Physiology

Physiology: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Med​icine

Degree Programs

Physiology

​​MSc
​PhD

Combined Degree Programs

​​MD / PhD

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree programs as listed below:

  1. Biomedical Engineering
    • Physiology, MSc, PhD
  2. Cardiovascular Sciences
    • Physiology, MSc, PhD
  3. Developmental Biology
    • Physiology, MSc, PhD
  4. Human Development
    • Physiology, PhD
  5. Neuroscience
    • Physiology, MSc, PhD
  6. Resuscitation Sciences
    • Physiology, MSc, PhD

Overview

In the Department of Physiology, research ranges from the gene level to the organism level in areas including endocrinology and diabetes; reproduction endocrinology; fetal physiology, pregnancy, and parturition; neuroendocrinology; cardiorespiratory regulation; gastrointestinal motility; sensory physiology; motor control; brain development and aging; ionic channels and synaptic transmission; excitability, ultrastructure, and plasticity of the brain.

Contact and Address

Web: www.physiology.utoronto.ca
Email: graduate.physiology@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-2601
Fax: (416) 978-4940

Department of Physiology
University of Toronto
Room 3217, Medical Sciences Building
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8
Canada

Physiology: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Anderson, Gerald - BSc, MSc, PhD
Bagli, Darius - BS, MD
Barr, Cathy - BSc, PhD
Bear, Christine - BSc, MSc, PhD
Belik, Jaques - MD
Belsham, Denise - PhD
Bocking, Alan - MD
Bolz, Steffen-Sebastian - MD, DrMed
Boonstra, Rudy - BSc, PhD
Brown, Theodore - BSc, PhD
Brubaker, Patricia - BSc, PhD
Caniggia, Isabella - MD, PhD
Carlen, Peter - MD
Casper, Robert - MD
Collingridge, Graham - BSc, PhD (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Cox, Brian - BSc, MSc, PhD
Duffin, James - BASc, MASc, PhD
Eubanks, James - BSc, AA, PhD
Fantus, Ivan George - BSc, MDCM
Feng, Zhong Ping - PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Student Admissions and Affairs)
Ferguson, Niall - MSc, MD
Fisher, Joseph - MD
Frankland, Paul - MA, PhD
Gaisano, Herbert - BS, MD
Giacca, Adria - MD
Gramolini, Anthony - BSc, MSc, PhD
Hare, Gregory - MD, PhD
Harrison, Robert - PhD, DSc
Heximer, Scott - PhD
Horner, Richard - BSc, PhD
Husain, Mansoor - MB, MD
Hutchison, William - BSc, MSc, PhD
Jankov, Robert - MB
Jia, Zhengping - PhD
Jin, Tianru - PhD
Jones, Nicola - MD
Josselyn, Sheena - MA, PhD
Jurisicova, Andrea - PhD
Kavanagh, Brian - BSc, BSc, MBCHB, MBCHB
Kingdom, John - DipCH, MB, MD
Klip, Amira - ScD
Kuebler, Wolfgang - DrMed, PhD
Lam, Tony - BS, DPhil
Lambe, Evelyn - AB, MSc, PhD
Lewis, Gary - BCh, MBCHB
Li, Ren-Ke - MHSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Liu, Fang - PhD
Liu, Mingyao - MSc, MD
Liu, Peter - MD
Lye, Stephen - BSc, PhD
Macdonald, Robert - MD, PhD
Matthews, Stephen - BSc, DPhil
McGahan, Anita - BA, MA, MBA, PhD
McGowan, Patrick - BSc, MA, PhD
Miller, Freda - BSc, PhD
Monnier, Philippe - MBA, PhD
Mount, Howard - BSc, PhD
Ng, Dominic - MD
Orser, Beverley - MD
Pang, Cho - BSc, MSc, PhD
Peever, John - MSc, PhD
Pennefather, Peter - BSc, PhD
Post, Martin - PhD
Prescott, Steven - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Rocheleau, Jonathan - BSc, PhD
Rogers, Ian - MSc, PhD
Rosenblum, Norman - MD
Salter, Michael - MD, PhD
Schlichter, Lyanne - BSc, MSc, PhD
Seltzer, Ze'ev - DMD, BMedSc
Sessle, Barry - BS, MDS, BDS, PhD
Skinner, Frances - PhD
Sole, Michael - BSc, MD
Stanley, Elise - PhD
Sugita, Shuzo - PhD
Sun, Hong-Shuo - MSc, DrMed, DPhil
Sweezey, Neil - BSc, MD, MD
Thomas, Scott - BSc, MSc, PhD
Trimble, William - BSc, PhD
Tweed, Douglas - MD, PhD, PhD (Graduate Coordinator, Academic Affairs)
Tymianski, Michael - BA, MD, PhD
Wang, Lu-Yang - PhD
Wheeler, Michael - BSc, PhD
Wilson, Gregory - MSc, MD
Wittnich, Carin - MSc, DVM
Zhang, Haibo - MSc, PhD
Zhen, Mei - PhD
Zhuo, Min - MS, PhD

Members Emeriti

Adamson, Susan - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Atwood, Harold - BA, MA, PhD, PhD, DSc, DSc, FRSC
Backx, Peter - DrMedVet, PhD, PhD
Challis, John - BSc, PhD, DSc, FRSC
Charlton, Milton - BSc, MSc, PhD
Dostrovsky, Jonathan - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kwan, Hon - BASc, MSc, PhD
Norwich, Kenneth - MSc, PhD
Roder, John - PhD
Tanswell, Alan - BS, MBBS, MBBS
Wojtowicz, J. Martin - BSc, PhD

Associate Members

Billia, Filio - BSc, MSc, MD, PhD
Cherney, David - MD, PhD
Isaac, John - BSc, PhD
Laffey, John - BSc, MA, DrMed, MB
Librach, Clifford - MD
Mazer, Cyril David - MD
Min, Jinrong - PhD
Ni, Heyu - MSc, MD, PhD
Nostro, Cristina - MSc, PhD
O'Brien, Catherine - BSc, MSc, DrMed, PhD
Pausova, Zdenka - MD
Ramsey, Amy - PhD
Subbarao, Padmaj - MD
Wen, Xiao-Yan - PhD
Wheeler, Anne - BSc, PhD

Physiology: Physiology MSc

Master of Science

Program Description

The MSc program provides advanced training in physiology, with an emphasis on gaining experience in conducting research using modern experimental methods under the direct supervision of a member of the department’s graduate faculty. Students will complete coursework, attend and give presentations of scientific work, submit a written thesis based on original research, and defend the thesis at an oral examination. It is not required that the thesis work be published or represent a finished research project, but it must show the student’s mastery of specific techniques, their application to a specific problem, and a scholarly understanding of the research subject. Through this program, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of physiology and its current scientific literature. They will learn and practise scientific skills of critical thinking, devising research questions, and communicating scientific ideas orally and in writing. 

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Physiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission is based on academic record, an essay summarizing background strengths and scientific aims, a curriculum vitae (CV), and at least two confidential letters of reference.

  • Applicants must have an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with an average of at least A- in the last two years of study and with courses such as biology, biochemistry, calculus, organic and physical chemistry, general physics, and physiology.

  • Physical-science-stream students from undergraduate programs in physics, mathematics, engineering, and other sciences are encouraged to apply to the MSc program.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • Internet-based TOEFL: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Other English proficiency tests are acceptable. Please consult the Physiology website for departmental standards.

Program Requirements

All students are required to:

  • Take 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​​0.5 FCE in PSL 1000HMSc Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 0.5 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

  • Select courses in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details.

  • Complete and defend a research thesis acceptable to the graduate department.

  • Do one of the following within 12 to 18 months in the MSc program:

    • ​​​Write and defend an MSc thesis and graduate.

    • Write and defend a thesis and go on to the PhD program.

    • Transfer from the MSc into the PhD program. Transfer is encouraged for students who have made substantial progress in their research and have demonstrated the desire and potential to meet the requirements of a rigorous research training program. Such students will have fulfilled all course requirements for the MSc with at least an A- average and have demonstrated potential for publication of their work. There must be a clearly identified program for future research that continues, or is consistent with, work already underway. Too large a project for the MSc is not a reason for transfer to the PhD.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S**)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

** Students may begin at different times.

Physiology: Physiology PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD degree is an advanced research degree. Upon its completion, graduates are expected to function as independent research scientists. Students will complete coursework, attend and give multiple presentations of scientific work, and demonstrate the ability to carry out research of publishable quality as evidenced by a written thesis based on original research and an oral defence of the work. Through this program, students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of physiology and its current scientific literature. They will develop and practise scientific skills of critical thinking, devising research questions, understanding experimental design, techniques, and analysis, and communicating scientific ideas orally and in writing.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate MSc degree; 2) transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program in Physiology; or 3) direct entry after completing a bachelor’s degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Physiology's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission is based on academic record, a statement summarizing background strengths and scientific aims, a curriculum vitae (CV), and at least two confidential letters of reference.

  • Students may be admitted into the PhD program after completion of an appropriate MSc degree program with an average of at least A- from a recognized university

  • Applicants should have taken courses such as biology, biochemistry, calculus, organic and physical chemistry, general physics, and physiology.

  • Applicants who were educated outside Canada, whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the successful completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

    • ​​​Internet-based TOEFL: 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • Other English proficiency tests are acceptable. Please consult the Physiology website for departmental standards.

  • For exceptional students with an A standing in appropriate courses taken during the two preceding undergraduate years, direct entry into the doctoral program is possible. However, this will require specific approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Program Requirements

  • Students must take 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses in which an average standing of at least A- is maintained, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​0.5 FCE in PSL 2000H0 PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 1.0 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 0.5 FCE in PSL 1066H0 Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all PhD students in physiology

    • Up to 1.0 FCE can be claimed from the student's MSc program completed in another department or university, subject to approval by the Graduate Studies Committee.

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details.

  • The recommended completion time for the doctoral program is approximately four years (and five years for direct-entry students), by which time the candidate will write and defend a research thesis, first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years direct-entry

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years direct-entry

 

PhD Program (Transfer)

Transfer Requirements

  • Students may be admitted via transfer from the University of Toronto MSc program in Physiology. Transfer from the MSc into the PhD program is encouraged for students who have made substantial progress in their research and have demonstrated the desire and potential to meet the requirements of a rigorous research training program. Such students will have fulfilled all course requirements for the MSc with at least an A- average and have demonstrated potential for publication of their work. There must be a clearly identified program for future research that continues, or is consistent with, work already underway. Too large a project for the MSc is not a reason for transfer to the PhD.

Program Requirements

  • Students must take 2.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in physiology courses in which an average standing of at least A- is maintained, with the following guidelines:

    • ​​0.5 FCE in PSL 2000H0 PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all graduate students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in PSL 1066H0 Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit), mandatory for all PhD students in Physiology

    • 0.5 FCE in physiology graduate-only courses

    • 1.0 FCE with a choice of (i) a physiology graduate-only course or physiology joint graduate-undergraduate course (preferable option) or (ii) a course taken in another department (rare choice).

    • Students who transfer from the MSc program in Physiology may claim up to 1.0 FCE from the MSc program in Physiology.

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the supervisor and/or advisory committee. See the Physiology website for details of course requirements.

  • The recommended completion time for the doctoral program is approximately five years from the start of the MSc, by which time the candidate will write and defend a research thesis, first before a departmental committee and subsequently before a committee approved by the School of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

 

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

Physiology: Physiology MSc, PhD Courses

Not all courses are offered each year. Check the departmental website for course availability and course requirements.

​JCV 106​0H
​Dev​elopmental Cardiovascular Physiology
​JCV 3060H
​Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Sciences—Molecular Biology and Heart Signal Transduction
​JCV 3061H
Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Sciences—Hormones​
​JCV 3062H
​Advanced Research in Cardiovascular Sciences—Heart Function
​JCV 3063H
Advanced Research in Cardiovascular Sciences—Vascular​
JCV 3064H Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Sciences—Microvascular Medicine
​JYG 1555H
​Advanced Topics: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
​PSL 1000H0
MSc Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit)​
​PSL 1014H
​Advanced Topics: the Gastrointestinal Epithelium
​PSL 1020H
​Current Topics in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility​
​PSL 1024H
​Advanced Topics: Neuroendocrinology
​PSL 1026H
Advanced Topics: Experimental Cell Physiology​
​PSL 1034H
​Advanced Topics: Metabolic Disorders
​PSL 1036H
​Advanced Topics: Respiration
​PSL 1040H
​Advanced Topics: Systems Biology in Physiology
​PSL 1047H
​Advanced Topics: Somatosensory and Pain Neuroscience
​PSL 1048H
​Translational Physiology: From Molecules to Model Systems to the Clinic
​PSL 1050H
​Advanced Topics: The Hippocampus from Cell to Behaviour
​PSL 1053H
​Advanced Topics: Critical Assessment of Ion Channel Function
​PSL 1066H0
​Research Grant Proposal (Credit/No Credit)
​PSL 1067H
​Advanced Topics: Advances and Techniques in Developmental Physiology
​PSL 1068H
​Advanced Topics: Molecular Basis of Behaviour
​PSL 1069H
​Advanced Topics: Respiratory Physiology
​PSL 1070H
​Advanced Topics: Hormone Action
​PSL 1071H
​Advanced Topics: Computational Neuroscience
PSL 1072H Advanced Topics in the Neural Basis for Sensation
​PSL 1075H
​Biology in Time
​PSL 1080H+
​Advanced Topics: Investigative Developmental Physiology
​PSL 1086H
​Comparative Systems Approach to Diving Physiology
​PSL 2000H0
​PhD Seminars in Physiology (Credit/No Credit)

+ Extended course. For academic reasons, coursework is extended into session following academic session in which course is offered.

0 Course that may continue over a program. The course is graded when completed.

Joint Graduate/Undergraduate

​JNR 1444Y​
​Fundame​ntals of Neuroscience: Cellular and Molecular
​JNS 1000Y
Fundamentals of Neuroscience: Systems and Behaviour​
​PSL 1374H
​Advanced Physiology Laboratory
​PSL 1421H
Pregnancy and Birth: From Implantation to Newborn Life​
​PSL 1425H
Integrative Metabolism and Its Endocrine Regulation​
​PSL 1432H
​Theoretical Physiology
​PSL 1441H
​Systems Level Neuroplasticity
​PSL 1445H
Mechanistic Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience​
PSL 1446H​
​Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Neural Disorders
​PSL 1452H
​Fundamentals of Ion Channel Function
​PSL 1462H
​Molecular Aspects of Cardiovascular Function