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

Junctophilin-4, a component of the endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions, regulates Ca2+ dynamics in T cells. Woo JS, Srikanth S, Nishi M, Ping P, Takeshima H, Gwack Y. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 8;113(10):2762-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524229113. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

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.

UCLA Physiology Department Open Positions

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