To continuously strive for greater excellence in our core activities, i.e. research, teaching and community interaction, and thereby establish a world-class academic facility.



The discipline of physiology includes the study of living systems, from the sub-cellular and cellular level to organ function and whole body behaviour. The general principles emphasize the interaction of living organisms with the environment, concepts of energy metabolism  and various biological control systems, and a review of scientific methods.

The courses cover the major organ systems in a review of physiological functions and culminate in an examination of more integrated aspects of bodily function. Practical work in the laboratory complements information given in the classroom. It includes in vitro studies of organ function and emphasizes the usefulness of studying the intact human body in elucidating physiological principles. 

Research projects in the department comprise physiological investigations in cardiovascular and exercise physiology, stress immunology and inflammation, neurodegeneration, cancer as well as regenerative medicine areas that are closely interlinked.


The mission of the Department of Physiological Sciences is to employ a curiosity-driven approach to understand the physiology/pathophysiology of the human body by utilizing cutting-edge research methodologies and an integrative approach that spans all levels of organization from molecule to the whole organism. Our department’s mission is to investigate threatening health issues that pose a serious challenge to society, with the goal to develop innovative solutions that will ultimately ensure improved health and well-being for all.

The generation, advancement and dissemination of knowledge are therefore central to our focus and permeate our research, teaching and community interaction activities. We firmly believe that people are our most vital resource and our mission is to develop the full potential of all our staff and students.

By embracing this philosophy, our department undertakes to provide a first-class learning platform for our students (undergraduate and postgraduate) thereby empowering them with analytical and integrative skills, independent reasoning abilities, and highly specialized techniques that will enable them to successfully gain entry into the competitive global job market and better serve human health and welfare.

We are also mindful of our responsibility to disseminate knowledge to the broader community to improve overall quality of life, promote Physiology as a learning discipline and to encourage the pursuit of higher learning and research. By providing this service, we seek to close the educational, economic and cultural gaps between South Africans and to help foster the future growth and development of our country. 

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