Human Physiology and Pathophysiology

Accreditation valid until: 27. 11. 2029

Chairman of the Subject Area Board: prof. MUDr. Otomar Kittnar, MBA, CSc.
Institute of Physiology
First Faculty of Medicine
Charles University
Albertov 5
128 00  Prague 2
phone: +420 224 968 483
e-mail: @email

Contact person:
doc. MUDr. Dana Marešová, CSc.
Institute of Physiology
First Faculty of Medicine
Charles University
Albertov 5
128 00  Prague 2
phone: + 420 224 968 410
e-mail: @email

Members of the Subject Area Board


Characteristics of the study programme

The programme Human Physiology and Pathophysiology is focused on the study of functions of particular systems of the organism (blood, circulatory system, breathing, digestive, urinary, humoral, nervous systems) and their control, from the molecular level up to the study of mutual relations between particular systems under normal conditions and pathologic states. Equally important is the study of factors that can affect the mechanisms of development, plasticity and adaptation to epigenetic and internal influences.

The experimental and analytic approach of learning enables you to use the knowledge gained for prevention, diagnostics, therapy and rehabilitation of the human organism.

The objective of the studies in the study programme Human Physiology and Pathophysiology is training the students in such a way so that they will be capable of independent scientific work as necessary for understanding of physiologic and pathophysiologic mechanisms that can be the cause of major clinical conditions.

Requirements during the study

Study obligations are part of ISP of the student designed by the supervisor (or advisor) and based on the annotation handed in during the admission procedure. The fulfillment of the ISP is controlled and granted by the supervisor and theg guarantor of the programme of study. Possible changes in the ISP must be justified and approved by the SAB, the guarantor of the programme of study and the dean of the faculty.

  • The student must obtain credits from at least three courses from the courses offered in DSPB. One of the courses can be completed abroad. If involved as an undergraduate supervisor, the tuition may be recognized as a completion of the course of SAB Human Physiology and Pathophysiology.
  • Part of the ISP is also the language examination in English (examination at the Department of Languages, Second Faculty of Medicine CU, state language examination or an internationally recognized examination, e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate).
  • Successful completion of the state doctoral examination
  • Part of the studies is active participation on both national and international scientific conferences.
Requirements for internships

A recommended part of study obligations in doctoral studies is taking a study placement abroad, not shorter than 1 month.

Listed courses

B90054 Electrophysiological methods in clinical practice and research
B90209 Physical interaction of blood circulation and vessel wall and current methods of their examination
B90044 Selected issues of endocrinology and metabolism
B90275 Biomedicine and Biotechnology
B90276 How to be the Master and not a Slave of Clinical Research

Requirements for the SDE

Prerequisites for the state doctoral examination:

1) Language examination in English (examination at the Department of Languages, Second Faculty of Medicine CU, state language examination or an internationally recognized examination, e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge certificate)
2) Credits from at least three courses
3) Literary overview to the topic of the tesis with hypothesis and the aim of work (15 – 20 pages without literature)
4) At least one original publication on the topic of the thesis in journals with IF (only work in extenso is recognized, not abstracts,case studies or letter to the editor).

The state doctoral examination is open to public and is presided by the board nominated by the dean according to the proposal of the SAB. The supervisor (or advisor) is one of the members of the board.

1) The student announces one of the triad of the topic areas determined in advance. The questions are available here:
2) The members of the board evaluate the literary summary and discuss their remarks, questions and objections with the student,
3) In a closed session, the board shall evaluate the course of the examination and sets the mark.
4) The result will be announced to the student.
5) The members of the board will sign the protocol of the examination.

Examination topics for the SDE

General topic areas. Each area consists of approximately fourteen questions which the student draws at random.

1) Principals of the physiological regulations
2) Physiology of the cell
3) Internal environment and the defence system of the organism
4) Cardiopulmonary system and its role in the regulation of homeostasis
5) Pathophysiology of the cardiopulmonary system
6) Conversion of substances and forms of energies
7) Excretory systems and their disorders
8) Endocrine regulation and its disorders
9) Blood and respiration
10) Sensory information inputs
11) Executive nervous functions and their disorders
12) Physiology and Patophysiology of behavious, biorhythms
13) Developmental physiology
14) Gastrointestinal tract

Student selects combination of 3 from the 14 thematic areas. Each thematic area consists of specific questions. The questions are selected by draw.
Obligatory thematic areas combinations:

1, 4, 14
2, 5, 13
3, 7, 12
4, 7, 11
5, 6, 11
6, 8, 12
7, 10, 14
8, 14, 2
9, 5, 10
10, 2, 4
11, 8, 1
12, 8, 2
13, 14, 7
14, 9, 2

1. Principles of physiological regulations

1.1 Tissue oxygen supply
1.2 Isotonia, isoosmia, isohydria. Water and ion balance
1.3 Regulation of metabolic processes
1.4 Overview of blood pressure and circulation control
1.5 Overview of control of food and water intake and processing; micturition, defecation
1.6 Control of breathing
1.7 Interaction between nerves, hormons and immunity; psychoneuroendocrinology
1.8 Local, systemic and integrated control of physiological processes
1.9 Shock
1.10 Stress
1.11 Metabolic and neuronal control processes
1.12 Hunger and thirst
1.13 Multiorgan failure during sepsis
1.14 Mechanisms of adaptation to environment
1.15 Genetic determination of disease

2. Cell physiology

2.1 Function of the cell membrane and inter-cellular contacts
2.2 Membrane transport systems
2.3. Channels for water and ions
2.4 Intracellular signals systems
2.5 Functions of cell organelles
2.6 Cell cycle
2.7 Autocrine and paracrine information and communication
2.8 Gene expression and cell differentiation
2.9 Apoptosis and necrosis
2.10 Cell receptors and their disorders
2.11 Membrane potential
2.12 Excitation and contraction coupling in smooth and skeletal muscle

3. Inner environment and defence functions

3.1 Body fluids
3.2 Homeostasis
3.3 Intercellular space
3.4 Inner environment of brain
3.5 Regulation of extracellular concentration of potassium and natrium
3.6 Immunity mechanisms and disorders
3.7 Aging mechanisms
3.8 Disorders of acid base balance
3.9 Significance of calcium in organism

4. Cardiopulmonary system

4.1 Blood and lymphatic circulation
4.2 Mechanism of heart contraction and relaxation
4.3 Heart automaticity and electrical activity of heart muscle
4.4 Heart pump, cardiac revolution
4.5 Cardiovascular control mechanisms
4.6 Coronary blood flow
4.7 Blood flow through brain, splanchnicus, skin and skeletal muscle
4.8 Placental blood flow. Fetal circulation.
4.9 Lung circulation
4.10 Relation of renal blood flow and renal functions
4.11 Short and long –term regulation of blood pressure

5. Pathophysiology of cardiopulmonary system

5.1 Adaptation of myocardium on the work load
5.2 Remodelling of myocardium and vascular wall
5.3 Heart failure, stunning and hibernation
5.4 Elementary disorders of the heart rhythm
5.5 Arterial hypertension
5.6 Hypotension, collapse, circulatory shock
5.7 Disorders in generation and conduction of electrical stimuli in the heart
5.8 Congenatal heart diseases, valve defects
5.9 Causes of arteriosclerosis and its complications
5.10 Ischemic heart disease
5.11 Pulmonary hypertension and cor pulmonale
5.12 Classification of types of hypoxia

6. Metabolism

6.1 Tissue respiration
6.2 Thermoregulation
6.3 Metabolic functions of the liver
6.4 Regulation of plasma glucose concentration
6.5 Plasma lipids and their metabolism
6.6 Quantitative and qualitative disorders of nutrition
6.7 Protein metabolism
6.8 Metabolism of saccharides

7. Excretion systems and their disturbances

7.1 Excretion systems and organs
7.2 Role of kidney and breathing in acid-base balance
7.3 Role of hormones and body composition in water excretion
7.4 Control of renal excretion of potassium, natrium, phosphates and calcium
7.5 Micturition and its disorders
7.6 Causes and consequences of the impairment of renal concentration ability
7.7 Acute renal failure
7.8 Chronic renal failure
7.9 Defects of tubular transport
7.10 Glomerular functions and their disorders

8. Endocrine regulation

8.1 General principles of humoral regulation
8.2 Role of hypothalamo-hypophyseal system in control of peripheral glands
8.3 Metabolic and regulatory consequences of adrenal insufficiency
8.4 Reproduction endocrinology
8.5 Pathophysiology of thyroidea
8.6 Hormonal control of metabolism of calcium and phosphates
8.7 Pathogenesis of type I and II diabetes mellitus. Impaired glucose tolerance
8.8 Disorders of growth and sexual differentiation

9. Blood and breathing

9.1 Blood and hemopoietic organs
9.2 Hemostasis and its defects
9.3 Hemoglobin (ontogenesis, functional types)
9.4 Central regulation of breathing
9.5 Peripheral chemoreceptors and regulation of breathing
9.6 Lung ventilation
9.7 Ventilation/perfusion relationship
9.8 Blood gas transport
9.9 Pathologic forms of breathing
9.10 pH of blood, blood buffers
9.11 Regulation of organ blood flow

10. Sensory systems, information entry

10.1 Vision and its disorders
10.2 Disorders of the balance
10.3 Hearing and its disorders
10.4 Taste and smell
10.5 Proprioception
10.6 Nociception, pain
10.7 Somatosensory system and its disorders
10.8 Function of the receptor cells
10.9 Central processing of sensory signals

11. Efferent functions of nervous system

11.1 Muscle types, muscle contraction
11.2 Motor functions and their disorders
11.3 Central control of motility
11.4 Autonomic nervous system
11.5 Disorders of peripheral nerves¨
11.6 Spinal cord injury syndromes
11.7 Intracranial hypertension

12. Physiology and pathophysiology of behavior. Biorhythms

12.1 Sleep and its disorders
12.2 Biorhythms. Mechanisms and disorders
12.3 Memory. Physiology and pathophysiology
12.4 Mechanisms of learning
12.5 Motivations, instincts
12.6 Descendent and ascendent reticular formation
12.7 Emotion
12.8 Brain degenerative disorders. Alzheimer disease.

13. Developmental physiology

13.1 Main periods of ontogenesis. Critical developmental periods
13.2 Significance of perinatal and weaning periods for individual development
13.3 Ontogenetic development of homeostasis
13.4 Puberty
13.5 Development of endocrine and reproduction systems
13.6 Functional changes during aging, mechanisms of aging

14. Gastrointestinal system

14.1 Food processing in mouth. Secretion of saliva
14.2 Swallowing
14.3 Stomach. Motility and secretion
14.4 Function and pathology of small intestine
14.5 Pancreas and liver
14.6 Large intestine. Motility. Secretion and resorption. Defecation
14.7 Overview of GIT motility
14.8 Control mechanisms of GIT
14.9 Control of food intake. and its disorders

Recommended literature
Publication activity requirements
  • Elaboration of the literary summary/overview
  • At least two original publications in journals with IF
Defence requirements
  • State doctoral examination
  • At least two original publications pertaining to the topic of the dissertation thesis, with the total impact factor at least one. In at least one of them, the student should be the first author.
  • The SAB requires a Summary of the Dissertation.
Created: 20. 1. 2012 / Modified: 22. 6. 2021 / Responsible person: ThDr. Jitka Sýkorová, Ph.D.