About Us

Physiology is the integrative study of cellular and whole-body function, and is the pivotal discipline linking other basic biomedical sciences on the one hand with experimental and clinical medicine on the other. We are a teaching- and research-intensive department focusing on advanced studies in cardiovascular physiology, cellular and systems neurophysiology, cellular and molecular physiology, endocrinology, fetal/neonatal physiology, membrane biophysics and transport physiology, renal physiology, respiratory physiology, vision, and the interfaces between these fields.

Many of our areas of research strength span broadly across disciplines: the department has 36 academic staff members, including professors who are cross-appointed in Biochemistry, Cardiology, Dentistry, Nephrology, Nutritional Science, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics and Psychology. Members of the department have extensive networks of local, national and international collaborations, and participate in a diverse range of Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (FoMD) and University of Alberta (UofA)-wide institutes, centres and research groups, including the Alberta Diabetes Institute, the Alberta Institute for Human Nutrition, the Women and Children Health Research Institute, the Centre for Neuroscience, the Cardiovascular Research Group, the Emerging Team to Prevent Blindness, the Membrane Protein Disease Research Group, the Pulmonary Research Group, and Rehabilitation Neuroscience.

The department is located in well-equipped space at the heart of the Medical Sciences complex at the UofA, and maintains modern state-of-the-art facilities in the broad range of molecular biology, cellular, fluorescence spectroscopy, electrophysiological, membrane transport, imaging, transgenic and other techniques necessary for active research programs in modern-day physiology.

The Graduate Program in the Department of Physiology emphasizes laboratory research towards a thesis of publishable quality, with a minimum requirement for course work. It relies on high quality supervision from committed professors who regard their students as colleagues in their research programs. All students are encouraged to present their work at local, provincial, national and international meetings.

Department of Physiology staff members have research programs that are well funded by provincial, national and international granting agencies, and many are able to support graduate students from the operating grants used to run their laboratories. In 2011, research funding to faculty in the Department of Physiology was in excess of $10 M. Other sources of funding for graduate students are available from national and provincial agencies, the UofA and its institutes, centres and research groups, and from the Department of Physiology.

In 2014, the department will proudly commemorate 100 years of excellence in teaching, research and service to the community. Notable scientists who have passed through and contributed to the department include JB Collip of insulin fame. Join us in our Centennial celebration!

Enjoy your virtual visit to Physiology at the UofA.

James Young
Dr. James Young, Professor and Chair,
Department of Physiology