Cell Biology is the study of the structure and function of the cell, the basic unit of life. Physiology is the study of the function and mechanisms of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that make up living organisms. Combined, these branches of biology aim to understand such remarkable processes as how the heart develops and works to pump blood, how brain cells communicate with one another, how insulin regulates blood sugar, and how specific gene products determine the morphology and functional capacity of the nervous system. Building on a foundation of chemistry, physics, and biology, the emphasis on integrating molecular, cellular, systems, and whole-body function is what distinguishes the study of cell biology and physiology from other life sciences.
In addition to working with department faculty, graduate students have the option of performing cross disciplinary research with faculty members across campus.
The Department of Cell Biology and Physiology offers two graduate degrees: Cell Biology and Physiology—MS, and, Cell Biology and Physiology—PhD.
The department has approximately twenty graduate students enrolled each year. Students working toward a master’s degree generally complete all requirements within two years. PhD students generally complete all requirements in four to five years.
Physiology and Developmental Biology Administration:
Fax: (801) 422-0004
Chair: Michael R. Stark
Graduate Coordinator: Jason Hansen
Program Manager: Connie L. Provost
Program resources include the laboratories and equipment of department faculty within the Life Science Building. An electron microscope laboratory, with both transmission and scanning microscopes, is also located on campus. A DNA sequencing center is available in the Life Science Building.
The Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology offers the following forms of financial support: Teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and tuition awards. Specific endowment fund awards are also available.