Prospective Students

Our Discipline

Physiology & Functional Genomics concerns the functions of the different cells, organs, and organ systems of the body — both the parts and the whole. Our researchers tackle important biological problems at the systems level in the areas of cell and tissue biology, organ physiology, and neuroscience. We strive to understand how genes and proteins work in cells and how cells and organs interact to achieve optimal cell and organ functions and organismal homeostasis. As such, we provide a balanced training to our graduate students, using molecular biology, genetic and genomic approaches, focusing not only on the parts but also the whole.

Our Mission

The study of physiology is of central importance in biology and medicine and related health sciences. Our mission is to carry out molecular, cell, and systems level studies to better understand the normal and abnormal functions of cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole body, and advance understanding of normal physiology and diseases and improve human health.

Our Research

Approaches: cell and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, and various behavioral and physiological methods.

Biomolecules: metabolites, genes, proteins, gene networks, and cell and biochemical signaling pathways.

Organ physiology: renal and cardiovascular, myology, endocrinology, reproduction and development, neurobiology, and pathology.

Diseases: Hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, muscular dystrophy, sleep disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer.

Our Concentration

The Physiology & Functional Genomics Concentration is one of the eight Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Concentrations in the College of Medicine. Our Physiology Concentration is a relatively small but close-knit program. During the first year, you will have the opportunity to rotate through labs in any of the BMS departments before selecting your laboratory and mentor for your thesis research. You will form a supervisory committee consisting of professors of relevant expertise including your mentor to guide through your studies.

We encourage all applications interested in pursuing a career in biological research to apply to our program. We seek to recruit excellence and use a balanced approach to evaluate applicants, taking into consideration of your academic record and standard test scores, as well as prior research experience.

To Apply

BMS application:

All in one, step-by-step application site

Important notes:

  • Application deadline for fall 2021 admission is November 1, 2020
  • Required documents to prepare: official transcripts, personal statement, 3 recommendation letters from mentors, official test scores (waived for this cycle)
  • GRE waiver for fall 2021 admission cycle

Other relevant sites:

Biomedical Science Program Admissions

How to Apply to the Graduate School

Graduate School Admissions Home Page

Physiology Concentration Homepage


Department Chair: Karyn Esser, Ph.D. (  

Graduate Coordinator: Andrew C. Liu, Ph.D. (

Graduate Coordinator: Shinichi Someya, Ph.D. (

Graduate Admin: Robyn Edwards (

Graduate Admin: Taylor Greene (