiological literature with the guidance of faculty members who will assist the students in discriminating good from bad scientific presentation.

from various areas of physiology will be considered and discussed. This course will be given during the Spring term and is required for first-year physiology graduate students. Course director: Daubenspeck.

126. In Vivo NMR

(Dunn). Fall 2006, every 2nd year

This course will introduce the student to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), as it is used in both animal research and clinical studies. The basic theory of NMR will be presented in a simple format. The first section of the course will be lectures, and will introduce the language and concepts needed to read about the NMR methods in scientific publications. The second section of the course will involve student presentations. Students will choose publications from a list of suggested readings that are intended to highlight significant advances in the field of NMR. There will also be a “hands on” instruction session using a research NMR machine.

128. Perinatal Physiology

(Darnall). As requested

129. Advanced Comparative Physiology

(Leiter). As requested

132. Physiological Systems Modeling

(Daubenspeck). As requested

Ordinary, time-varying, nonlinear differential equations describe a wide range of physiological systems and responses. Students will learn to model dynamic physiological systems including excitable membrane phenomena, cardiovascular and respiratory system mechanics and control, and other systems of particular interest to each student. The orientation of the course is pragmatic rather than theoretical, and the goal of the course is to teach students how to construct and evaluate quantitative simulations of physiological phenomena using commonly available computer tools. There are no prerequisites for this course beyond successful completion of the first-year Physiology course. This course will be offered in alternate Spring terms, next in 2007, and will meet at the convenience of the participants.


136. Comprehensive Examinations

This is an open-book, written examination for graduate students, taken in July after the completion of the course in Medical Physiology. Students are given two weeks in which to take the test.

137. Propositional Examination 1

138. Propositional Examination 2

Each graduate student must write two research proposals, each in a different area of physiology. The second one usually comprises the proposed thesis research. Each written proposal for an original research project must be defended before an examining committee consisting of three faculty members.

140-145. Research Rotations in Physiology (one course credit)

Three of the following rotations are required, each consisting of an association with a different laboratory for up to six months. During each rotation an original research project will be carried out, requiring at least half time for 10 weeks. The results of the research must be formally written up, and usually they are also presented orally as part of Physiology 135. The staff.

140. Research Rotation in Cardiovascular Physiology

141. Research Rotation in Endocrine Physiology

142. Research Rotation in Neurophysiology

143. Research Rotation in Renal Physiology

144. Research Rotation in Respiratory Physiology

145. Research Rotation in Special Topics

150. Neurosciences I (Henderson/Maue)

As requested

This course is designed for students with a solid fundamental background in Neuroscience. Students should have completed Medical Neuroscience or the equivalent as a prerequisite. Students without this background who wish to take this course may do so with permission of the Instructor. Lectures will cover both classical papers relevant to cellular and molecular neuroscience as well as recent studies that highlight controversial and important findings in this field. Students will be required to read and critique original research papers. Discussion of these papers is an integral part of the course.

Physiology graduate students registering for advanced elective credit should register for Physiology 118. Henderson.

155. Individual Tutorial on Topics in Physiology (offered as requested)

160-165. Same as 140-145, but two course credits.

297. Thesis Research in Physiology (one course credit)

298. Thesis Research in Physiology (two course credits)

299. Thesis Research in Physiology (three course credits)

Original laboratory research leading to the preparation of a thesis of publishable quality, which must be defended before an examining committee consisting of five members, including at least two from other departments. The staff.