Physiology for the Health Sciences


Physiology 701, a graduate level course in Human Physiology, emphasizes the functions of cells, of tissues as groups of cells, of organs as groups of tissues, and ultimately of organ systems as groups of organs acting together to preserve the viability of the organism. Walter Cannon's investigations into the regulatory mechanisms by which biological systems maintain the stable internal environment necessary for life led him to coin the term homeostasis in 1939, and it is upon this principle that physiology is built. Homeostasis is the central theme of Physiology and the term is encountered frequently throughout the course.


The course is organized around organ systems and an effort is made to show how each participates in homeostatic regulation.

  • Body Fluids
  • Peripheral Nervous System
  • Muscular System
  • Endocrine and Reproductive Systems
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Renal System
  • Central Nervous System
  • Gastrointestinal System
  • Respiratory System
  • Acid-Base Balance

The material in each section is presented primarily in a lecture format. These lectures are supplemented by discussions, computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and laboratory/ demonstration exercises. The exams cover all material presented in these various formats. Quantitative understanding is emphasized in those areas where this kind of learning is necessary to demonstrate fundamental concepts. In class, students are encouraged to ask questions. Outside of class students are urged to talk to the instructor about any problems they are having with the topic currently under discussion.


The required text for this course is Costanzo’s Physiology, W.B. Saunders, 2002. Each instructor in the course will provide detailed handouts as needed to expand on the system under discussion. Some instructors may refer to other textbooks during their lecture series and some may recommend or require additional reading.


Lectures will be held during the Spring semester from 9-12 AM on Tuesday and Thursday on the dates indicated in the schedule.


Kenneth B. Walsh, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
SOM Campus, Bldg 1, Room D15
Phone: 803 216-3519


Registered students in this course may receive more detailed class information by accessing the following link: