Erik Henriksen, Professor of Physiology and Director of the Physiology Undergraduate Program, has been asked to serve on a new committee of the American Physiological Society (APS). The APS Physiology Pipeline Task Force was created to identify steps the Society can take to ensure the flow of students into the discipline of physiology and their continuance to relevant careers.
The Pipeline Task Force follows up on the APS decision to create a Stop-Gap Fellowship Program to address the perceived shortfall in funding from NIH for postdoctoral physiologists. The Physiology Pipeline Task Force will consider predoctoral fellowships for physiologists as well as ways to attract and retain students at the undergraduate level. As the point of entry to the Physiology Pipeline, undergraduate physiology training is crucial. Based on student enrollment, Physiology at the University of Arizona has grown to be the most popular science major, and the second most popular major overall. A high percentage of graduates from the UA physiology major enter the UA Physiological Sciences GIDP, College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy or pursue postgraduate training fields such as in Physical Therapy, Exercise Physiology, Physicians assistant. Dr Henriksen and his colleagues on the APS Task Force hope to look at successful undergraduate physiology programs, like the one at UA, and learn what can be done nationally to stimulate the flow of trainees through the Physiology Pipeline. This is another example of the national visibility our excellent Physiology Undergraduate Program has attained recently.