Physiology Department History

Physiology at UCSF dates back to 1898, when the University of California School of Medicine recognized that a more “hands-on” technique in the basic sciences laid a foundation for success in the medical profession. School of Medicine physiology instructor Dr. Arnold D'Ancona, became Dean of the Medical Department in 1899. As Dean, he constantly strove to improve instruction in the basic medical sciences. By 1902, the Regents formally established a Department of Physiology. Following the great San Francisco earthquake of April 1906, the Physiology Department relocated to Berkeley. However, in 1958, Physiology returned to its origins at the Parnassus Campus.*

Today, the Physiology Department has grown to over 125 faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff. Research projects cover the broad spectrum of physiological applications in neuroscience, molecular, and cellular physiology. The department research and administration are housed at the Mission Bay Campus, while instruction remains at its roots on the Parnassus Campus.


Physiology Faculty

Our faculty boasts numerous prestigeous affilliations including membership to the National Academy of Sciences, Fellows of the Royal Society, American Academy of Science, the National Academy of Medicine, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.



The Physiology Department is the administrative home for:


In addition, the Department Administration supports post-award financial, operational, and human resources functions to the over 125 faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff.


* history.library.ucsf.edu