Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine (IPMM) Doctoral Program

Hays ResearchThe Integrative Physiology & Molecular Medicine (IPMM) doctoral program is one of seven graduate programs that comprise the UNMC’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS). The IPMM doctoral program is hosted by the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, but consists of more than 50 faculty from 28 different colleges and departments across the UNMC. IPMM provides diverse research and learning experiences that emphasize cellular and molecular processes underscoring coordinated integration of organ systems within the body, typically with a view to unraveling disease mechanisms.  The interdisciplinary environment of the IPMM doctoral program, involving both basic scientists and clinician scientists, facilitates the acquisition of modern experimental techniques and development of the intellectual tools required for their effective implementation in the study of current problems in health and disease. Students in IPMM typically pursue research projects that combine sophisticated approaches for study of cellular & molecular function with powerful integrative physiological techniques.

Didactic Training: PhD students in IPMM will complete a core curriculum composed of the following courses: Graduate Physiology I and II, Fundamentals of Biomolecules, Molecular Cell Biology, Fundamentals of Receptors & Cell Signaling, and Pharmacology. Students will also register each semester for a Seminar/Journal Club course. On an individual basis, the student's supervisory committee can define additional course requirements, which may include, but are not limited to: Physiology & Pathophysiology of the Kidney, Cardiopulmonary Function in Health & Disease, Ion Channels and Disease, Redox Biology in Human Disease, Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, Introductory Immunobiology, and Biostatistics. Students must achieve a grade point average of "B" (3.0) or better in all graduate-level courses.  Click HERE for more detailed information on courses.

Fluorescent CellResearch Training: During the first semester of graduate study, students select 2-3 research rotations to complete in laboratories of different IPMM faculty. These research rotations introduce the student to research, in terms of specific questions and techniques as well as general aspects of research strategies and problem solving. After completion of the rotations, students select a faculty advisor and laboratory for their dissertation research project. Research training in IPMM is designed to optimize the ability of students to address a broad range of research problems that can be categorized into several general themes that represent contemporary strategies for understanding molecular and integrative mechanisms contributing to physiology and pathophysiology. There are no clear lines of demarcation between these categories, and interactions across thematic lines are routine and encouraged.  Please click HERE for more detailed information on the general research being conducted by IPMM faculty and their laboratories.

Students advance to PhD candidacy by completion of course requirements and a comprehensive examination, which must be completed by the end of their third year. The comprehensive examination consists of the preparation (written) and defense (oral) of a mock grant proposal. PhD candidates must have at least one (1) first-author research paper published or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal prior to graduation. The PhD is awarded upon the completion of a research program that results in a dissertation of publishable quality with an oral defense. Completion of the degree usually requires 5 years.

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