What is Physiology? Physiology is the study of life processes How living systems work at many levels: Molecular level Organ and systems levels Whole organism level How living systems respond to physical activity How living systems respond to environmental conditions How the genome translates into function at different levels
Why is Physiology Important? Physiology expands our Understanding of… What life is How life processes work and are regulated Diseases and how to treat them How living organisms cope with or adapt to different environments
What Do Physiologists Study? Plants Vertebrates, such as: Humans and other mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians Fish Invertebrates, such as: Insects Worms Mollusks
What Do Physiologists Study? Physiologists follow the ABC rules for use of living organisms: Appropriate Beneficial Caring
What Kinds of Questions Do Physiologists Ask? Example: How do mutations in genes affect cellular, organ and bodily function in health and disease? Tools, Techniques and Models: Use molecular biology techniques to study DNA, RNA, and cell proteins in cells in culture Measure organ function in rat and mouse strains with single gene mutations or gene knock-outs
What Kinds of Questions Do Physiologists Ask? Example: Can exercise decrease the loss of calcium from the bones that occurs when a person is exposed to microgravity (space)? Tools, Techniques and Models: Use a specialized X-ray machine to measure bone density before and after space flight in those who did and did not exercise on a treadmill while in microgravity.
What Kinds of Questions Do Physiologists Ask? Tools, Techniques and Models: Use heart cells isolated from normal rats and rats with diabetes Use electrophysiological, biochemical, pharmacological, and molecular biology techniques to study why diabetic heart cells work differently than normal heart cells Example: Why do some persons with diabetes have depressed heart pump function?
Example: [Insert your research question here] Tools, Techniques and Models: [Insert the techniques and models you use here] What Kinds of Questions Do Physiologists Ask?
Meet a Physiologist [Add your picture] [Add a few points on how you got interested and what your work is]
Meet a Physiologist: Evangeline Motley Making a tough decision: Medicine or research? Developing new medicines Researching cardiovascular functions and hypertension Teaching future physiologists and physicians Evangeline Motley, Ph.D. Meharry Medical College Nashville, Tennessee
Meet Physiologists: Michael Romero and Caroline Sussman Becoming interested in how living things work Research on the kidney and the brain Successfully balancing careers and family Michael Romero, Ph.D. and Caroline Sussman, Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio
Meet a Physiologist: Magdalena Alonso-Galicia Magdalena Alonso-Galicia, Ph.D. Merck Research Laboratories West Point, Pennsylvania Wanting to help make people healthy Research labs win over hospital labs Opportunities in industry Cardiovascular research Discovering new drugs to prevent or cure disease
Meet a Physiologist: Thomas Herzig Lieutenant Thomas Herzig, Ph.D. Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory Groton, Connecticut Taking an interest in exercise Choosing a military career Researching exercise in extreme environments Teaching future doctors
What Do Physiologists Do Every Day? Investigate questions in physiology that most interest them Decide what work they are going to do each day Often work longer hours, but typically can be very flexible
What Do Physiologists Do Every Day? Many different tasks…never boring! Teaching Formulating new hypotheses to investigate Designing and performing experiments and gathering data Troubleshooting laboratory methods and learning new techniques Analyzing data and drawing conclusions Writing papers and grants Training a new generation of scientists Presenting at national and international meetings Collaborating with other scientists nationally and internationally
Where Do Physiologists Work? Universities and colleges Medical and dental schools Drug and biotech companies Government and military labs
Would You Like to Be a Physiologist? Which Degree? Bachelors? Masters? Doctoral?
College Education With a Major in a Life Science Bachelor of Arts (BA) Bachelor of Science (BS) (4 yrs) Masters (MS) in Physiology (2 yr) Doctorate (PhD) in Physiology (4-5 yr) (2-3 yr) Postdoctoral Training (2-3 yr) Lab Technician (University) Assistant Scientist (Industry) Lab Manager (University) Associate Scientist (Industry) Assistant Professor (University) Scientist (Industry) (with experience) Degree Possible Jobs
Salary Expectations Bachelors degree –University - $30,000 –Industry - $50,000 Masters degree –University - $35,000 –Industry - $56,000 Stipends –Graduate student - $20,772 (set by NIH) –Postdocs - $35,568-51,036 (depending on years of experience) Salaries –Assistant Professor at Medical School - $71,000 –Industry Senior Scientist (with postdoc exp.) - $78,000
Ph.D. Physiologist Salaries in Academia and Industry Medical School (average) Pharmaceutical Industry (entry level)
G24 Average Faculty Salaries in Physiology Departments ACDP 2003 Survey Results
Physiology Training Opens Doors to Many Careers! Because scientific training emphasizes: Creativity and analytical thinking skills needed to solve problems Facility with mathematical concepts and their applications (e.g., data analysis and statistics) that can be applied in many different fields Well-developed skills in oral and written communication of ideas and data; and In-depth understanding of the biological, chemical and physical principles that underlie life processes Physiology Law and Legal Writing Business Management Science Policy Scientific & Medical Writing
Physiology Training Opens Doors to Many Careers! Physiology Law and Legal Writing Business Management Science Policy Scientific & Medical Writing It opens the doors to other fields, such as: Law and legal writing Business management and administration Policy, especially science policy Scientific and medical writing
Physiology… A Good Choice for Me ? Want to… understand how living processes and systems work help others live longer and better lives through biomedical research Are creative Are self-motivated and an independent worker Like to work with others on a shared problem Enjoy writing and communicating with others Physiology is an Excellent Career Choice
Preparing for a Career in Physiology Take relevant science courses to be ready for graduate coursework Practice your writing and speaking skills Get research experience in a lab (APS Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) Talk to scientists in fields that you find interesting Try to attend a local scientific meeting if possible
Learn More About Physiology The American Physiological Society Careers Website www.the-aps.org Click on Careers
The American Physiological Society Association of physiologists Started in 1887 Research journals Education programs and materials Awards Meetings
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