Professor Matthew Watt, Head of Department
BSc, MSc, PhD
The Department of Physiology was established in 1862 and has a proud history and strong record of excellence in research, research training, learning and teaching, community and media engagement.
Our goal is to remain at the forefront of scientific research using novel and imaginative research methods to study cardiovascular health, neurophysiology, and muscle and exercise physiology. We investigate genes, cells, organs and whole body function to further understand the health and diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system; the brain and nervous system, including the control of gastrointestinal function; the health of the mother and newborn, including foetal programming and physiological complications during pregnancy; adaptations to exercise, ageing and cancer; and the molecular mechanisms underlying smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscle function in health and disease.
Our research activities are funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (USA), the Heart Foundation, the Department of Defense (USA), the Association Francaise contre les Myopathies (France) and through significant research contracts with the international pharmaceutical industry. We have close collaborative links with the other departments within the Melbourne School of Biomedical Sciences, the Melbourne Medical School, the Melbourne School of Engineering, the Melbourne Brain Centre, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and with other departments and faculties within The University of Melbourne, and with other universities, institutes and organisations, both nationally and internationally.
The Department has an outstanding record of mentoring research student and postdoctoral scholars having produced multiple winners of the Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD Thesis, the Premier's Award for Medical Research, the Victorian Tall Poppy Science Award, and numerous prestigious national and international research fellowships. One of our strategic goals is to strengthen links between our teaching and research. We take seriously the professional development of our young undergraduates and equip them with critical thinking skills, knowledge and techniques useful in a range of future careers including research and academia. We are constantly reviewing and refining the curriculum and educational methods to best prepare students for scientific independence as they enter their graduate and postdoctoral careers.
Please take a moment to look through our website and discover more about Physiology's staff and students, our research activities and achievements, our commitment to learning and teaching, and our rich 150 year history associated with some of the great names in Australian science. We hope you find the information you're looking for. If you need more specific information or would like to provide feedback that might improve our website for visitors, please don't hesitate to contact us.