Physiology is one of the oldest disciplines within the life sciences and even has its own category within the Nobel prizes, together with medicine. This already indicates that physiology is at the heart of medicine; understanding and curing the body. Without a proper understanding of how the mammalian body works it is impossible to understand why and how it can go wrong (pathophysiology).

Physiologists primarily study organoids, organs, organ systems and complete organisms. Physiology is also an integrating discipline because it draws heavily on, and also connects, knowledge from many other disciplines like Physics, Biochemistry, Molecular Science and even Ecology. As such Physiology is an overarching discipline nicely fitting the Liberal Arts and Science education system.

Dr. Maarten van Emst is the Physiology fellow at University College Utrecht.