Cardiovascular Biology

The Cardiovascular Biology concentration in the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences is under the broad heading of cardiovascular research, with an emphasis on vascular biology. A concentration in cardiovascular biology provides training in such diverse fields as gene regulation and differentiation in smooth muscle, molecular biology of smooth and cardiac muscle, receptor function and signal transduction in smooth muscle and endothelial cells, matrix, and adhesion molecules in endothelial cell function, cell-cell communication, vascular development and inflammation, angiogenesis, and remodeling. Training includes a unique interdisciplinary blend of didactic coursework, journal clubs, seminar series, as well as significant research experience. The interdisciplinary structure permits considerable flexibility in training; each students’ training is tailored to meet individual requirements. 


In addition to the coursework required for all students in the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences, students will take courses in their chosen concentration. 


  • GMS 6410 Cardiovascular Regulation
  • GMS 6440 Basic Medical Physiology
  • GMS 6505 Basic Medical Pharmacology

Sample of Electives

  • BCH 6746 Structural Biology
  • GMS 6501 Membrane Physiology
  • GMS 6513 Principle of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • GMS 7930 Advanced Pharmacology & Physiology

Faculty & Research

Current research interests include: 

  • Determinants of cardiac excitability and arrhythmias
  • Microcirculation, lymphatic biology, cell and matrix molecular biology
  • Role of microRNA in infantile hemangioma
  • Function and plasticity of distributed, brainstem neural networks involved in cardiorespiratory control

Learn more about our faculty and their research interests here.

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

USF Health Heart Institute

Concentration Spotlights 


photo of faculty from inaugural Heart Institute Scientific Colloqium

Several USF faculty members participated in the USF Health Heart Institute's first ever scientific conference.
Read more

Dr. Breslin demonstrating for students

Jerome Breslin, PhD, professor in the USF Health Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, directs the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships program sponsored by the American Heart Association. 

Learn more about the program.


Recent Publications


  • Mong E, Akat K, Canfield J, Lockhart J, VanWye J, Matar A, Tsibris J, Wu J, Tuschl T, Totary-Jain H. Modulation of LIN28B/Let-7 Signaling by Propranolol Contributes to Infantile Hemangioma Involution. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2018;38:1321-1332, originally published May 3, 2018.
  • Meegan JE, Yang X, Coleman DC, Jannaway M, Yuan SY. Neutrophil‐mediated vascular barrier injury: Role of neutrophil extracellular traps. Microcirculation. 2017; 24:e12352.
  • Bassil G, Zarzoso M, Noujaim SF. Allometric scaling of electrical excitation and propagation in the mammalian heart. Journal of theoretical biology. 419: 238-242, 2017. 
  • Motherwell JM, Azimi MS, Spicer K, Alves NG, Hodges NA, Breslin JW, Katakam PVG, Murfee WL. Evaluation of Arteriolar Smooth Muscle Cell Function in an Ex Vivo Microvascular Network Model. Scientific reports. 7(1): 2195, 2017.

More Information

For information about the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences, contact 813-974-2836 or

Apply Now

Please note, students do not apply directly to a concentration. Interested students should submit an application for the PhD in Medical Sciences. Concentrations are typically selected during the first year of study.