Medical Student Education

When you train with our faculty, we’ll augment your understanding of physiology and biophysics, providing you with essential knowledge that you’ll tap throughout your career.

Elective Courses

Our electives let you pursue clinical and research experiences tailored to your interests.

  • BPH 600 Independent Study, 1-3 credits

    This course is tutorial in nature and is designed to meet the needs of the students. Thus, the goals, objectives and expectations vary depending on the students.

    Fall and spring semesters. Staff.

  • BPH 601/602 Biophysics Seminar, 1 credit

    This course is intended to enhance graduate student appreciation of the scope of the biophysical sciences. A weekly seminar series is held on topics of current interest in a diversity of areas of biophysics. Seminars are presented by University at Buffalo faculty and prominent scientists from throughout the nation.

    The student is expected to become familiar with the experimental protocols and current issues in biophysics.

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

    Fall and spring semesters. Staff.

    Number of students: 15-30.

  • PGY 505 Cell and Membrane Physiology, 4 credits

    The cell membrane is the boundary between a cell and its environment, but is not simply a lipid coating: it is a vital organelle. Embedded membrane proteins facilitate the flux of ions and solutes to maintain the distinct composition of the cell interior and mediate cell excitability, while the associated cytoskeleton provides structural integrity, modulates cell movement, and the response of cells to physical stress. Having completed this course, students will have a working knowledge of the importance of membrane and structural proteins to a wide variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Students aiming for a career in the health sciences will benefit from this exposure to the underpinnings of medical physiology taught by instructors from the medical school faculty. In the first half of the course students will learn the fundamentals of cellular and molecular physiology. In the second half, students will apply this knowledge in faculty-led discussions of recent research developments.

    Prerequisites: Calculus, cell biology (BIO201, BIO205) or consent of instructor.  

    Spring semester. Cross-listed as PGY-405.

    Course coordinator: Mark D. Parker, PhD

    Number of students: 20-30

  • PGY 514 Vision, 4 credits

    This course is aimed at presenting a broad, interdisciplinary description of current topics in the visual sciences.

    This is an introductory, wide-ranging course on vision, encompassing the anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics and physiology of visual pathways in the retina and brain; the psychological analysis of perception; psychophysics; computer modeling of visual processes; and the engineering concepts underlying machine vision. Each topic is presented by a faculty member with research interests in that area.

    Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be familiar with the basic principles and areas of current interest in many fields of vision and be able to relate observations in one field to information obtained in other disciplines.

    Prerequisite: Permission of the course director.  

    Spring semester. Malcolm M. Slaughter, PhD

    Number of students: 10

  • PGY 605/606 Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Physiology, 2 credits

    The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity to analyze physiological regulatory processes in selected cardiovascular disease states. Topics for consideration include coronary artery disease, hypertension, congestive heart failure, valvular disorders and congenital heart disease. The use of exercise as a physiologic stress and as a rehabilitation tool will be discussed.

    The course format will involve informal lecture/discussion periods focusing on selected examples of cardiovascular pathophysiology through analysis of basic and clinical hemodynamic data.

    At the conclusion of the course, the student should have acquired a broad understanding of cardiovascular mechanisms in health and in disease which will be valuable for an informed approach to cardiovascular medicine and research.

    Prerequisites: PGY 551/552 or equivalent, and consent of instructor. 

    Fall and spring semesters.

    Number of students: 20

  • PGY 699 Independent Study, 1-6 credits (variable)

    The objective of this course is to give students an opportunity to acquire advanced experience in a specific area of research in physiology, either through original research or library projects.

    Students will be exposed to methods of research and data analysis and interpretation in a specific area of physiology.

    Students should gain advanced knowledge of a particular are in physiology, learn to analyze and interpret experimental results and read the scientific literature critically.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

    By arrangement. Staff.

    Number of students: 20