The Physiology Course is designed to promote learning by doing, with an emphasis on stimulating experimental creativity and applying interdisciplinary approaches to fundamental biological problems. After a one-week “bootcamp” that teaches basic concepts and skills, students participate in three research rotations (each two weeks) focused on active research problems brought by the course faculty using state-of-the art microscopy and laboratory techniques in a highly collaborative setting. Each morning begins with an invited speaker talking about cutting-edge research, followed by experiments, discussion, and data analysis in lab. Since the rotations focus on unanswered questions rather than demonstration experiments, students in the course will have the opportunity to make new discoveries as part of the learning experience. Biology students will leave the course able to computationally analyze data, produce computer simulations, and use modern experimental methods, while engineering/physical/computational science students will leave able to culture cells, discuss biological concepts, and contribute their expertise to modern cell biological questions.

This year, to inspire Physiology students and provide them with a sense of the history and future of cell physiology, the Physiology Course will will bring three eminent scientists to the MBL for a week as Visiting Scholars. They will each deliver one or more lectures to the community, run workshops, advise on experiments, and participate in the dynamic intellectual and social aspects of the course.