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Advanced Respiration Physiology II

    • Course Number: GMS 6475
    • Credit Hours: 3 credit hours
    • Course Format: This online course is tailored for asynchronous distance learners.

    Course Description

    The course covers a quantitative understanding of hypoxia, hypo- and hyper-baric atmospheric pressures, physical properties of breathing (lung and chest wall compliances, airway turbulence) and central nervous system mechanisms controlling respiration (arterial and medullary chemoreflexes, cardiopulmonary receptors, vasomotor and heart rate responses to changing blood gases). Particular attention is paid to building an understanding of these concepts as defined in theoretical models as developed by theoretical physiologists. Students will learn to apply quantitative physiology theory to the prediction of response variables in respiratory physiology. Concepts are taught using a combination of lectures, quantitative exercises based on theoretical physiology modeling, online literature critique and a capstone research and scientific writing project. The quantitative exercises are designed to elucidate quantitative physiological concepts and to teach the students heuristic methodology for calculation of physiologic variables. The literature critique is designed to teach students to incorporate current literature to apply physiological knowledge in order to assess experimental data and their interpretation. The writing project is designed to teach students to understand complex physiological processes and to be able to write a scholarly short review of the subject with proper citations of the primary literature. Together, with Advanced Respiration 1 (GMS 64XX), the ultimate goal is for students to develop an understanding of quantitative theoretical models of respiration, to develop quantitative problem solving and critical thinking skills and to develop skills for evaluation and reporting of concepts addressed in the peer-reviewed literature.


    This course requires a BA or BS and a strong science foundation with at least five full semester courses related to biology, chemistry and/or physics. In addition, students must complete Fundamentals of Medical Physiology GMS 6440, Medical Pulmonary Physiology GMS 6402 and Medical Cardiovascular and Muscle Physiology GMS 6474 before enrolling in the course.


    This course is designed to be taken as an elective in the medical physiology and pharmacology master’s degree program.

    Course Goals

    The overarching objective of this course is to provide a quantitative understanding of barometric pressure, physical forces involved in breathing and central nervous system control of respiration. The specific topics covered are: 1) barometric pressure influences on respiration; 2) physical properties of breathing; 3) control of breathing; and 4) integrative topics. These topics will be explored in detail using a quantitative approach, gaining an understanding of the physiology using theoretical (mathematical) physiological models. These objectives will be achieved using a combination of lectures, quantitative exercises, literature critique and scientific writing.

    At a Glance