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

  • UCLA scientists receive prestigious BRAIN Initiative grant from NIH

    Baljit S. Khakh, PhD
    is one of the five UCLA scientists who have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for a study that could provide a better understanding of how neural circuits in the brain process, encode, store and retrieve information.

    Muscleblind-Like 1 and Muscleblind-Like 3 Depletion Synergistically Enhances Myotonia by Altering Clc-1 RNA Translation. Choi J, Personius KE, DiFranco M, Dansithong W, Yu C, Srivastava S, Dixon DM, Bhatt DB, Comai L, Vergara JL, Reddy S. EBioMedicine. 2015 Sep;2(9):1034-47.

  • The Role of ORAI1 in the Odontogenic Differentiation of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells. Sohn S, Park Y, Srikanth S, Arai A, Song M, Yu B, Shin KH, Kang MK, Wang C, Gwack Y, Park NH, Kim RH. J Dent Res. 2015 Sep 24. pii: 0022034515608128. [Epub ahead of print]

    Na,K-ATPase α2 activity in mammalian skeletal muscle T-tubules is acutely stimulated by extracellular K. DiFranco M, Hakimjavadi H, Lingrel JB, Heiny JA. J Gen Physiol. 2015 Oct;146(4):281-94. doi: 10.1085/jgp.201511407. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

  • UCLA Physiology Department Open Positions

    Assistant Project Scientist

    Assistant Project Scientist

    Assistant Project Scientist

    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  


    Peipei Ping, Ph.D delivered the Robert M. Berne Distinguished Lecture at the American Physiological Society Experimental Biology 2015 meeting in Boston. Her talk on March 31 was entitled Understanding pathogenesis of human heart failure: from molecular pathways to phenotype characterizations