A Quick Introduction to Physiology and Pathophysiology for Students in Clinical Research College

When working in clinical research, it is important to have an understanding of the body, how it works, and what happens when someone contracts an illness or disease or suffers an injury. As you will be actively involved in the clinical research process, which aims to develop and approve drugs and pharmaceuticals to treat malfunctions in the body, knowing these concepts will be important. Two important areas that study and describe the functions of the body are physiology and pathophysiology. While these terms may sound similar, there are several important differences between them.

If you’re considering enrolling in a clinical research program, read on to learn more about physiology and pathophysiology.

Students in Clinical Research College Know Physiology Examines Living Systems

Physiology is the study of a living organism’s systems. Physiology looks at all the bodily systems, and how they interact and work together to keep us alive and healthy. The practice of physiology extends back as far as 420 BC, when Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, coined one of the very first theories about the body’s systems. Countless advancements in the study of physiology have been made since then, including the discovery of how blood circulates through capillaries in the body in 1940, and how our nervous system fires nerve impulses in 1952.

Today, physiology looks at all the systems in the human body, including the circulatory, endocrine, nervous, renal, immune systems, and more. It is important for students in clinical research college to understand the body’s systems, as pharmaceuticals that are tested during clinical research trials often have an impact on the body’s systems in either a positive or negative way.

Pathophysiology Involves Processes Surrounding Injury or Disease

Pathophysiology combines the areas of both pathology and physiology. Pathology looks at diseases, while physiology, as discussed previously, is the study of a living organism’s systems. Pathophysiology combines the two disciplines. It looks at the effects that disease, injury, or illnesses have on living systems as the ailment progresses. In other words, pathophysiology studies the changes occurring in the biochemical, mechanical, and physical functions of the body in response to some sort of ailment.

Advancements in the area of pathophysiolgoy started in the 1800s, as researchers began to understand which microorganisms were causing certain diseases. In 1901, the first biomedical center opened in the United States, The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, which lead many research projects in the areas of pathology and bacteriology.

Pathophysiology looks at how illness or injury impacts the body’s systems

It is useful for students training for a career in clinical research to understand the basic concepts of pathophysiology, because many pharmaceuticals and drugs that are tested during the clinical research process aim to either prevent the occurrence of diseases, mitigate their symptoms, or cure them. Knowing how diseases affect the body is the key to having a well-rounded understanding of how the drugs being researched will have an impact on patients.

Do you want to apply your interest in science to clinical research training in Ontario?

Contact AAPS College today to learn more about getting started!