Physiology (PHGY)

Physiology (PHGY)



  • McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, Room 1021
  • 3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler
  • Montreal QC H3G 1Y6
  • Telephone: 514-398-4316
  • Website:

About Physiology

About Physiology

Physiology has its roots in many of the basic sciences including biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics, and overlaps with other biomedical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, psychology, and biomedical engineering. Physiology is one of the prime contributors of basic scientific knowledge to the clinical medical sciences.

Members of the Department of Physiology at McGill are engaged in studies dealing with molecules, single cells, or entire systems in a variety of vertebrates, including humans. A wide range of interest and expertise is represented, including:

  • cardiovascular;
  • respiratory;
  • gastrointestinal and renal physiology;
  • the physiology of exercise;
  • neurophysiology;
  • endocrinology;
  • immunology;
  • biophysics;
  • biomathematics.

Some faculty members have formal or informal links with the departments of mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, and chemistry, and with clinical departments (medicine, surgery, pediatrics, neurology, obstetrics, psychiatry, anesthesia), reflecting and reinforcing the close ties between physiology and other disciplines.

Graduates at the B.Sc. level have found rewarding careers in secondary school and CEGEP teaching, government service, and laboratory technical assistance such as in pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, and institutions of higher learning. Moreover, physiology provides an excellent background for medicine, dentistry or other postgraduate work, in such fields as physiology, experimental medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry, or physiological psychology.

The programs offered in Physiology differ in their orientation but they all have a common core of material covering:

  • cardiovascular;
  • respiratory;
  • gastrointestinal and renal physiology;
  • neurophysiology;
  • endocrinology;
  • immunology.

The specified U1 courses are identical for all programs except the Joint Major programs in Physiology and Physics, Physiology and Mathematics, and the Joint Honours program in Immunology, and thus afford students maximal flexibility before deciding on a particular program to follow in U2 and U3.

All new students to the Department, Freshman and CEGEP, must contact the Student Affairs Officer at 514-398-3689 for advising; further information is available on the Physiology website.

Returning students are encouraged to consult with the Student Affairs Officer regularly throughout the year; in particular, at the beginning of their final year to ensure they have met all departmental requirements.

Please Note: Complementary courses are not electives.

The difference between complementary courses and required courses is that complementary courses are defined as offering an element of choice, however small that choice may be. Students may choose from the two (or more) courses specified within complementary course segments of a program description, but ONLY from those. For further information, refer to University Regulations & Resources > Undergraduate > Registration > Course Information and Regulations.

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)

Physiology Faculty

Physiology Faculty

John White
Graduate Program Director
Alvin Shrier
Emeritus Professors
Thomas M.S. Chang, Leon Glass, Kresimir Krnjevic, Wayne S. Lapp, Mortimer Levy, Michael Mackey, George Mandl, Geoffrey Melvill Jones, Joseph Milic-Emili, Canio Polosa, Douglas G.D. Watt
Associate Professor (Post-Retirement)
Ann Wechsler
Maurice Chacron, Monroe W. Cohen, Ellis J. Cooper, Phil Gold, John Hanrahan, David Goltzman, Steve Lomber, Gergely Lukacs, Sheldon Magder, John Orlowski, Alvin Shrier, John White
Associate Professors
Claire Brown, Gil Bub, Erik Cook, Mladen Glavinovic, Michael Guevara, Suresh Krishna, Anmar Khadra, Reza Sharif-Naeini, Ursula Stochaj
Associate Professor (Part-time)
Nicole Bernard
Assistant Professors
Pouya Bashivan, Arjun Krishnaswamy, Judith Mandl, Anastasia Nijnik, Masha Prager-Khoutorsky, Daniela Quail, Melissa Vollrath
Associate Members
Anaesthesia: Steven Backman
Biomedical Engineering: Satya Prakash
Mathematics: Anthony Humphries
Medicine: Volker Blank, Mark Blostein, Andrey Cybulsky, Anne-Marie Lauzon, James Martin, Shafaat Rabbani, Simon Rousseau, Benjamin M. Smith, Mary Stevenson, Tomoko Takano, Elena Torban, Simon Wing
Microbiology and Immunology: Jörg Fritz
Neurology and Neurosurgery: Jack Antel, Daniel Guitton, Christopher Pack, Ed Ruthazer, Amir Shmuel, Jesper Sjöström, Jo Anne Stratton
Ophthalmology: Curtis Baker
Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Daniel Bernard, Derek Bowie, Terence Hebert
Psychiatry: Nicolas Cermakian
Research in Neuroscience: Charles Bourque
Adjunct Professors
M. Craig, K. Cullen, P. Haghighi, J. Martinez-Trujillo
Faculty Lecturer

Céline Aguer

Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated May. 26, 2022) (disclaimer)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Liberal Program - Core Science Component Physiology (50 credits)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology (65 credits)

The Major program includes, in addition to some intensive studies in Physiology, a strong core content of related biomedical sciences. Admission to the Major program will be in U2, upon completion of the U1 required courses, and in consultation with the student's adviser. ...

For more information, see Major Physiology (65 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology and Mathematics (79 credits)

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Major Physiology and Physics (82 credits)

This program provides a firm foundation in physics, mathematics, and physiology. It is appropriate for students interested in applying methods of the physical sciences to problems in physiology and allied biological sciences.

For more information, see Major Physiology and Physics (82 credits).

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) - Honours Physiology (75 credits)

All admissions to the Honours program will be in U2, and the student must have a U1 GPA of 3.30, with no less than a B in PHGY 209 and PHGY 210. Admission to U3 requires a U2 CGPA of 3.20 with no less than a B in U2 Physiology courses. Decisions for admission to U3 will be heavily influenced by student standing in U2 courses.

For more information, see Honours Physiology (75 credits).

Physiology (PHGY) Related Programs

Physiology (PHGY) Related Programs

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

Interdepartmental Honours in Immunology

For more information, see Immunology. This program is offered by the Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, and Physiology.

Students interested in the program should contact:

  • Dr. Monroe Cohen
  • Physiology
  • Telephone: 514-398-4342
  • Email: monroe.cohen [at]


  • Dr. C. Piccirillo
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Telephone: 514-934-1934, ext. 76143
  • Email: ciro.piccirillo [at]
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)
Faculty of Science—2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022) (disclaimer)
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