Universtiy of Miami Miller School of Medicine Graduate Studies

Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics

Cellular Physiology and Molecular Biophysics study how the human organism functions by applying principles of physics to the underlying molecules and cells. The training and research emphasis in this program is directed at determining the molecular mechanisms underlying physiological functions, such as how does the heartbeat, how does the brain work, and how do we see, smell, and taste, using biophysical techniques and analyses. More specifically, research facilities and guidance for graduate work are available in developmental neurobiology, sensory receptor mechanisms, axonal electrophysiology, ionic mechanism of the nerve impulse, electrophysiological and molecular aspects of synaptic and neuromuscular transmission, mechanisms of ion channel gating, selectivity and conductance, metabolic aspects of nervous function, molecular neuroscience, neuroimmunology, protein structure-function studies, molecular recognition, ligand-receptor interactions, axonal growth, neurotrophic factors, cytokines, gene targeting, neuronal apoptosis, nerve regeneration, molecular adhesion and regulation of muscle contraction.

The Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics trains its students to use state-of-the-art biophysical techniques to address fundamental questions related to molecular and cellular physiology and biophysics and developmental and molecular neuroscience. In addition, the students receive training in related biological disciplines and also in systemic physiology in order to obtain a broad viewpoint. This training prepares the students for future careers in research and teaching in academic institutions and also for careers in industry.

Key Areas of Research

  • Electrophysiology / Neurophysiology
  • Ion Channels and Transporters
  • Molecular Structure & Modeling
  • Muscle Physiology
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Sensory Mechanisms
  • Signal Transduction

My favorite part about my program is the attention given to students by all the mentors. There is a collective effort to make everyone as successful as possible. I also enjoy the outdoor activities that Miami has to offer, such as sailing, kayaking, and biking—the water is gorgeous. You can find hidden gems of tropical greenery and nature here.

Christina Johnson
Cellular Physiology & Molecular Biophysics