Anatomy (Ph.D.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation  
    ❱   Final oral examination/Dissertation defense 

Research Specializations

    ❱   Epigenetics and aging
    ❱   Evolutionary and organismal biology
    ❱   Evolutionary developmental biology
    ❱   Molecular, cell, and developmental biology
    ❱   Neuroscience
    ❱   Paleobiology   

Research Areas & Interests

Faculty Research Interests

A sampling of research interests

  • Behavioral, neuroanatomical, and molecular disruptions caused by the experience of early life adversity and developmental drug exposure (nicotine) during prenatal life, infancy, and adolescence
  • Investigating molecular bases of alcohol addiction and co-morbid neuropsychiatric disease as mediated by neuroinflammation, CRF, GABA, and other molecular circuits
  • Epigenetic effects of drugs of abuse on gene expression profiles
  • Targeting the genetic bases for opioid use disorder to develop effective treatments to restore dopamine homeostasis in humans
  • How intrinsic and synaptic neuronal properties relate to information coding and neural network function
  • Mechanisms of information processing that form the basis of persistent functional changes in the olfactory and limbic systems and their relation to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Structural and functional organization of the olfactory and limbic system (hippocampus, amygdala)
  • Systematics, functional anatomy, biogeographic and paleoecological reconstructions of mammal faunas
  • Investigating the potential of induced pluripotent stem cells, cellular reprogramming, and epigenetic rejuvenation for the treatment of age-related diseases
  • Evolutionary morphology of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in humans and the evolutionary morphology of the hominid locomotor systems
  • Neural systems in the brain using electrophysiological, pharmacological, and anatomical methods
  • Genetic and epigenetic (environmental experience) modulators of brain development and maturation
  • Subcortical structure of the vertebrate brain, the amygdala, a key brain site for emotion, fear, learning, and memory
  • Evolution of the blood supply of the brain
  • Developmental interactions during tissue and organ development

Program of Study* 


ANAT 301   Musculoskeletal Anatomy

ANAT 173   Neurobiology

ANAT 197   Intro to Anatomical Research I

ANAT 198   Intro to Anatomical Research II

ANAT 202   Histology & Cell Biology

ANAT 208   Topics in Anatomical Research

ANAT 213   Organ Systems Anatomy

ANAT 198   Research – Lab Rotations

BIOL 430   Statistics


Must include courses in Physiology and/or Biochemistry/Molecular Biology. Students typically take electives in Biochemistry, Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biophysics, or Psychology. Students must select their electives in consultation with the student's advisor. 


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.