Message from the Chair

Photo of Department Chair, Scott Heximer

Welcome to the Department of Physiology! 

Thank you for stopping by. I invite you to explore our offerings at both the undergraduateand graduate level, learn all about our world-class faculty and their areas of expertise, and read our latest news.

What is Physiology?

Physiology is the study of the biological processes that support life. Our department examines the interaction between factors that determine health and disease at the cellular, tissue, and whole-organism levels

In many ways, physiology expertise underpins possibilities for breakthroughs in specialized areas of study such as cell biology, cardiology, psychiatry...the list goes on. We pride ourselves on engaging in meaningful collaborations with other disciplines and enabling clinical applications of scientific discoveries.

Who are we?

For over 125 years, the Department of Physiology has been at the forefront of innovation and the advancement of scientific discovery and medicine. Insulin was famously discovered within the department in 1921. We have also made notable contributions to research in the areas of neuroscience, cardiovascular science, reproduction and human development, and endocrinology throughout the department’s history. 

Today, our dedicated faculty and learners build on this rich history to blaze new trails. To name but a few, our researchers’ discoveries have recently made headlines in areas ranging from predicting diabetes to erasing traumatic memories to mitigating stroke.

What do we value?

It is the department's goal to foster excellence in our learners, faculty, and staff alike. We provide outstanding opportunities for academic and research training at the undergraduate and graduate levels in partnership with some of the strongest research institutions in Canada, including SickKids, Toronto General Hospital, CAMH, and the Fields and Vector Institutes. Our new course-based, professional Master's prepares learners to interpret big data and become workforce-ready.

Our department is grateful to have the opportunity to work and study on this land, which for thousands of has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. As Chair, I am keenly aware that increasing the department’s diversity and ensuring equity for all are intrinsic to our success, both as a department and as a society. There is work to do in this regard throughout the sciences, and we are committed to action. Read my Statement on Racism here. I welcome your feedback, concerns, and questions at any time, and strive to ensure that all voices are heard and acknowledged.

I welcome you to stay connected by joining our Future Students Email List, contact our helpful staff with any questions you may have, and further explore our site to learn about the vast array of opportunities available to you in Physiology.

Scott Heximer, Ernest B. and Leonard B. Smith Chair