Department of Physiology

Physiology resources

Portrait of Professor Michael Cowley

Professor Michael Cowley
Head, Department of Physiology
Monash University, Australia

Department Website

Physiology is about how the body works - how we breathe, eat, drink, think, move, act, behave, defecate, urinate, procreate, recreate, plan, decide – and why we do these things in the way we do. It is the story of us. We are a very curious species and humans are eternally fascinated with themselves, not out of narcissism but out of the pleasure of exploration and discovery. We instinctively want to know how our bodies work, how we are born, how we grow and develop, the nature of illness, what happens when we die, and all the other things in between. Physiology describes the nature of life and provides the framework for studying and exploring the bases of life. Physiologists view life from the simplest to the most complex levels of organisation - from the subcellular, to the whole person.

The Monash Department of Physiology embraces this ethos. We conduct research and teach across a range of domains of body function, in the fields of cardiovascular biology, obesity and metabolic physiology, cancer biology, reproduction, sensory and cognitive systems neuroscience, neuronal damage and repair, neuroendocrinology, membrane physiology and cellular signalling, and exercise and human performance. We have also developed many online resources to support teaching and research in these fields and on this website we make these resources available for public use by anyone interested in these areas.