Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology

Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology (CMPP) is a program dedicated to advancing understanding of the human body and the ways medicine can combat illnesses within it.

Program at a glance

Admissions cycle:  Fall
Application deadline: Dec. 15
Assistantship types available: Teaching, Research
Graduate director: Seungil Ro

Why choose this Ph.D. in CMPP?

The Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Ph.D. is part of the campus-wide, interdisciplinary Molecular Biosciences graduate program. Participating faculty are from many departments within the School of Medicine, College of Science (COS), and College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources (CABNR).

In this program, $9 million in research grant funding supports areas such as molecular pharmacology, molecular biology of ion channels, cell physiology, cardiovascular pharmacology, autonomic pharmacology and neuropharmacology.

The School of Medicine has three National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded centers of biomedical research excellence (COBRE) facilities. Individual laboratory attention by the faculty allows students to develop skills in experimental design, execution and analysis, statistics, literature searching, grant writing, manuscript preparation, oral presentations and laboratory management.

The focus of the doctoral research may be tailored to students' interests, goals and abilities. The program typically requires four full years to complete and is designed to prepare students for a competitive career in pharmacology or physiology.

The cellular and molecular pharmacology and physiology program conducts research in areas including:

  • Smooth Muscle Plasticity. The Flow Cytometry and Single Cell Molecular Expression Labs perform high quality single cell analysis in the third smooth muscle plasticity phase. Core A provides the administrative organization required for efficient development and sustainability of Cores B and C. Core B provides analytical fluorescence-based flow cytometry and cell sorting. Core C provides investigators and other researchers with automated single cell capture.
  • Regulatory Mechanisms in Intestinal Motility. Researchers seek to understand the basic cellular mechanisms responsible for gastrointestinal motility. Investigators try to identify why dysmotilities develop in the abnormal GI tract. Ultimately through this research, it is hoped that methods for treatment of abnormal GI transit will be developed to improve the quality of life for patients.
  • Gamete, Sperm and Oocyte Production in Mammals. Wei Yan, Ph.D., and his team research issues including which germ cell-specific genes are essential for successful production of gametes and the particular molecular pathways they are involved in.

For more information on the program, you can view the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology graduate program handbook

How do I apply?

All applicants must apply through the University Graduate School. In addition to the Graduate School's admission requirements, applicants must also meet the following program-specific requirements for the CMPP Ph.D.:

  • A GRE score of 300 or greater or an MCAT score of 25 (old) or 500 (new) or greater
  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA
  • A TOEFL score of 550 or greater or IELTS (international students only)

Three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose also need to be included with the application. The application deadline for fall enrollment is Dec. 15.

Is funding available?

Students admitted to the Molecular Biosciences Ph.D. programs are automatically offered research or teaching assistantship positions during the first year. A separate application for financial assistance is not required.

For more on these assistantships, see the Molecular Biosciences admissions page.

What's next?

You can apply now if you are ready to begin your journey at the University of Nevada, Reno. You may also complete the form above or contact the program director to learn more.

Seungil Ro, Ph.D.
Phone: 775-784-1462
Fax: 775-784-6903

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