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Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology


The Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology offers two tracks of graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree (M.S.) in (1) anatomy and (2) physiology and neuroscience. A continuation of graduate studies with faculty in the Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is available through the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program.

Certificate Program in Anatomy

The anatomy track certificate program is a three-quarter, post-baccalaureate program. The program provides graduate-level education in three of the four human anatomy core courses – microanatomy, gross anatomy, embryology, and neurobiology. The program is applicable to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, athletic trainers, health and physical education majors, and others in allied health disciplines.


Admission Requirements–Anatomy

Minimum requirements include an overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0-plus. Although there are no uniform prerequisites, it is recommended that applicants have completed at least two years of biology, including vertebrate anatomy, and two years of chemistry, including organic chemistry. Letters of recommendation are an important admission consideration.

Students who do not plan to complete the degree program or who do not meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School may be admitted on a non-degree basis in order to take selected anatomy courses. Written permission by the appropriate course director is required to enroll in each anatomy course. Contact the Anatomy Department for information concerning enrollment procedures.

Admission Requirements–Physiology & Neuroscience

The requirements for admission are:

1. B.A., B.S., or equivalent degree

2. Overall GPA of 3.00-plus or GRE total of 1100 (minimum 500 verbal; 500 mathematics)

3. The following prerequisite courses: general biology (one year), general chemistry (one year), general physics (one year), mathematics (one year through introductory calculus), and one year of advanced study in biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements–Anatomy

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following requirements of the Department of Anatomy must be met:

1. Completion of a minimum of 45 or 50 graduate credit hours (see number 4) in courses that have prior approval of the department. Approval is normally given through the student’s faculty advisor.

2. The graduate credits must include 33 credit hours of core courses in anatomy.

3. Required courses are human gross anatomy, human microanatomy, advanced human embryology, human neurobiology, and four seminars.

4. There are two program-of-study options leading to a master’s degree:

a. Course Option (50 credits): In addition to the course requirements listed above, students are required to take another course in the department or other science department that relates to their program of study. The remaining requirements include completing an oral comprehensive examination covering the core anatomy courses, assist with teaching a department graduate or undergraduate course, learn a research technique, and write a scholarly paper.

b. Thesis Option (45 credits): Requires the written submission and successful oral defense of a thesis based on original hands-on research performed while enrolled as a graduate student at the university.

Degree Requirements-Physiology & Neuroscience

In order to qualify for the Master of Science degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate School as well as program requirements. The first four quarters involve 35–37 credit hours which include required departmental and other courses determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. Research activities begin in the summer of the first year. The second program year involves 18–30 credit hours with emphasis on research. Completed research is presented in written thesis form at the end of the second year, with a public oral defense.


Francisco J. Alvarez, Spinal cord synapses and neural circuits; Development and response to injury
Nancy Bigley, Herpes simplex virus, interferons and immune pathways
Robert Fyffe, Spinal cord—cells and circuits
Gary L. Nieder, Medical and graduate education; Educational technology
John C. Pearson, Educational media development; Neuroscience

Associate Professors—Anatomy
Larry J. Ream, Medical and graduate education; Histology
Dawn Wooley, Virology, HIV-1, AIDS; Biosafety; Biodefense

Assistant Professor—Anatomy
Barbara Kraszpulska, Graduate and medical education; Educational technology

Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience
Timothy Cope (Chair), Spinal cord plasticity; Motor systems
James Olson, CNS injury; Brain edema; Blood-brain barrier function
Robert W. Putnam, Central respiratory control; Cell signaling; Neuroscience

Associate Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience
Thomas L. Brown, Cell death; Differentiation and development
Adrian Corbett, Brain neurogenesis in response to injury
Kathrin Engisch, Neurotransmitter release
Melvyn D. Goldfinger, Theoretical neuroscience
Dan R. Halm, Epithelial physiology; Secretory signal transduction
Mark Rich, Synaptic plasticity; Critical illness myopathy

Assistant Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience
J. Ashot Kozak, Ion transport pathways in T lymphocytes; Calcium signaling; Ion channels in nociception
David Ladle, Development of spinal cord reflex circuits
Christopher Wyatt, Cellular mechanisms of oxygen sensing; Peripheral respiratory control

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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