About Us

A Message from the Discipline of Physiology

Welcome to our website, which is designed to provide you with information about the research and teaching activities of the Discipline of Physiology, part of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney. The Discipline has a fine tradition of research in physiology, and is one of the top research Disciplines in the University.

A number of our academic staff have received prestigious awards for their research, including the award of the Burnet Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, the leading prize in the biological and medical sciences in Australia, to Professor Max Bennett, and the Gottshalk Prize to Professor David Cook. Professor Bennett was awarded a University Chair, an initiative to recognize staff who are internationally acknowledged scholars of exceptional distinction. Professors Bennett, Cook and Professor David Allen have all been elected Fellows of the Australian Academy (Science and Technology).

Physiology Staff Photo 2006

The Discipline has been highly successful in attracting funding for its research - our researchers were awarded a total of $3 million dollars per year in 2004-6 by the NHMRC, ARC and other granting agencies.

There are currently 16 research laboratories in the Discipline, studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the major organ systems in the body, including the heart and circulation, brain, muscles and nerves, endocrine system, gastrointestinal system and reproductive system.

Many laboratories have recently been renovated in a major capital works program costing approximately $20 million. The Discipline researchers are part of the Bosch Institute, and there is a strong emphasis on collaborative research with laboratories in other Disciplines at the University of Sydney as well as other universities and research institutes within Australia and overseas.

The Discipline teaches in the Faculties of Science, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. A strong emphasis is placed on teaching, and the Discipline has played a leading role in the development of new and innovative curricula in the Bachelor of Medical Science degree and in the postgraduate Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Dentistry degrees.

Two members of the Discipline (Professor Roger Dampney and Emeritus Professor Ann Sefton) are recipients of Excellence in Teaching Awards and Professor Brian Morris received an Excellence in Research Supervision award in 2006.

Professor Rebecca Mason, current Head of Physiology, was awarded the Inaugural Professor John A Young medal by the Faculty of Medicine in 2006. Professor Young was a staff member in Physiology from 1966 until his death in 2004 and Head of Physiology, then Dean of Medicine and Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Health Sciences. This medal is awarded to a non-professorial member of Faculty who best embodies Professor Young's ideals of excellence in research coupled with exemplary service to the Faculty of Medicine, the University and the community at large.

There is a strong link between teaching and research, and much of the research within the Discipline is performed by Honours and Postgraduate research students. Eighteen Honours students, 28 PhD students and 3 MSc or MMed* students are currently enrolled. The Discipline offers outstanding research opportunities for both Postgraduate research students and Postdoctoral research fellows.

We hope you find what you want on our website. If you have any comments or suggestions for improvements, we welcome any feedback via email to our Discipline Webmaster, John Dodson: .