PhD in Medical Sciences Concentrations

Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

Research in the Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology concentration in the Medical Sciences PhD Program is focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of nervous and cardiovascular systems and related disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and drug addiction. Training will include a unique interdisciplinary blend of didactic coursework, journal clubs, seminar series, as well as significant research experience. The goal of the research programs in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology is to translate studies that decipher mechanisms of diseases or discover novel diagnostic/therapeutic targets into improved healthcare.   


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

  • Basic Medical Physiology
  • Basic Medical Pharmacology
  • Advanced Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Advanced Neuroscience
  • Membrane Physiology
  • Systems Neurophysiology 

Graduate Catalog 

Faculty & Research

Current research interests include: 

  • Renal Pathophysiology and Hypertension
  • Microcirculation, Lymphatic Biology, Cell and Matrix Molecular Biology
  • Glycobiology
  • Hyperbaric Neurophysiology 
  • Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of CNS Oxygen Toxicity
  • Neural Plasticity with neurodegenerative disease and after brain injury

Learn more about our faculty, students, and their research interests below. 

Current Faculty & Students 

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

Neuroscience Institute

Concentration Spotlights



  • Garrett Enten – Shock Society travel award in 2020
  • Drishya Iyer – American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
  • Christopher Hinojo – McKnight Dissertation Fellowship
  • Isabella Hetherington - Krzanowski Career Development Award, Spring 2021 

Recent Publications 

    • Motawe ZY, Abdelmaboud SS, Breslin JW. Involvement of Sigma Receptor-1 in Lymphatic Endothelial Barrier Integrity and Bioenergetic Regulation. Lymphat Res Biol. 2021 Jun;19(3):231-239. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2020.0060. Epub 2020 Nov 23. PMID: 33226886; PMCID: PMC8220569.

    • Lockhart JH, VanWye J, Banerjee R, Wickline SA, Pan H, Totary-Jain H. Self-assembled miRNA-switch nanoparticles target denuded regions and prevent restenosis. Mol Ther. 2021 May 5;29(5):1744-1757. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2021.01.032. Epub 2021 Feb 3. PMID: 33545360; PMCID: PMC8116603.

    • Gao X, Enten GA, DeSantis AJ, Majetschak M. Class A G protein-coupled receptors assemble into functional higher-order hetero-oligomers. FEBS Lett. 2021 Jul;595(14):1863-1875. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.14135. Epub 2021 Jun 11. PMID: 34032285; PMCID: PMC8316310.

More Information

For information about the Medical Sciences PhD Program, 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.