We study how biomolecules, cells, organs and organ systems interact, both chemically and physically, to form functioning organisms. We are also concerned with understanding how these living systems adapt to different environments, and how they are disrupted during disease.

The Discipline of Physiology began in 1974 as part of the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, which later became the La Trobe School of Human Biosciences in 1988. Today, the Discipline has expanded to incorporate:

  • Human Physiology
  • Animal Physiology
  • Pathophysiology, and
  • Pharmacology.

The Discipline of Physiology is internationally recognised for its research into cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal physiology, neurophysiology and reproductive and developmental biology. We have received the highest rating amongst Australia’s higher education institutions for our research performance in Physiology (ERA ranking of 5)(2016).

Physiology is a core component of several undergraduate courses at La Trobe University including Health Sciences, Biomedicine, the Allied Health programs and Animal and Veterinary Biosciences. We have a proud record of incorporating current research concepts into our undergraduate teaching through research-focused practical classes and research laboratory placements. We also offer research-intensive Honours, Masters and PhD programs.

Explore our research

Careers in Physiology

Students undertaking physiology often continue their studies in health professional programs to become doctors/surgeons, physiotherapists, podiatrists, nurses, or other allied health professionals. Others pursue post-graduate degrees (Masters or PhD) in the biomedical sciences to prepare for careers in research and/or university teaching. Students who choose not to pursue advanced degrees are well qualified for employment in:

  • research centres and academic institutions
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • private sector hospitals, medical centres and healthcare organisations
  • scientific publishing firms
  • scientific sales and marketing companies