The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) includes the Schools of Graduate Studies, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, and Allied Health Sciences and is a major center for biomedical research, education and medical treatment.  The Department of Physiology is an integral part of the School of Graduate Studies of the LSUHSC and offers graduate programs leading to the PhD and MD/PhD degrees.


The department currently receives funding via external grants and contracts with support from the following:

National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) T35
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
  • National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • NIDDK Ttraining Grant

National Agencies:

  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense )
  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
  • APS Frontiers in Physiology

State Agency:

  • State of Louisiana Board of Regents (BoR)
  • Louisiana State University health Sciences Center Summer Research Internship Program


  • The Foundation for Alcohol Research (ABMRF)
  • California Walnut Commission

Members of the Department of Physiology at LSUHSC conduct research on the function of organisms at every level of biologic organization: molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organ system, and whole body physiologic integration.  The following are some of the active research areas in the Department of Physiology:

Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Biomedical Consequences

  • Impact of alcohol and drugs of abuse on Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; non-human primate model of AIDS/HIV infection) disease progression, muscle turnover and dyslipidemia in SIV
  • Impact of chronic binge alcohol, SIV, and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on abnormalities of host defense
  • Impact of chronic alcohol, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and SIV on adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells and skeletal muscle progenitor cells
  • Mechanisms through which chronic binge alcohol alters key signaling pathways and epigenetics to disrupt normal hematopoiesis

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Pathophysiology

  • Pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pathophysiology of congestive heart failure
  • Adverse cardiac effects of cigarette smoke and inhaled particulate matter
  • Role of estrogen in cardiac protection


  • Mechanisms that regulate lipolysis during development of cachexia
  • Metabolic and physiologic properties of circulating proteins and lipids
  • Metabolic and physiologic properties of phytochemicals
  • Models of diet-induced obesity


  • Effects of type II diabetes on altered renal microvascular function
  • Microvascular permeability during inflammation
  • Lymphatic system physiology, lymph formation and transport
  • Effects of alcohol intoxication on the microvasculature of the gastrointestinal tract


  • Neurobiology of alcohol dependence and stress disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Interaction of reproductive hormones and brain peptides involved in feeding behaviors
  • Neuroendocrine control of response to traumatic injury

The faculty of the Department of Physiology are extensively involved in collaborative research with scientists from:

School of Medicine

  • Clinicians from the Departments of Cardiology and Pathology
  • Basic scientists from the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Anatomy, Genetics, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology

Health Sciences Center

  • Scientists with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center
  • Cardiovascular Center
  • Neuroscience Center
  • and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center

Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge


Information for Admissions and Application Procedures

Admission to the PhD program in Physiology is based on transcripts, recommendations, and GRE scores on the General Test. The Subject Test in biology, chemistry, or physics is strongly recommended. A letter defining the student’s career goals is required as well. Application should be completed by April 1 for matriculation in August or by October 1 for January admission.

For application materials contact:
Dr. Scott Edwards
Assistant Professor of Physiology
Department of Physiology
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
1901 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA. 70112
Telephone: 504-568-6171
Fax: 504-568-6158

Financial Aid

Assistantships and graduate student fellowships are available on a competitive basis for PhD including MD/PhD candidates while enrolled in the School of Graduate Studies. Awards are $24,000 per year and a full tuition waiver. Additional sources of financial aid are available for the PhD candidates through a variety of programs.

Cost of Study

Tuition is $11,649 per year for Louisiana residents and $21,766 for nonresidents. In addition, activity and student health fees of about $300 per year are required. Contact the Registrar's Office for a "Request for Transfer Credit"

For more information, visit the School of Graduate Studies web site.