Ph.D. Program

Program Direction/Administrative Structure

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Roland Pittman, with the assistance of Dr. Carlos Escalante, serves as the Graduate Program Director (GPD) for the Physiology and Biophysics Graduate Program.  Administrative support extending to the administrative needs of students (stipends, insurance, registration, tracking of graduate student deadlines, keeping the student academic folders updated, international student office matters, etc.) is provided by the program’s coordinator, Ms. Christina Kyrus (  In addition to administrative matters, Ms. Kyrus also assists with scheduling all advisory committee meetings, maintains student files, prepares F30/F31 grant proposals and attends/organizes program related meetings.  Students should feel free to reach out to the Program Coordinator first with questions/concerns.

Graduate Program Training/Research Committee

All training faculty (trainers) in the Physiology and Biophysics graduate program meet throughout the year to review the progress of all students.  The thesis mentor discusses the student(s) in his/her lab.  The Program Directors present the progress of rotating students who are prospective new students in the program.  These meetings aim to acquaint all faculty mentors with all the students within the program and to monitor their progress.  The meetings are staffed by the Program Coordinator. 

Steering Committee

A Steering Committee for the Graduate Program meets annually to review all aspects of Training in Physiology and Biophysics during the preceding academic year, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and to develop strategic plans for the future.  The Steering Committee also serves as a promotions committee and reviews all PhD students annually with regard to performance in course work, laboratory work, and advancement in the Program.  This committee is also the Admissions Committee as it considers BSDP students wishing to transition to laboratories of faculty within the Physiology and Biophysics program.  The members of this committee are: Drs. Roland Pittman, Diomedes Logothetis, Louis De Felice, Scott Ramsey and Carlos Escalante.


Roland N. Pittman

Committee Chair


Carlos Escalante


Diomedes Logothetis


Louis J. DeFelice


I. Scott Ramsey



Curriculum Evaluation

The Program in Physiology and Biophysics evaluates all courses every 3-5 years.  In the year of the evaluation and at the conclusion of the course, an ad hoc committee is formed to review course objectives, content, delivery, rigor, and effectiveness.  The course review committee is appointed by the GPD and makes recommendations to the GPD and the Department Chair.  The course review committee requests a written report and supporting documents from the course director and then meets with the course director, course faculty, and doctoral students.  It then prepares a course summary report, describing strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for change.  The report is submitted to the GPD, who makes final recommendations for changes and improvements to the Teaching Leadership Committee (TLC), comprised of all course directors in the Physiology and Biophysics program (see below).  After TLC approval, the GPD meets with the director(s) of the evaluated courses and the Department Chair to discuss plans for changes.

Teaching Leadership Committee

The GPD organizes monthly meetings of this committee.  Proposed changes in the Curriculum of the Program must have majority approval by the Teaching Leadership Committee (TLC), which oversees the teaching efforts of the Training Program.  The membership is comprised of all current course directors.