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Physiological Basis of Disease, MSBS 5025S

Course Director:   Dr. Joseph Fondell

Dept. of Pharmacology



Course Description:

This is a lecture/discussion course that covers systems physiology and relates these concepts to disease. The course is divided into several organ systems starting with an in depth discussion of the normal physiology of each system, that in turn sets the foundation for understanding the pathophysiology of each system. Included are discussions of cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, gastro-intestinal, bone, and endocrine systems in the context of normal function, as well as the effect and consequences of representative pathophysiological conditions. This is a team taught course with a total of 24 formal lectures. There will be three non-cumulative exams each covering approximately one third of the course. Each exam will count for approximately one third of the total grade.


Topics Covered:

Membrane potential and excitability

Cardiovascular: Electrical activity, ECG

Cardiovascular: Control of cardiac function and cardiac output

Cardiovascular:  Microcirculation

Cardiovascular: Acute myocardial ischemia, heart failure

Pulmonary mechanics and circulation

Oxygen/CO2 exchange, V/Q balance, Respiratory control of pH

Hypoxemia, V/Q disorder, pulmonary disease

Renal: Body fluid balance, GFR, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system

Renal: Hormonal regulation of renal Na+/H2O handling; renal control of blood pressure; acid-base

Renal glucose handling and diabetic kidney disease; integrated renal-cardiovascular function

Applied renal pathophysiology cases

Gastrointestinal: overview, motility

Gastrointestinal: digestion/absorption

Gastrointestinal: secretion

Pathophysiology of selected GI diseases

Endocrine pancreas

General principles of the neuroendocrine system

Thyroid endocrinology

Adrenal endocrinology

Male reproductive endocrinology

Female reproductive endocrinology

Bone physiology and pathology


Goals and Objectives:

Explain the integrative biology of organ systems

Describe principles of physiological systems common to all organs

Outline the feedback controls and pathways underlying all physiological systems

Use normal physiology to predict pathological processes

Describe how pathological processes disrupt normal physiology

Apply a basic understanding of physics and chemistry to the context of human physiology


Course Director:

Joseph Fondell

Department of Pharmacology

Room 500A, RWJMS Tower Bldg.


Office hours: available on request