Integrative Physiology and Health Science

Student Opportunities

Unique, Hands-On Laboratory Experiences


The IPHS Department recently purchased a new piece of equipment that will greatly improve our abilities to study muscle oxygenation. NIRS stand for Near InfraRed Spectroscopy. This machine looks at wavelengths produced by oxy-hemoglobin, and deoxy-hemoglobin, but is a non-invasive technique to measure muscle oxygenation. 


The IPHS Department purchased new highly integrated software system that all students can record data from their own bodies, animals or tissues. This is an easy to use machinery provides and effective way for students to learn, yet advanced enough for advance research topics. To learn more about our  BIOPAC system visit

Human Performance Laboratory

The Human Performance Laboratory has state of the art research and physiology based equipment for our students to utilize. The laboratory provides an environment for students to look at many different concepts. For example, students can study maximal oxygen consumption using our ParvoMedic’s 2400 Metabolic Cart, or to look at forearm blood flow with our DE Hokanson Rapid Cuff Inflation System. In the required course laboratories, students will design their own “mini” research projects to carry out manipulations to normal human physiology being studied. This allows students to explore creative ideas, and get a hands-on, visual stimulus for learning. 

Human Anatomy Laboratory

The Human Anatomy Laboratory is where our IPH 344, Human Anatomy “hand’s on” dissection takes place. Each Alma College student within a pre-professional track is required to take the Human Anatomy course. These students each have the opportunity to visual see how unique and amazing the human body truly is. Students are able to research and study the functions of systems and muscles in the lecture portion of the course, but then see, dissect, and explore these tissues within the laboratory portion. This is one of the very unique and stand out features within the Integrative Physiology and Health Science department, and within a Division III institution.

Muscle Physiology Laboratory

The current work ongoing in the Muscle Physiology laboratory is centered around understanding key regulators of muscle mass.  The work utilizes cell culture with study of C2C12 cell behavior being the standard in vitro model of myogenesis (muscle formation). C2C12 cell culture is used by students in the advanced muscle physiology course as well as independent student researchers.  In the required course laboratory, students design their own experiments to establish the effects of important hormones/growth factors on muscle development.                                                                             

Leadership Opportunities

Senior Fitness & Spartners

Many hands-on experiences exist for IPHS students to become involved. By enrolling in IPHS 390—Senior Fitness, students can lead various exercise programs for older adults who live in the community. Opportunities include leading water aerobics exercises, land exercise or strength training.  

Students may also become involved with Spartners, which is a program that targets (S)Partners for Heart Health. This program is designed to help 5th grade students sustain or improve nutrition and physical activity behaviors that support heart-health, and provide “hand’s on” training for public health, and medical students. To learn more about (S)Partners for Heart Health contact Dr. Robyn Anderson.

Integrative Physiology and Health Science Honor’s Society

Students that excel within the IPHS major, are invited to join the IPHS honor’s society. This a student lead organization that coordinates events on and off campus. Some of these events include the Matt Reinke Homecoming Run, which was incorporated with a Color Run in 2014. Students, community members were able to participate in a 5K run or walk around the campus of Alma College. These students also have hands in planning the Regional ACSM conference in Gaylord, Michigan. A blog about this can be seen on the main webpage.