courses & academics

PBIO Course Descriptions

PBIO Instructed Course Websites

Instructor IDs

PBIO Graduate Student Requirements

Graduate School Ph.D. Policies

Predoctoral Training Grants


504 Biophysics of Nerve, Muscle, and Synapse (3) A
Introduces biophysical properties of nerve and muscle cells. Topics include intrinsic electrical properties of neurons, ion channels, receptor signaling, calcium signaling, contraction of muscles, and synaptic function

508 Introduction of Laboratory Research in Physiology (2-5) A, W, Sp, Su
Students participate in the performance of ongoing projects in designated research laboratories. Emphasis is on experimental design, methodology, and techniques. For first- and second-year graduate students in Physiology & Biophysics to provide a basis for future independent research.

509 Neuroendocrinology (3) W - offered every other year
Emphasizes the cellular and molecular aspects of several topics in neuroendocrinology, including neuropeptide genes, reproduction, steroid hormone regulation of gene expression, mechanisms of hormone action, endocrine rhythms and neural oscillations.

513 Teaching Physiology (4) A, W
This course is designed to enable graduate students to learn to teach Physiology & Biophysics. Students will undertake instructional material development, presentation of materials and develop problem-solving techniques.

516 Physiological Proseminar (7) A
Guided survey of the experimental literature in cardiovascular and respiratory physiology. This course is conducted as a seminar with analysis of assigned papers and topics.

518 Research Topics in Cardiovascular-Respiratory Physiology (1) W, Sp
(May be repeated for credit.) Speakers present seminars on current cardiovascular research from several disciplines.

519 Membrane and Muscle Biophysics seminar (1) Sp (CR/NC)
(May be repeated for credit.) Detailed discussion and study of current topics in cell membrane function and muscle contraction presented by faculty and postdocs.

520 Physiology Seminar (Variable)
(Offered at selected times. May be repeated for credit.) Special topics in Physiology.

521 Biophysics Seminar (Variable)
(Offered at selected times. May be repeated for credit.) Special topics in Biophysics.

522 Selected Topics in Respiratory Physiology (1-3) A, W, Sp, Su
Advanced seminar on selected topics including pulmonary mechanics, gas exchange, lung fluid balance, regulation of breathing, pulmonary circulation, respiration in the neonate, liquid breathing, airway dynamics, lung structure and development, cardiopulmonary interactions, exercise physiology.

525 (A), 526 (W), 527 (Sp, Su) Readings in Advanced Physiology and Biophysics (Variable)
(May be repeated for credit.) Guided study of the experimental literature of physiology and biophysics. Essays are written and discussed with the faculty. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis, accuracy of expression, bibliographic technique, and other factors of good scholarship.

532 Discussion in Cell Signaling and Molecular Physiology (2) Rieke, Santana
Discusses fundamental issues in cell excitability and molecular and cellular physiology. Focuses on problem solving and reading from original literature. Emphasizes student participation. Prerequisite: first-year graduate students in neurobiology or physiology and biophysics.

545 Quantitative Methods in Neuroscience (3) Rieke, Shadlen
Discusses quantitative methods applicable to the study of the nervous system. Revolves around computer exercises/discussion of journal papers. May include linear systems theory, Fourier analysis, ordinary differential equations, stochastic processes, signal detection and information theory

548 Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity (2) Barria
Discusses recent primary literature on the molecular mechanisms underlying structural and functional changes of dendritic spines in the mammalian brain as result of synaptic activity and experience.

550 Biophysics of Calcium Signaling (1) Hille, Santana
Introduction to cellular calcium signaling including theoretical and technical issues of calcium signal detection and biological conclusions

551 Mouse Models (1) Froehner
Illustrates the use of transgenic and targeted-gene disruption technologies for developing mouse models of the disease. Introduces the methodology of producing transgenic and knock out mice. Discusses several examples of disease models using the most recent primary literature as a source.

552 Synaptic Integration (1) Binder, Powers
Discussion of recent papers on how neurons in the central nervous system integrate concurrent synaptic inputs. Includes: effects of driving force on synaptic currents, effects of conductances on dendritic properties, transfer of currents from dendrites to soma, and transformation of currents into spike train outputs

553 Learning and Memory: Synapses and Systems (2) Jagadeesh, Sullivan
Five-week mini-course evaluates the current state of knowledge on the mechanisms that allow people to learn and remember. After introductory overviews of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying long-term synaptic plasticity and the multiple systems existing for learning and memory, students choose specific topics for discussion.

554 Motor Learning: Cellular and Network Mechanisms (1) Fetz, Perlmutter
Five-week mini-course reviews the current state of research on cellular and network mechanisms of motor learning. After an introductory overview of behavioral and physiological examples of motor learning in various species and systems, students choose specific topics for discussion, using the primary literature as a source.

555 Sensory Receptors (1) Detwiler, Rieke
Five-lecture mini-course examines how different kinds of sensory receptors detect and respond to different modalities of sensory stimuli. Discussion focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the underlying transduction processes and the experimental evidence that they are based on.

556 Axon Pathfinding Mechanisms (1) Bothwell
Examines mechanisms governing axon growth cone behavior during embryonic development and during regeneration in the injured adult. Discusses approaches employing both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems.

557 Ion Channel Gating (1) Gordon, Zagotta
Compares and contrasts mechanisms of gating in ligand-gated and voltage-gated ion channels. Covers basics of ligand gating and voltage gating, kinetic schemes, inactivation and desensitization, gating currents and partial agonists, and ion channel structure.

560 Muscle and Cell Motility (Variable)
(Offered at selected times. Not offered every year.) Selected topics in muscle contraction and cell motility. Reading of original papers. Presentations by students and faculty. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Topics vary between quarters so course may be repeated for credit.

594 Neurological Study Unit (0.5) A, W (CR, NC)
(May be repeated for credit) Biweekly seminar: faculty and student discussion of neurological topics illustrated with clinical cases or demonstrations. Alternates weeks with NEUBEH 510

600 Independent Study or Research (Variable) A,W, Sp, Su
Individual readings or study, including independent study in preparation for doctoral examinations, research, etc.

700 Master's Thesis (Variable) A, W, Sp, Su
Research for the Master's thesis, including research preparatory or related thereto. Limited to Premaster graduate students, i.e., those who have not yet completed the Master's degree in their major field at the University of Washington.

800 Doctoral Dissertation (Variable) A, W, Sp, Su
Research for the doctoral dissertation and research preparatory or related thereto. Limited to Candidate-level graduate students.



CONJ 531: Signaling mechanisms in excitable cells (1.5) A, weeks 1 to 5

CONJ 532: Signal transduction: From the cell to the nucleus (1.5) A, weeks 6 to 10

CONJ 533: The dynamic chromosome (1.5) A, weeks 1 to 5

CONJ 534: Selected Problems in Nervous System Development(1.5), W, weeks 1 to 5

CONJ 536: Experimental approaches to cell biology (1.5) W, weeks 1 to 5

CONJ 537: Gene Transcription & RNA Processing (1.5) A, weeks 6 to 10

CONJ 539: Biological basis of neoplasia (1.5) W, weeks 6 to 10

CONJ 541: Molecular biology of cellular processes (1.5) Sp, weeks 1 to 5

CONJ 542: Development (1.5) W, weeks 6 to 10

CONJ 543: Problems in genetic analysis (1.5) Sp, weeks 1 to 5

NEU BEH 501, 502, 503 Introduction to Neurobiology (3) A, W, Sp.
A sequence that provides the first year graduate student with a broad exposure to neuroscience from molecule to behavior.

Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology. Concepts and techniques of molecular and cell biology as applied to understanding development and function of the nervous system.

Sensory & Motor Systems. Introduction to neuroanatomy and modules on sensory and motor systems.

Higher Neural Function. Discussion of higher neural processes like learning, memory, and neuroendocrinology. Lecture and laboratory discussion of original literature, observation of demonstrations, and examination of macroscopic and microscopic neural tissue.

Seminar in Neurobiology (0.5) A, W, Sp (CR/NC)
Bi-weekly seminars on current issues of basic research in neurobiology. (Alternates weeks with PBIO 594) Recommended for students in Graduate Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and required for students supported on Graduate Neuroscience Program training Grant.

U Conjoint 524 Developmental Neurobiology (3) W
Lectures will survey important issues in developmental neurobiology, such as neurogenesis and differentiation; development of electrophysiological, orphological and neurochemical phenotype; establishment of neuronal pathways and appropriate synaptic contacts; and cellular and synaptic plasticity. Molecular biological, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches to these issues will be illustrated.

-return to top