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University of Rhode Island — Animal & Veterinary Science
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AVS 372 - Introductory Endocrinology
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Richard Rhodes, III
Semester: Spring, odd years
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: BIO 101 or permission of instructor.

Catalog Description: Morphology and physiology of endocrine glands. Roles of hormones in regulation of body processes. Discussion of all endocrine organs and relationship of endocrine and nervous systems. Emphasis on domesticated animals and fowl.

Course Goals & Outcomes

We will use a variety of instructional methods that should develop your ability to:

  • Recall significant facts about endocrinology. (e.g., ACTH is synthesized in the anterior lobe of the pituitary)
  • Formulate and articulate related concepts on the field. (e.g., The pituitary is the target tissue for all hypothalamic releasing hormones {RH's})
  • Solve problems associated with the field
  • Write and critically evaluate scientific literature
  • Develop your information management skills.
Course Syllabus

Class Topics

  • What is endocrinology and how is it studied?
  • Endocrine system organization
  • Homrones-mediators of chemical regulation
  • Receptors and mechanisms of actions
  • Hypothalamo-hypophysial axis: neuroendocrinoloyg, nuerohypophysis, adenohypophysis
  • Adrenal gland-cortical and chromaffin tissue
  • Stress and adrenal hormones
  • Thyroid gland: development and metabolism
  • Calcium homeostasis
  • Pancreatic hormones and metabolic regulation
  • Regulators of gastrointestinal function
  • Endocrinology of sex

Grades will be based on the following criteria:

  • Term paper
  • Homework
  • Exams
  • Final exam
  • Participation
About The Professor

Richard C. Rhodes, III, Ph.D., Associate Dean
Professor, Animal Science

University of Rhode Island
College of Environmental Life Sciences
111 Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: (401) 874-2468
Fax: (401) 874-4017

Dr. Rick Rhodes, now an Associate Dean for the College of Environmental Life Sciences, still finds time in his demanding schedule to teach a couple of wonderful courses. Students enjoy Dr. Rhodes easy-going attitude, immense bank of knowledge and animated teaching style. Dr. Rhodes' research endeavors focus on mammalian endocrinology, specifically in the areas of stress and reproduction. He has studied the effects of certain common management techniques used in raising sheep to assess the associated levels of stress in hopes to define optimum times and means of performing these techniques. Dr. Rhodes is also interested in reproduction pharmacotherapy looking at the efficacy of hormone delivery systems.


  • B. S., University of Delaware, Newark, DE
  • M. S. Texas A M University, College Station, TX
  • Ph.D., Texas A M University, College Station, TX

Selected Publications

  • Rhodes III, R. C., M. M. Nippo et al. 1994. Stress in lambs (Ovis aries) during a routine management procedure: Evaluation of acute and chronic responses. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 107A:181-185.
  • Rhodes III, R. C., M. M. Nippo et al. 1995. Age at tail docking affects physiology and behavior of lambs. Proceedings of the 29th International Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, 3-5 August, Exeter, UK, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Herts Great Britain, pp. 217 218.
  • Jimoh, A. G., R. C. Rhodes III et al. 1995. Pulsatile release of FSH for superovulation in cattle. Theriogenology 43:657-666.
Reasons To Take This Course

"Introductory Endocrinology is the perfect class for students who have an interest in veterinary medicine, being an animal scientist, or for the student just wanting an understanding of how particular processes happen in their body! Introductory Endocrinology is an extremely informative yet interesting class that truly helps students to understand how body systems function. Furthermore, understanding the information taught in this class is not only extremely useful, but can be easily applied to almost any career in Animal Science." - Lauren

"Endocrinology is obviously a very hard subject but Dr. Rhodes makes it very interesting and actually fun to learn. Everything learned in this class can be applied to many other subjects in the animal science field, and is very useful if planning on going to vet school. Overall this was one of my favorite classes at URI." - Melissa

"AVS 372 was an important and valuable class for me. The Endocrine system is such a complex and diverse system and it plays a vital role in many every day life functions. It is beneficial to understand the endocrine system when learning about anatomy and the interactions of the body's systems. Metabolism, sexual reproduction, and homeostasis are just a few of the life processes controlled by the endocrine system. I felt this class provided me with a basic understanding and appreciation for endocrinology, which I can now take with me and apply to other classes further on down the road." -Ashley

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