Physiology seeks to understand biological function spanning the range from molecular mechanisms to medical problems. No other field has such an important task or is as cross-disciplinary in nature. The Department of Physiology is an internationally recognized research center in which this broad perspective is collaboratively embraced by the entire faculty.

Areas of systems level investigation include the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune and central nervous systems. We also explore cellular processes such as synaptic transmission, the immune response and muscle excitation-contraction coupling as well as molecular mechanisms of ion channels and transporters. At the level of disease, efforts are focused on spinocerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, blindness, cardiac hypertrophy and failure, diabetes, immune deficiencies, muscular dystrophy, channelopathies, transport deficiencies and others.

Research approaches are multidisciplinary, including electrophysiology and biophysics, molecular, cellular and whole-animal imaging, proteomics and X-ray crystallography Moreover, the Department has a strong track record of being at the forefront of emerging new approaches.

There are active collaborative ties with clinical departments and institutes throughout the David Geffen School of Medicine, including the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, Neurology and Anesthesiology.

Recent Publications of Physiology Faculty

Nancy Wayne, PhD and her lab's research have been highlighted in the February 01, 2016 issue of UCLA Newsroom.

Chemical used to replace BPA in plastic accelerates embryonic development, disrupts reproductive system

A video is also available: BPA vs BPS

Mice with an NaV1.4 sodium channel null allele have latent myasthenia, without susceptibility to periodic paralysis. Wu F, Mi W, Fu Y, Struyk A, Cannon SC. Brain. 2016 Jun;139(Pt 6):1688-99. doi: 10.1093/brain/aww070. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Astrocyte scar formation aids central nervous system axon regeneration. Anderson MA, Burda JE, Ren Y, Ao Y, O'Shea TM, Kawaguchi R, Coppola G, Khakh BS, Deming TJ, Sofroniew MV. Nature. 2016 Apr 14;532(7598):195-200. doi: 10.1038/nature17623. Epub 2016 Mar 30

Dysfunctional Calcium and Glutamate Signaling in Striatal Astrocytes from Huntington's Disease Model Mice. Jiang R, Diaz-Castro B, Looger LL, Khakh BS. J Neurosci. 2016 Mar 23;36(12):3453-70. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3693-15.2016.

A large Rab GTPase encoded by CRACR2A is a component of subsynaptic vesicles that transmit T cell activation signals. Srikanth S, Kim KD, Gao Y, Woo JS, Ghosh S, Calmettes G, Paz A, Abramson J,Jiang M, Gwack Y. Sci Signal. 2016 Mar 22;9(420):ra31. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aac9171.

UCLA Physiology Department Open Positions

Tenure Track Faculty Position - Department of Physiology

The Department's doctoral research students come from various UCLA PhD programs including the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology Interdepartmental PhD Program (MCIP), the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP MD-PhD), ACCESS and the Neuroscience Interdepartmental PhD Program, collectively contributing to an exciting state of the art training experience.

Physiology Seminars Presents:

Khakh Lab Friday, September 25th 2015, 2:30-3:30PM, 5th floor lecture hall 53-105 CHS

The objective of the UCLA Physiology Outreach Program is to provide high school-aged students in Los Angeles with the opportunity to experience scientific research first hand in UCLA laboratories.


Stephen C. Cannon, M.D., Ph.D. has been appointed as Chair of the Department of Physiology in the David Geffen School of Medicine, beginning February 1, 2015. Dr. Cannon is a highly accomplished scientist and educator who was chosen through an intensive national search.

PDF of the announcement.
 Faculty Focus  

Baljit S. Khakh, Ph.D
Prof. Baljit S. Khakh will deliver the 27th Annual H.W. Magoun Lecture of the Brain Research Institute at UCLA.
His talk on Tues. June 14th, 2016 will be Astrocyte Roles in Neural Circuits: New Tools, Findings, and Concepts.
The PDF below incorrectly indicates that it is the 28th lecture.

27th Annual H.W. Magoun Lecture, BRI