PhD in Medical Sciences Concentrations

Cardiovascular Biology


Cardiovascular Biology in the Medical Sciences PhD Program 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.


The curriculum for the PhD in Medical Sciences can be found in the Graduate Catalog. A sample of courses offered within the Cardiovascular Biology concentration is listed below.

  • Cardiovascular Regulation
  • Basic Medical Physiology
  • Basic Medical Pharmacology
  • Structural Biology
  • Membrane Physiology
  • Principle of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Advanced Pharmacology & Physiology

Graduate Catalog

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, students, and their research interests below.

Current Faculty & Students 

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

USF Health Heart Institute

Lab Spotlight

Concentration Spotlights


Recent Publications

  • Bowers SLK, Kemp SS, Aguera KN, Koller GM, Forgy JC, Davis GE. Defining an Upstream VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) Priming Signature for Downstream Factor-Induced Endothelial Cell-Pericyte Tube Network Coassembly. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2020 Dec;40(12):2891-2909. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.120.314517. Epub 2020 Oct 22. PMID: 33086871; PMCID: PMC7939123.

  • Schafer CM, Gurley JM, Kurylowicz K, Lin PK, Chen W, Elliott MH, Davis GE, Bhatti F, Griffin CT. An inhibitor of endothelial ETS transcription factors promotes physiologic and therapeutic vessel regression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Oct 20;117(42):26494-26502. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2015980117. Epub 2020 Oct 5. PMID: 33020273; PMCID: PMC7584886.

More Information

For information about the Medical Sciences PhD Program, contact 813-974-2836 or

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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.