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Welcome - A Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri in Columbia. This web-site provides a comprehensive overview of the people, programs, and resources that are the foundation of our Department. I believe you will find this resource of great value in learning about the research and educational programs within our Department.

Ronald Korthius
Ronald Korthius

My colleagues and I are committed to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the pharmacological and physiological sciences through the support of basic research and the training of new scientists. The Department has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years, with the addition of 12 new faculty members, thus offering significant new opportunities for research development and graduate training. Our recruitment efforts have significantly enhanced our strengths in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology, exercise physiology, membrane biology and biophysics, and in receptor/molecular signaling. We are also developing new strengths in the molecular and cellular biology of cardiovascular disease as well as cancer biology in collaboration with the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, the Thomas W. and Joan F. Burns Center for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Health, the Christopher Bond Life Sciences Center, Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Institute, and the Cancer Center. Gender-related issues will be addressed in each of these areas through multidisciplinary collaborations fostered and supported by the National Center for Gender Physiology, which is housed in our department. The expertise of our current faculty is exemplified by receipt of competitively funded grants, including a Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, the American Heart Association, Veterans Administration, and the American Diabetes Association and appointments to numerous editorial boards of prestigious scientific journals. In addition, several of our faculty members serve on scientific review committees for these granting agencies and two of our professors have received MERIT awards from the NIH.

For those of you interested in pursuing a career in biomedical research, our quest for research excellence and emphasis on continued development and expansion of research programs serves to ensure a stimulating and nurturing environment for producing the next generation of highly competitive biomedical scientists. The Department offers both Masters and Doctoral programs in the disciplines of Pharmacology and Physiology and is committed to the preparation of students for rewarding research careers in academia, industry, or government. Our graduate program is quite stimulating and is designed to provide the students with the training necessary to become successful independent investigators. Entering students will take core courses to broaden their fundamental knowledge in physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and biochemistry. From that point forward, each student's course of study and experimental work are designed to provide a program that best develops capabilities in their area of interest. In addition to laboratories in the department, the student can choose laboratories located in the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, or the VA hospital. Our major emphases are to teach students how to:

  1. pose relevant research questions in the form of hypotheses;
  2. design experiments that rigorously address these postulates;
  3. organize, analyze, interpret, and present research findings;
  4. compose scientific manuscripts for publication; and
  5. prepare research grant applications.

We also emphasize the development of communication skills by our students who typically present posters at multiple national meetings. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to make contacts that will enhance their careers. The joining of the disciplines of pharmacology and physiology in our approach to graduate education provides the intellectual framework necessary for understanding the integrative function of living organisms at the molecular, cellular, organ, and whole body levels and how chemicals interact with living organisms to produce physiologic effects. This broad background will also enhance employment opportunities for the graduate.

All of our doctoral students are supported by a stipend, which is currently $25,000 per year, and receive full tuition waivers.

These activities occur in a very collegial department located in a thriving and expanding university research environment in a delightful, family-oriented, "college town" that is repeatedly listed among the top of the Best Small Cities to Live in America. Located halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, eclectic dining, diverse cultural events, a lively musical scene, and renowned NCAA collegiate sports. Affordable housing is located within walking distance or very short commutes to the centrally located campus, which is situated immediately adjacent to the bustling downtown shopping, business, restaurant, and entertainment district.

On behalf of the faculty of the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, I encourage you to explore our program and the exciting research and educational opportunities we offer.

Dr. Ronald J. Korthuis
George L. and Melna A. Bolm Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Health
Tel: (573) 882-8029

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