Physiology and Functional Genomics Concentration

NOTE: This page is for detailed information about the Physiology and Functional Genomics Concentration only. All inquiries concerning admission to the BMS must be directed to the BMS Admissions office at More information on admissions is also available on the Admissions Page.


The Advanced Concentration in Physiology and Functional Genomics is one of eight advanced concentrations leading to the Ph.D. degree under the auspices of the Graduate Program (BMS) in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Imagine the thrill of discovering a new protein involved in a signal transduction pathway regulating cell death, the excitement in revealing that a specific gene is regulated during a disease or induced by a drug, or the immense reward of showing in a model system that a new drug affects a specific cellular target and slows the progression of a disease. These are possible because of the research training in the Advanced Concentration in Physiology.

The Physiology Concentration is responsible for supervising the academic and intellectual development of each student, creating and maintaining supervisory committees for graduate students, overseeing student mentoring, and administering qualifying exams. Graduate training beyond the first or second semester mainly focuses on laboratory research supervised by the student’s mentor, and supplemented with a selection of advanced courses that are relevant to one’s individual  research project. A weekly student seminar series and participation in journal clubs is required as these forums help to sharpen critical thinking and communication skills.

The basic goals in research training are to develop skills in: hypothesis development, experimental design to test hypotheses, technical execution, data analysis, and data interpretation. The faculty associated with the advanced concentration in Physiology have expertise in a variety of biomedical disciplines, including cell & molecular biology, pharmacology, physiology, neuroscience, biochemistry, genetics, immunology and various ‘omic’ platforms, which bring together unique strengths that provide students with innovative and diverse training.

Meet Annette de Kloet, Ph.D., associate professor, and Lance Riley, transfer Ph.D. student:

Areas of Research

  • Aging and Obesity
  • Cancer Biology
  • Circadian Rhythm Biology
  • Diabetes
  • Drug Development
  • Endocrine Systems
  • Gene Therapy
  • Heart Failure and Stroke
  • Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Ion Channels and Membrane Transport
  • Muscle Biology
  • Pregnancy and Fetal Development
  • Renin-Angiotensin System
  • Signal Transduction Pathways
  • Vascular Biology

Meet Charles Wood, Ph.D., department chair, and learn about his research on pregnancy and fetal development:

Program of Study

For students considering the Physiology concentration, during the first semester, students should take Fundamentals of Biomedical Science (GMS 6001).  This course covers fundamental biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and signal transduction mechanisms.  Students will also take course work that is required by the BMS program (eg., Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development).  In the second semester, students should take Fundamentals of Physiology & Functional Genomics I, II, and III (GMS 6471, GMS  6472, and GMS  6473, respectively) as well as BMS required coursework (eg., Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education).  Beginning with the second year, students will take at least 6 additional credits of course work that are germane to the specific area of research.  Such courses include, but are not limited to the following:

Advanced Signal Transduction (GMS 6051)

Physiology of Circulation of Blood (GMS 6410)

Advances in Hypertension Research (GMS 6413)

Advanced Renal Physiology (GMS 6414)

Fundamentals of Endocrine Physiology (GMS 6405)

Fundamentals of Respiratory Physiology (GMS 6406)

Fundamentals of Renal Physiology (GMS 6408)

Fundamentals of Cardiovascular & Muscle Physiology (GMS 6411)

Fundamentals of Gastrointestinal Physiology (GMS 6415)

Fundamentals of Vascular Physiology and Pathology (GMS 6683)

Students will also take Journal Club (GMS 6491) and a seminar course (GMS 6495) for all Fall and Spring semester that they are enrolled in the Physiology Concentration.


Example Schedule – Physiology and Functional Genomics Concentration

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 and Beyond
GMS 6001: Fundamentals of Biomedical Research, 5 credit hours

GMS 6003: Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #1, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #2, 1 credit hour

GMS 6491: Journal Club in Physiology, 1 credit hour

GMS 7877: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research, 1 credit hour

GMS 6090: Rotation #3, 1 credit hour

GMS 6471: Physiology & Functional Genomics I, 1 credit hour

GMS 6472: Physiology & Functional Genomics II, 1 credit hour

GMS 6473: Physiology & Functional Genomics III, 1 credit hour

GMS 6491, Journal Club in Physiology, 1 credit hour

Additional course work of interest to the student/research, 3 credit hours

GMS 6491: Journal Club in Physiology, 1 credit hour

GMS 6495, Seminars in Physiology, 1 credit hour

Advanced course work (need a minimum of 6 credit hours prior to graduation), 2 credit hours

GMS 7979, Laboratory Based Research, 5 credit hours


The Faculty and Their Research

For a list of faculty members in the Physiology and Functional Genomics advanced program, please click here.

Meet Karyn Esser, Ph.D. and learn about her research on circadian rhythms:

What We’re Reading

The latest from Science Magazine and Physiological Reviews:

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Concentration Contacts

Glenn Walter, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Physiology and Functional Genomics Concentration
Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics – UF College of Medicine
Phone: (352) 294-5996 | E-mail:

Robyn Edwards
Graduate Administrator
Phone: (352) 294-5064  | E-mail: