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Research & Graduate Studies

Signature research programs in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology are briefly summarized below. Individual faculty members may be contacted based on their research interests for a more comprehensive explanation of these and other research programs in the department. Research interests of faculty members may be found at "Faculty Research Interests ". We offer the Master of Science (Thesis and Non-Thesis) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Biomedical Sciences and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Toxicology which is administered through the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology - information related to this program is found here. These programs are focused on both veterinary and human physiology and pharmacology utilizing the unique aspects of each species to enhance our insights and understandings into basic processes in all other species. Information related to the Master of Science (Non-Thesis) degree is found here. The Master of Science (Thesis) program requires a minimum of 32 hours of post-baccalaureate training and the Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 96 hours. A minimum of 64 hours is required on the degree plan for Ph.D. students who have already completed a master's degree or a DVM or MD at a US institution. We adjust the core course requirements for these students on a case by case basis, taking into consideration their previous course work. The Ph.D. provides a more liberal program because it is based on the student's previous training and on the student's interests. The masters program is more structured. Students in our graduate programs complete a core curriculum which includes one year of systems physiology along with one year of statistics in research. A qualifying examination in basic physiology must be taken and passed (normally following completion of the first year's study) in order to progress within the graduate program. For full graduate admission, applicants must have a satisfactory grade point ratio and Graduate Record Examination test scores. Prior to admission to our graduate program, students are required to identify a faculty mentor who is willing to work with them in their degree program. Additional information related to graduate studies is found in the Texas A&M University Graduate Catalog, which can be viewed here. Application information is found here.

More information on our graduate programs may be obtained from individual faculty members or by contacting our graduate advisor:

Dr. Charles Long
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4466
979/845-2331 (Phone)
979/845-6544 (Fax)

Reproductive Physiology: Research in reproductive physiology is focused on understanding the requirements for normal embryonic development, in addition to the development and application of animal biotechnology. Specific research projects involve experiments designed to improve the efficiency of nuclear transplantation (cloning) which can be used to produce genetically identical animals and/or transgenic animals. Other research projects are focused on improving methods for producing mammalian embryos in vitro. The Reproductive Sciences Laboratory consists of approximately 23,000 sq ft of space composed of a fully equipped tissue culture room, embryo micromanipulation room, ovary/oocyte/embryo/sperm processing room, medium preparation room, and molecular biology room. Additional space located in adjacent rooms is available for offices and conferences, and a large assortment of laboratory equipment is available. Funding for research is provided by the National Institutes of Health, Texas Higher education Coordinating Board of Higher Education, Texas AgriLife Research, Morris Animal Foundation, and private industry. Research interests of individual reproductive physiology faculty members may be found under "Faculty Research Interests ".

Cardiovascular Physiology: The Cardiovascular Physiology and Applied Physics Facility is located in a 14,000 sq ft freestanding facility. This facility contains operating rooms for both acute and chronic sterile surgeries, recovery rooms, treatment rooms, as well as animal housing facilities for both acute and chronic animals ranging from small species to dogs. Surgical facilities for larger animals are also available at our Veterinary Medical Park Research Facility. Individual laboratories are supported by a common-use machine shop, tissue culture facility, and molecular biology laboratory. State of the art instrumentation for evaluating cardiac function and hemodynamic parameters as well as the tools of molecular biology are available within the facility. Imaging via nuclear magnetic resonance and echocardiography is also available. Close collaborative relationships exist with the institutions in the world's largest medical center in Houston, Texas. Funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and numerous other sources exists for studies of cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology. The use of comparative physiology techniques allows us to address traditional problems in veterinary medicine while utilizing animal models of human pathologies to seek cures for diseases common to all species. Research interests of individual cardiovascular faculty members may be found under "Faculty Research Interests ".

Michael E. DeBakey Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Science and Biomedical Devices

The Michael E. DeBakey Institute announces the inauguration of the DeBakey Scholars Program for studies leading to the Ph.D. in Comparative Physiology and Pharmacology. This program provides unique opportunities to train with interdisciplinary research faculty with expertise in the cardiac and vascular sciences, from molecular/cellular to organ/animal levels, with a common focus on cardiovascular pathophysiology. Scholarships are available for predoctoral students with a background in the life sciences or bioengineering, Ph.D./D.V.M candidates, and individuals with M.D. or D.V.M degrees seeking advanced training in cardiovascular research. DeBakey Scholars will receive a (18K+/year) stipend and comprehensive health benefits. For more information visit /debakey or contact .

Pharmacology: Pharmacology represents an additional area of faculty expertise currently focusing on the clinical application of basic research. Research efforts include the establishment of safe and effective dosing regimens for drugs. This broad focus covers studies that vary from the establishment of dose-response relationships, through pharmacokinetic analysis of drugs in targeted species, to clinical trials that establish efficacy. Dose-response studies include, but are not limited to, antimicrobials and anticonvulsants. Pharmacokinetic studies have included drugs intended to treat infections, seizures, cardiac disorders, behavioral disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. A more recent focus for pharmacokinetic studies has been novel drug delivery systems with an emphasis on prolonged delivery systems. Clinical trials include antimicrobial and anticonvulsant therapy. More basic research includes antimicrobial uptake by peripheral leukocytes and the impact of uptake on tissue distribution and leukocyte function. Our research efforts expand across all educational levels, including high school students, undergraduates, graduate professional and residency training. Research interests of individual pharmacology faculty members may be found under "Faculty Research Interests ".