PhD Program in Physiology

BIOETHICS

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Hubert Forster, PhD Professor of Physiology Director, Graduate Program in Physiology

 

Hubert Forster, PhD

Professor of Physiology
Director, Graduate Program in Physiology

 

The concept that integrative and systems physiology fosters breakthroughs in all areas of life sciences continues to be an innovative feature of our training program. Our training faculty embrace the concept that the study of physiology involves understanding how normal biological processes breakdown in cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, and other diseases. To ensure that our students are well versed in this concept, we have adopted and developed new technologies and scientific approaches to the study of mechanisms of disease using whole-animal, cellular, and molecular preparations. Moreover, we provide training to ensure that scientific breakthroughs reach patients by emphasizing translational science initiatives. Our faculty also foster highly collaborative research programs, and as such, students in our training program have been exposed to a new energy, and have opportunities in the evolving fields of physiological genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, systems molecular medicine, and personalized medicine.

bforster@mcw.edu
(414) 456-8533

  • About
  • Students
  • Curriculum
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
  • Faculty
  • Events

Grad_BioethicsAbout

 

The Physiology PhD program at the Medical College of Wisconsin addresses the need to train integrative and systems physiologists. Indeed, research in physiology departments worldwide has changed from an emphasis on whole-animal studies to an orientation based on cellular and molecular research. Currently, few physiologists are being trained to conduct whole-animal research and to teach the traditional systems physiology required for the education of health professionals; our program considers this a high priority.

This increased need for integrative physiology coincides with the explosion in the field of physiological genomics. As mammalian genomes are sequenced, the search for gene function will continue to accelerate. Attaching function to the identified genes and understanding how these genes work together at a systems level will occupy our students, trained in integrative physiology, for much of their careers.

The Department of Physiology recognizes the importance of attracting and training highly qualified students into the field of integrative (cellular, molecular and whole animal) physiology. Our primary objective is to provide outstanding training across the broad discipline of physiology, by giving students an in-depth knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms and processes which underlie circulatory, renal, pulmonary, and smooth muscle function in wellness and in disease. The graduates of our program are prepared to contribute to achievement of the long-term goals of developing improved strategies for prevention and control of these diseases. Moreover, our graduates are trained for integrative physiology that includes whole animal, cellular, and molecular research; thus they are prepared to be leaders in physiology research in the 21st century, and to teach traditional systems physiology.

Current Students

 

 

Alsheikh, AmmarAlsheikh, Ammar

aalsheikh@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. David L. Mattson
Year in Program: 3
Previous Education: Alfaisal University, MBBS, Medicine
Research Interest: Mechanisms of hypertension as the biggest risk factor for cardiovascular mortality. In specific investigating the role of immune system in hypertension and potential therapeutic targets.

Arzua, ThiagoArzua, Thiago

tarzua@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Xiaowen Bai
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education: University of South Florida, Chemistry 
Research Interest: Focus on human stem cells (hESC) derived neuronal models, such as cerebral organoids, and their use in modeling different neurotoxic pathologies. 

 

Behlke, ChristinaBehlke, Christina

cbehlke@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Bert Forster and Dr. Matt Hodges
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education: Ottawa University, BS, Healthcare Management; Marian University, BS, Biology.
Research Interest: I am interested in integrative and translational physiology research, with a particular love for neurophysiology.

Bukowy, JohnBukowy, John

jbukowy@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Allen W. Cowley, Jr.
Year in Program: 4+
Previous Education: Marquette University, BS, Biomedical Engineering; Illinois Institute of Technology, MS, Electrical Engineering
Research Topic: Intra-renal distribution of blood flow. Applications of machine learning in histological analysis.

Burgraff, NicholasBurgraff, Nicholas

nburgraff@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Bert Forster
Year in Program: 3
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin Green Bay, BS, Human Biology
Research Topic: Mechanisms of Ventilatory and Neural Adaptations to Chronic Hypercapnia

 

Dillard, MatthewDillard, Matthew

mdillard@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Matt Hodges 
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education: Eureka College, BS, Neuroscience. 
Research Interest: My project is focused on investigating “The Role of Neuromodulator Receptors in the Retrotrapezoid Nucleus on the Ventilatory CO2 Chemoreflex” or simply “Neural Control of Breathing”.

 

Dissanayake, LashodyaDissanayake, Lashodya

ldissanayake@mcw.edu
Mentor:
Year in Program: 1
Previous Education: Voronezh State University (Voronezh, Russia), Pre-University Preparatory Certificate; Kursk State Medical University (Kursk, Russia), MD
Research interest: Understanding how alterations in microRNAs and protein coding genes influence cardiovascular disease, renal disease, and cardiorenal syndromes. 

Exner, EricExner, Eric

eexner@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Andrew Greene
Year in Program: 4+ (MSTP)
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, BS, Biology
Research Topic: Interactions of renin-angiotensin system receptors in vascular homeostasis and endothelial progenitor cell function

Fehrenbach, DanielFehrenbach, Daniel

dfehrenbach@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. David Mattson
Year in Program: 3
Previous Education: UW-Madison B.S. Molecular Biology
Research Interest: I am looking into the role the innate immune system plays in the development of salt-sensitive hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

 

Alicia IvoryIvory, Alicia

aivory@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Andrew Greene
Year in Program: 2 (MSTP)
Previous Education: Grambling State University, BS, Biological Science & BA, Psychology
Research Topic: Endothelial progenitor cell mechanisms of blood vessel repair

 

Jensen, DavidJensen, David

dmjensen@mcw.edu    
Mentor: Dr. Mingyu Liang
Year in Program: 4+
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Parkside, BS, Biology
Research Topic: The role of miRNA in endothelial dysfunction in hypertension and diabetes.

 

Jewell, MadelineJewell, Madeline

mjewell@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Melinda Dwinell
Year in Program: 1
Previous Education: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS, Biomedical Engineering
Research Interest: Genetics, Regenerative Medicine

Kadlec, AndrewKadlec, Andrew

akadlec@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. David Gutterman
Year in Program: 4 (MSTP)
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison, BA, English
Research Topic: The role of the microcirculation in coronary artery disease

 

Logan, SarahLogan, Sarah

sarahlogan@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Xiaowen Bai
Year in Program: 4
Previous Education: Bates College, BS, Biology
Research Topic: Neurodegeneration, neuroplasticity, trauma, early brain development

Anna ManisManis, Anna

amanis@mcw.edu
Mentors:  Dr. Matt Hodges
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education:  UC Davis, BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research interest:  Ion channels work to maintain homeostasis in the kidney as well as the brain.  I am interested in the effects of disrupting a potassium channel (Kir5.1) with regard to consequences in breathing, seizure activity, and blood pressure control.

Marquez, MaribelMarquez, Maribel

mmarquez@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Aron Geurts
Year in Program: 4
Previous Education: California State Polytechnic University, BS, Microbiology
Research Interest: My research interest is in genome engineering and in using human iPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes as an in virto model to investigate patient specific gene variants that may be causal to the clinical presentation.

Nasci, VictoriaNasci, Victoria

vnasci@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Alison Kriegel
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education: Marquette University BS in Biological Sciences
Research Topic: Cardio-renal syndrome type 4 and the involvement of microRNA's

Paddock, SamanthaPaddock, Samantha

spaddock@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Caitlin O'Meara and Dr. Michael Flister
Year in Program: 2
Previous Education: UW-Madison, BS, Biology 
Research Topic: Role of IL13 in cardiac regeneration of neonatal mice

 

Paterson, MarkPaterson, Mark

mpaterso@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Alison Kriegel
Year in Program: 4
Previous Education: Wisconsin Lutheran College, BS, Biology
Research Interest: The Kriegel Lab studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie chronic renocardiac syndrome (CRS4), especially focusing on the role of miRNAs in mediating pathophysiology.

Plasterer, CodyPlasterer, Cody

cplasterer@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Michael Flister
Year in Program: 3
Previous Education: Utica College, BS, Biology
Research Interest: identifying genetic risk factors of breast cancer. 

 

Roberts, MichelleRoberts, Michelle

miroberts@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Mingyu Liang and Dr. Aron Geurts
Year in Program: 1
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Parkside, BS, Biological Sciences; MS, Applied Molecular Biology
Research Topic: Epigenomics of hypertension, Targeted Methylation using CRIPSR/Cas technologies

 

Spires, DenishaSpires, Denisha

dspires@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Alexander Staruschenko
Year in Program: 3
Previous Education: Tougaloo College, BS, Biology
Research Topic: The pathophysiological role of ion channels in the kidney and in the progression of renal disease.

 

Stodola, TimothyStodola, Timothy

tstodola@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Andrew Greene and Dr. Mingyu Liang
Year in Program: 4+
Previous Education: University of Minnesota -Twin Cities, BS
Research: Physiological Genomics and Epigenomics

Tinklenberg, JenniferTinklenberg, Jennifer

jtinklenberg@mcw.edu
Mentor:
Year in Program: 1
Previous Education: UW-Stevens Point, BS; UW-Milwaukee, MS, Biology
Research Interest: I am interested in biomarkers related to muscle disease as well as therapeutic treatments for myopathies and dystrophies.

Uche, NnamdiUche, Nnamdi

nuche@mcw.edu
Mentor:
Year in Program: 1
Previous Education: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, BS
Research Topic: Endothelial Dysfunction

Wade, BrittanyWade, Brittany

bwade@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. David Mattson
Year in Program: 4+
Previous Education: Northern Illinois University, BS, Biochemistry
Research Topic: Role of Lymphocytes and Immune Response in the Hypertension & Renal Damage

Williams, AnnaWilliams, Anna

annwilliams@mcw.edu
Mentor: Dr. Mingyu Liang
Year in Program: 4+
Previous Education: UW-Madison, BS, Zoology & Anthropology; MS, Biotechnology
Research Interest: I use whole genome approaches to identify biomarkers in order to predict disease progression and treatment response in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Curriculum

 

The PhD program is interdisciplinary both in course work and research (basic science and translational) to provide a strong foundation for a career in integrative physiology, and of equal importance, create a mindset and background that will enable the trainees to develop and/or move into new and evolving scientific fields.

The major emphasis of the program is to provide state-of-the-art research training. This training will be obtained under the supervision by a team of our primary (NIH funded) Physiology mentors, and co-mentors from other basic science and clinical faculty. The primary research emphasis is cardiovascular/renal and respiratory physiology and genetics, with endocrine, smooth muscle, and the central nervous system physiology and genetics as the major focus in some laboratories. Research will range from the use of whole animal through isolated organs, tissue culture and single cells to the molecular level, including signal transduction, biochemical pathways, gene expression and computational approaches to the analysis of complex systems.

Additional information about the program includes:

  • It is designed for students to a) acquire basic knowledge of all the biomedical basic sciences, b) develop critical thinking, integrative reasoning, and technical skills for research, and c) obtain the oral and written communication skills required for research and teaching responsibilities.
     
  • There is flexibility in the program that meets individual trainee interests while retaining a degree of structure that will optimize achievement of the objectives.

Our trainees are required to complete research in whole animal, cellular, and molecular areas through interdisciplinary team approaches, networking, and collaborations between basic science and clinical faculty with an emphasis on addressing the national need to train for the more integrated-systems future of biomedical research in the post-genome era.

Open AllClose All
  

Sample Program Plan

Fall Semester of First Year

 

1. General Human Physiology (4 credits)

Basic functions of cells, tissues and organ systems are presented with homeostasis and physiological reserve as the central emphasis. Regulatory mechanisms which govern the performance of each physiological system are covered, as are the limits of performance of these systems. The course includes lectures and small group interactive discussions. This course is team taught with Drs. Cowley, Greene, Forster, Mattson, Lombard, and Raff, responsible for sections of their expertise.

 

2. Supplement to Physiology (1 credit)

Each Friday, faculty who lectured that week discuss the lecture material with the students.

 

3. Molecules to Cells (5 credits)

Emphasis is on the structure and function of proteins and on metabolic processes in cells.

 

4. Readings and Research in Physiology (1 credit)

This course will give credit for the laboratory rotations completed by the students.

 

Spring Semester of First Year

Students are required to complete the first two courses listed below. Students choose from the other courses (taught by faculty outside of Physiology) as needed to meet the 9-credit requirement.

 

1. Special Topics in Physiology (1 credit)

Under the direction of a senior faculty, manuscripts in a specialized field of Physiology are discussed and critiqued.

 

2. Readings and Research in Physiology (1 credit)

This course will cover the laboratory rotations completed by the students.

 

3. Integrated Neuroscience (4 credits)

This course utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to present current knowledge about integrated structural and functional properties of the mammalian nervous system.

 

4. Classical and Molecular Genetics (3 credits)

This interdisciplinary course provides students with a foundation in classical and molecular genetics, model systems genetics, the replication, repair, and recombination of the genetic material, developmental biology, cancer, and genomics.

 

5. Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics of the Cell (5 credits)

This course covers mechanisms for the transduction of extracellular signals across cell membranes and through the cytoplasm.

 

During the summer between the first and second year, the courses listed below are required. The students also begin research in the laboratory they have chosen for their dissertation.

 

1. Seminar (1credit)

Students will receive credit for presenting a seminar and attending all seminars in the department. Students enroll in seminar each summer in the program.

 

2. Biostatistics for Health Sciences (1credit)

This course covers the most basic and commonly used statistical concepts in the health sciences. Topics include descriptive statistics, estimation and hypothesis testing for designs involving more than two variables, linear regression and correlation, binomial topics and contingency tables, and analysis of variance.

 

Fall and Spring Semester of the Second Year

The emphasis shifts more to the research laboratory with about 50% of time completing initial research for their dissertation. During each semester of the 2nd year, the students are required to take five course credits from the options listed below. Courses 2 to 5 are required.

 

1. Advanced Systems Physiology courses (Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Renal, Endocrine)

These are five separate courses each for 1 credit taught, respectively, by Drs. Greene, Forster, Mattson, Raff, and Lombard. The courses are taught in a "journal club" format where the emphasis is on not only acquisition of basic knowledge, but also on critical evaluation of research papers, identification of gaps in knowledge, design of studies, and synthesis and communication of knowledge. These courses are offered either semester depending on student interest. There is no requirement to take any of these advanced courses, but the program directors and individual student mentors counsel the students on course selection.

 

2. Boundaries of Science and Medical Practice (1 credit)

This course (fall semester) is team-taught by Drs. Forster, Twining (Biochemistry), and Marcdante (Medicine). This course provides background relevant to translational research. At the end of this course, the students must identify gaps between basic science knowledge and clinical practice for specific clinical questions pertinent to their area of research and they must propose appropriate experiments that are feasible and compliant with regulatory and ethical issues.

 

3. Physiological Genomics (5 credits)

This course, (spring semester) taught by Dr. Geurts, is a combination lecture and discussion course on the theory and methods of elucidating gene function.

 

4. Fundamentals of Grant Writing (1 credit)

This course (spring semester) will cover the fundamentals of grant writing including, formulating aims, and developing preliminary data. Each student will develop a pre-doctoral fellowship application. We expect these grants will be submitted for funding to sponsors such as NIH or the American Heart Association.

 

5. Ethics and Integrity in Science (2 credits)

This course (fall semester) taught by Bioethics faculty provides the basis for understanding the ethical issues related to basic scientific and medical research, including, conflict of interest, animal and human subject research, mentor/mentee responsibilities, peer review, responsible authorship and publication, fraud and misconduct, and governmental, institutional, and researcher responsibilities.

 

6. Research Ethics Discussion (2 credits)

The course is directed by members of the Bioethics Faculty and provides facilitated discussions of a series of topics in research ethics. Discussions are led by members of the Basic Science faculty including Physiology and are focused on ethical issues that commonly come up in biomedical research. The course is meant to not only reinforce the basic ethics taught in "Ethics and Integrity in Science" which is a prerequisite, but also to explore the gray areas of the individual topics. The intent is to offer students illustrative examples of ethical issues that might arise in their careers, to emphasize the ethical principles that apply in such situations, and the provide practical guidance on how these types of situations should be correctly handled.

  

PhD Qualifying Examination

At the end of the second year, Physiology graduate students take the PhD Qualifying Examination:

 

1. Examination committee

The examination committee usually chaired by the Program Director will be composed of members of the Department Graduate committee plus one or two content experts. The student’s primary mentor is not on this committee.

 

2. Written research proposal

The research proposal should be a grant style proposal based on class materials or work conducted in laboratory rotations. The proposal does not necessarily reflect the work being done in their mentor’s laboratory nor is it considered their dissertation proposal. The proposal should be composed of the following (with suggested page lengths, not to exceed 7 pages): a) background (~2 pages), b) specific aims and hypotheses (~1 page), d) pilot data (optional and not expected), e) approach (~2 pages), and f) statistical treatment of data (~1 page). The proposal must be provided to the committee at least two weeks prior to oral defense. The proposal will be evaluated by the examination committee.

 

3. Oral defense date

This will be set once the examination committee rates the written proposal as acceptable. 

 

4. Examination committee members

This group can question the student at any point during the oral presentation. The student is expected to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the biomedical sciences.

 

5. Final decision

The committee determines a pass or fail based on both the written document and the student’s performance on the oral defense. The examination committee will also assign each student a score based on a 5-point rating system as required by the MCW graduate school. The committee will orally inform the student of their decision immediately after questioning and will also provide a written summary.

  

Other Courses

These are generally taken after Second Year and are optional.

 

1. Computational Methods of Biomedical Research (3 credits)

This course, taught by Dr. Dash, focuses on practical techniques for simulation and analysis of biological systems, developed largely through application-driven examples. Examples will be developed to a depth at which models will be used to analyze real biological or physiological data. To accomplish this, the important details of the underlying biological systems must be described along with a complete step-by-step development of model assumptions, the resulting equations, and (when necessary) computer code.

 

2. General Pharmacology (4 credits)

The course consists of lectures and demonstrations on the principles of pharmacology and the major therapeutic drugs. Discussed are the interaction of drugs, drug absorption and elimination, drug distribution, dose response relationships, toxicity, and therapeutic efficacy.

 

3. Mathematical Biology (3 credits)

Dr. Dash teaches the students how to express physiological problems in equations and how to solve such equations. Emphasis on physiological problem-solving methods rather than mathematical theory. Topics include the application of matrices, differential equations, and numerical analysis to problems in bioelectricity, biomechanics, and optics.

 

4. Effects of Drugs and Other Chemicals on the Autonomic and Somatic Nervous Systems (2 credits)

Recent advances in the field of autonomic and peripheral nervous system physiology and pharmacology: drug receptor concepts; agonist-antagonist interactions; chemical transmission and the pharmacodynamic effects of autonomic agents.

 

5. Central Nervous System Pharmacology (2 credits)

Selected drugs which affect the central nervous system are discussed. Emphasis is on those neuronal mechanisms which are involved in the elaboration of behavior. The neurochemical and neurophysiological basis of drug action is presented.

 

6. Advanced Cell Biology (3 credits)

Lectures and readings in the renewal, differentiation, communication, adhesion, secretion, motility, gene activity, and mitochondrial dynamics of eukaryotic cells.

 

7. Phys 08399 Doctoral Dissertation (9 semester hours)
Students enroll in this course during the semester they defend their dissertation which is their last semester in the program.

  

Selection of a Dissertation Preceptor (Primary Mentor):

This process begins upon matriculation when the students begin laboratory rotations. The Program Directors inform trainees of faculty that are eligible to be preceptors (Table 2). Eligibility requires a federally funded research grant, demonstrated mentoring and teaching skills, and available time and resources to support a student. Selection of a preceptor will occur via mutual agreement (between the trainee and the faculty member) and must be approved by the Program Directors. The laboratory rotations, attendance in seminars and courses, and the compatibility of the personalities and styles of the student and preceptor are all factors in the student’s decision regarding a mentor. At the completion of the 3 laboratory rotations, the students finalize their decision regarding a preceptor. They are required to write a general description of the dissertation research, and if acceptable, the Program Directors will then approve the student’s choice of dissertation primary mentor.

 

The Dissertation Committee, Dissertation Research, and Mentoring. The trainee and preceptor will form a dissertation committee composed of 2 additional Physiology faculty members, co-mentors from another basic science department and/or from a clinical department, and a senior scientist outside of MCW. The committee must be approved by the Program Directors by the end of the second summer in the program. Committees will meet at least twice yearly to evaluate progress. Within 6 months of committee formation, a dissertation proposal must be submitted to committee members, the Program Director, and Dean of the Graduate School for approval. The Program Directors attend the twice yearly required meetings. They assess student progress as outlined in their individual development plans, e.g. meeting the benchmark of two publications stemming from dissertation research.

 

The dissertation proposal describes the problem, hypotheses, and methodology of the dissertation research; in the Physiology department, dissertation proposals must span the continuum from the subcellular to the whole animal level. The specific aims of the dissertation requires the expert contribution of a co-mentor in a clinical department and usually also a co-mentor in a basic science department other than physiology.  This requirement meets the NHLBI “group mentorship” plan “whereby multiple senior partners in team-based research lend their individual expertise to the trainee.” The dissertation committee and research of recent graduate (Gary Mouradian) are an example of: 1) the collaborative contributions of diverse faculty mentoring, and 2) the expansive research scope from whole animal to cellular/molecular mechanisms.

  

Graduate Student's Individual Development Plan

Each student must create and then annually update an Individual Development Plan.

 

Step 1

Consider these two questions:

 

1. What are your long-term career plans? What do imagine you will be doing 10 years from now?

 

2. Do you have plans to obtain further training once you complete your PhD? If so, what are those plans and how will they help you achieve your long-term career goal?

 

Answer each of these questions briefly to help you focus your annual development.

 

Step 2

Step two is identifying the skills that you need to acquire and developing an annual plan to help you do this. Use the template in questions 3 and 4 as a guide. You should include your mentor or program director in discussions about skills development and the timeline towards graduation.

 

3. Timeline for skills development.

 

The timeline should include discussion of how you will gain expertise in those skills that will be important for your future development. Several suggestions for areas are listed below but this is not a complete list. You should add additional skills that are unique to you.

 

a) note taking, manuscript reading, efficient extraction of information
b) study habits
c) oral and written communication
d) critical reasoning
e) acquisition of knowledge
f) teaching

 

For the current calendar year which of the skills listed above will you focus on developing? What are your plans to acquire or improve those skills?

 

4. Timeline to complete requirements.

 

This is the timeline by which you anticipate achieving the following critical milestones towards your degree.

 

a) course work including required and optional
b) preliminary examination
c) dissertation outline
d) chapters or manuscripts for dissertation
e) completed dissertation and defense
f) other

Admissions

Start Your Application Now

Degree Offered

The Physiology Graduate Program offers a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Program Admission Requirements

Those interested in pursuing education and research within the Department of Physiology should pursue admission directly to the Physiology PhD program and/or the Neuroscience Doctoral Program (NDP) as well as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD).

A Bachelor’s degree (either completed or in the process of completing) is required for admission to any MCW graduate program. Applicants will ideally have a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA), as well as quantitative and verbal reasoning GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile (3.5 or higher writing score). Personal statements and letters of recommendation from professors, advisors, research supervisors, etc. who know you well are highly regarded in the admission process. Prior research experience is also strongly considered.

The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis. However, applications accepted by the priority application deadline of January 15th will receive first priority for admission the following Fall. Students are admitted once per year.

Open AllClose All
  

Application Information

An applicant’s undergraduate or master degree program should be in a relevant area of science or mathematics in order to be eligible for consideration. Most applicants have previous research experience. Undergraduates may apply directly to the Physiology Graduate Program. By January 15th each year, the Program Directors prioritize applications based on the following criteria:

 

  1. The academic record of the applicant, including undergraduate and graduate transcripts and graduate record examination scores
  2. The quality and extent of previous research experience, including publications
  3. Letters of recommendation, which support a commitment of the applicant to biomedical research
  4. The personal statement of the applicant describing career goals and the importance of this program to the achievement of those goals.
  

Interview Information

On-campus interviews are then scheduled for the most qualified U.S. applicants. The schedule for your interview day will consist of:

 

  • An orientation by Program Directors
  • Attendance at course lectures
  • 30-minute individual interviews with four (4) faculty members
  • 10-minute oral presentation with 5 minutes of discussion for each candidate
  • Tour of research laboratories and educational faculties
  • Lunch and dinner with faculty and current graduate students.

 

The week following the interviews, all faculty and current graduate students provide input to the Program Directors and department chair regarding the potential of each applicant for a successful career in biomedical research. The oral presentation (articulation, poise, organization, understanding of topic, passion for research), the interpersonal interaction with faculty members and students, and the compatibility of research interests of the applicant with research opportunities available in the laboratories of the program faculty members are all important considerations for admission

 

Alternative Admission Options

 

Applicants may alternatively apply to either the Neuroscience Doctoral Program or the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences at MCW. These programs represent the combined recruitment efforts of multiple basic science departments. Physiology faculty members participate in the leadership of these programs, the screening of applications, the interview process, and the selection of applicants for admission. The criteria for invitation for an interview and for final selection into the program are similar to criteria for direct entrance into the Physiology PhD Program. These programs interview on two days separate from the Physiology interview day. Students matriculating into these interdisciplinary programs are not committed to a specific PhD granting department until the end of the first year in graduate school. Their selection of a program is based on rotations in laboratories in different departments and on the courses completed in the first year. These students may choose to matriculate into Physiology at the end of the first year of graduate studies. They will be required to take a different course load during year 2 than those students matriculating directly into Physiology. For more information on courses, click the blue “Curriculum” tab.

 

Students may also enter the Physiology PhD Program through the Medical Science Training Program (MCW’s combined MD/PhD program), or MSTP. These students complete the first two years of medical school and then complete three to four years in graduate school before completing medical school. The MSTP is directed by Joseph Barbieri, PhD, who chairs a committee of other basic science and clinical faculty members. This committee is responsible for all aspects of the MSTP. During the first two years in medical school, MSTP students complete research rotations in various departments and based on these rotations, choose a laboratory (preceptor) for their PhD research.

TUITION AND FEES INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or mcwtuition@mcw.edu.

PhD Students

All full-time PhD students receive a full tuition remission, health insurance and stipend.

2017-2018 Stipend: $29,136.00

The following fees are covered by the tuition remission:

  • All Students Fee (Fall & Spring Semesters Only): $40.00
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) Fee: $35.00
  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,250.00

Masters, Certificate & Non-Degree Students

Students seeking financial aid for MPH, MS or MA degree programs, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,010.00
  • Master’s in Medical Physiology Tuition: $42,000/year
  • Continuation: $225.00
  • Audit - Per Class: $100.00

Current MCW Employees

Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)

Late Fees

There will be a $250 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester. There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the Student Handbook.

Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.

Please wait while we gather your results.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences General CAMPUS CONTACT INFORMATION

Mailing Address:
MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226


(414) 955-8218
(414) 955-6555 (fax)
gradschool@mcw.edu

Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities

(414) 955-8498
(414) 955-6511 (fax)
bioethics@mcw.edu
Maps & Directions