Physiology is the study of how living systems function. Physiologists seek to describe biological processes in physical and chemical terms. Accordingly, physiologists can be trained in diverse backgrounds, which enable them to bring unique insights and technical approaches to study living systems from the sub-cellular level to the whole organism. For example, faculty in our Department have been trained in chemistry, medicine, zoology, physics, biochemistry, mathematics, biophysics, cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, and, believe it or not, physiology. Physiologists may be interested in the molecular function of individual molecules such as enzymes, membrane transporters, or molecular motors, or in how these molecules interact within a network to generate higher-level biological activities. Our Department has particular strengths in the molecular biophysics of membrane transport proteins and biological motors, as well as in the cell physiology and integrative biology of transport, motility, signaling and metabolism. We employ a wide range of experimental techniques in the fields of cell and molecular biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. It may not be an overstatement to suggest that Physiology enables insights from biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and pharmacology to be described in an integrated manner that can be applied to human medicine. Much of clinical medicine relies on understanding molecular, cellular and organ-system physiology.
Foskett, J. Kevin., PhD
Role: Isaac Ott Professor of Physiology