Physiology and Biophysics

Elliott Crooke, Ph.D., Interim Chair

The medical physiology program provides the student with a scientific understanding of the function and regulation of human organ systems and the cellular and molecular bases for their operation. The first year curriculum module system is an interdisciplinary approach which includes human physiology and endocrinology as core components of the organ system.  Methods of instruction include: lectures,  Socratic-style small-group discussions of patient cases, clinical conferences, and problem-solving workshops. It is integrated with biochemistry, anatomy, and clinical discipline instruction. The active research programs of physiology faculty are used as the basis for their participation in sectional teaching, providing for high expertise and up-to-date instruction to the students.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics offers an extensive program of graduate education leading to an MS degree. The graduate program includes specialized elective courses in advanced concepts of cellular and molecular physiology, integrated regulation of organ system function and neuroscience that are open to graduate and medical students. The Georgetown University Graduate School catalogue provides detailed descriptions of these and other graduate courses. Summer research fellowships support medical student research under the direction of physiology faculty. These projects may be expanded during the remainder of the academic year.

Faculty members of the department conduct research in cardiovascular sciences, cellular and molecular physiology, neuroscience, molecular neuroendocrinology, molecular three-dimensional imaging, renal physiology, and pulmonary physiology. Research facilities are available for this work, and in certain instances, working arrangements are developed for joint projects with other well-equipped research institutions in the Washington area, such as the National Institutes of Health.