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Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics


Program Goals:

The goals of the Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics Ph.D. degree concentration are to provide the student with the academic background and research expertise to facilitate his/her understanding in experimental design using state-of-the-art technology, communicate verbally and in writing with scientific colleagues, and advance scientific knowledge.  Specific goals include providing the student with the following 1) a broad background in the basic biomedical sciences, 2) advanced knowledge in a specific area of cell physiology and molecular biophysics; 3) the ability to identify specific research problems and formulate testable hypotheses related to these problems, and 4) the technical competence to develop new or adapt existing laboratory techniques for solving research problems.  The major differences in the Ph.D. degree from the Master’s degree are the nature and scope of the research project and the number of didactic courses.  The Ph.D. degree requires original, independent research conducted under the supervision of a research mentor and seeks to develop a knowledge base for advanced research and teaching in physiology. The student is expected to reach a high level of creativity, expertise and independence.

Admission Requirements:

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree generally have bachelor’s degrees in the chemical, physical, or biological sciences. Prospective students are expected to have completed courses in biological science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Exceptional applicants who have not completed all of the prerequisite course work may be accepted provided that the necessary leveling work is taken during the first year.  Acceptance of students is based on their overall application package, which includes letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and, for foreign applicants, a TOEFL score. A personal interview may be required and is always encouraged. Completed application forms should be submitted electronically directly to the GSBS office. Applications are considered by the departmental Graduate Committee as they are received, with a deadline of April 1 for admission the following fall semester. Acceptance into the CPMB Ph.D. concentration is based upon recommendation by the departmental graduate faculty, approval by a majority vote of the GSBS Admissions Committee, and final acceptance by the Dean of GSBS.


Graduate Program Outcome Goals:

The concentration in Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics is designed to place our Ph.D. graduates in successful postdoctoral research fellowships so that upon completion of their postdoctoral training, they can enter into a research-related environment in government, industry or academia as a basic scientist or with medical training, a clinical scientist in one of the defined environments.  Another successful outcome goal of our concentration would be for the graduate to become an educator in a four-year undergraduate college.

Credit Requirements for the Doctoral Degree in Physiology:

The GSBS requires a minimum of 72 hours of graduate course work which includes 12 hours of research, 12 hours of dissertation, and 48 didactic hours for graduation with a Doctoral degree. The qualifying examination for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree is given at the end of the second year and is based on a research proposal written by the student followed by an oral examination.

Supervision of Graduate Students:

A Graduate Advisory Committee consisting of the Graduate Advisor and another member of the Graduate Council in the Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics manage the graduate program. Dr. Bryan Sutton is currently the Graduate Advisor ( or telephone 806-743-4058). Students in the Doctor of Philosophy Program are counseled by the Graduate Advisor until they have selected a Dissertation Advisor. The Dissertation Advisor must be an approved member of the graduate faculty of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Financial Assistance:

Assistantships and scholarships for Ph.D. students are awarded on a competitive basis. For further information contact Dr. Bryan Sutton ( or telephone 806-743-4058).

Retention Policy for Graduate Program in Physiology:

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences requires that students maintain a GPA of 3.0 each semester. Failure to do so results in probation or dismissal from the program. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

All students and faculty of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine subscribe to an honor system which is specified in a "CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT" which was approved on January 2, 1985 and further described in the TTUHSC School of Medicine Student Handbook of August 16, 1993.

Application for Admission to the Program for a Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology:

Application to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences can be accomplished online.
For further information concerning the Graduate Program in the Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, TTUHSC, contact:
Bryan Sutton, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
3601 4th Street
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-4058
FAX (806) 743-1512


CPMB Ph.D. Procedures and Requirements