Welcome to the Department of Physiology and the improved and exciting new look to our web-site.

Physiology is the integrative study of cellular and whole-body function, and is the pivotal discipline linking other basic biomedical sciences on the one hand with experimental and clinical medicine on the other. We are a teaching- and research-intensive department focusing on advanced studies in cardiovascular physiology, cellular and systems neurophysiology, cellular and molecular physiology, endocrinology, fetal/neonatal physiology, membrane biophysics and transport physiology, renal physiology, respiratory physiology, vision, and the interfaces between these fields.

Message from the Chair

Dr. Edward Karpinski BSc (Eng), MSc, PhD (Alberta) (1939 – 2015)*

Our dear colleague and friend, Dr Edward (Ed) Karpinski, passed away early on Monday morning, Sept 14, 2015.  He was 76 years old.

Dr. K (as he was universally known) began his remarkable 50 years of association with the Department of Physiology as an MSc student in electrical engineering, taking a laboratory class from the then head of department, Dr. James W Pearce, in 1963.  He later obtained a PhD that was jointly supervised by Dr. Melville Schachter (who was to be the next Chair of Physiology) and by the Department of Electrical Engineering.  This PhD, awarded in 1971, made Dr. K the first biomedical engineer at the University of Alberta.

He was appointed Demonstrator in Physiology in 1965, Lecturer in 1967, Faculty Service Officer (FSO) in 1972, Associate Professor in 1984, and Professor in 2004.  His promotion from Lecturer to FSO in 1972 was the first FSO appointment in the Faculty of Medicine.  After “retiring” as Professor Emeritus in 2007, Dr. K continued to teach, administer teaching programs and collaborate in research right up until the time of his death.  He just loved coming to work every day to be amongst friends, colleagues and students.

Dr. K published more than 90 research papers during his long career, investigating a wide range of topics in electrophysiology, cardiovascular physiology and other areas, but it was as an educator and mentor that he was best known.  Touching the lives of so many undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, his kindness, generosity and wisdom were inspirational.  As the longest serving member of the Department of Physiology, he was elemental in shaping the department as we know it today and, just last year, and under happier circumstances, played a prominent role in the department’s centennial celebrations.  To his many friends, colleagues and former students he was simply "Mr. Physiology".

Dr K is survived by his wife Eileen, son Mark, daughter Dale, and three grandchildren.  He will be sorely missed by all.  His passing truly marks the end of an era for the Department of Physiology.

Dr James D Young
Professor and Chair of Physiology

*Biographical details from: One Hundred Years of Physiology: the Department of Physiology at the University of Alberta 1914-2014 by Esmond J Sanders and James D Young (2013).

Congratulations to the Department of Physiology Queen Elizabeth II Awards for 2015/2016 Winners

Kelycia Leimert, PhD Candidate - Dr. Olson's Laboratory

Jillian Schnieder, MSc Candidate - Dr. Sauve's Laboratory


Congratulations to Dr. John Greer for receiving the 2015 University of Alberta  Excellence in Leadership Award.





Dr Greg Funk received the Tier 1 Basic Science Award for Excellence in Mentoring - CONGRATULATIONS Greg!




Our 100th Anniversary

We held our Centennial Dinner in May 2014, and our Centennial Symposium on May 29th and 30th, 2014. Both were a great success!

Click here to see our Symposium event.

As the oldest department in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry the Department of Physiology had celebrated its Centennial in 2014.

If you would like more information about the event and the interesting story of our first Chair, Dr Heber H Moshier, who helped raise and organized the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance Battalion in WWI, part of the Canadian Army Medical Corps please follow the links below:


Graduate Student Research Day - Was held in March 2015 at the Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club - congratulations to all our students and post docs, a successful day was had by all. 


  1. Deadline for NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award

    February 12 2016

    NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award Application Department of Physiology Deadline (12:00 noon)

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