Medical Physiology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University


Welcome to the homepage of the Division of Medical Physiology. Our Division offers a comprehensive range of academic and non-academic services and strives to provide a dynamic, respectful and compassionate work and study environment in which both staff and students are encouraged to develop and thrive. The Division of Medical Physiology promotes a culture of excellence in the learning and teaching of human and animal physiology to undergraduate and postgraduate health sciences students. We conduct relevant and impactful biomedical research, and are passionate about making an impact on the community and society we serve and form part of.

The subject field of Medical Physiology entails the study of the function, mechanisms and biological processes (molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and system) that underpin the living human body. As such, the discipline of Medical Physiology forms an integral cornerstone of the health sciences without which a sound understanding of pathology and disease, and the management thereof, is not possible. Physiology has evolved rapidly in recent years and it is now one of the broadest and most wide-ranging health sciences subject fields that includes principles of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, traditional physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and ecology.

The Division of Medical Physiology is responsible for the learning and teaching of human physiology to the majority of undergraduate health sciences students in the Faculty, including students in the MBChB, BSc Physiotherapy, BSc Dietetics, B Occupational Therapy and B Nursing programmes. We provide a self-directed human physiology course to MMed and MChD students aiming to complete their primary examinations. The Division also offers a structured Honours programme where students attend a series of selected lectures and tutorials on topical physiological concepts related to health and disease.

The Division of Medical Physiology hosts three overarching research entities that conduct in vitro, animal and human studies: (1) The Centre for Cardiometabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) that specialises in cardiometabolic physiology, pathophysiology and disease; (2) The Stellenbosch University Reproductive Research Group (SURRG) that investigates male reproduction; and (3) the Neuroscience Research Group that focuses on stress related to pain and sexual violence. Our Division also has a strong and thriving collaboration with the Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP) of the South African Medical Research Council, which offers additional research opportunities to our postgraduate students.

At the end of 2020, the Division of Medical Physiology relocated to a brand new, state-of-the-art building as part of the new Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI), which will further enhance our status as one of the foremost physiology departments in South Africa and the continent of Africa.​