The History of Physiology


  • America’s First Physiologist, William Beaumont, M.D.

    The chance meeting of a fur trader who suffered a gunshot wound in 1822, and William Beaumont, M.D., the Army physician who treated him, led to the research that today allows us to understand how the digestive system works.
  • APS Presidents Page


  • Denis Jourdanet: Discoverer of Altitude Sickness

    We've known for more than a century that low blood oxygen causes altitude sickness. Read about Denis Jourdanet, who should be credited with discovering it.
  • Historical Equipment Library


  • History of the American Physiological Society

    The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 with 28 members. Today, the Society counts some 11,000 members, most of whom hold doctoral degrees in medicine, physiology or other health professions. Our work, then, as now, was to support research, education, and circulation of information in the physiological sciences.
  • APS Living History of Physiology Series


  • Milestones in Physiology


  • Timeline of Physiology - Endocrinology & Metabolism

    This timeline takes you through the highlights of discovery in this critical area. It begins with 17th century description of what we now know as the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, and concludes with the late 20th century discovery of leptin, a critical hormone involved in regulating metabolism and reproductive functions.
  • Timeline of Physiology - General

    This timeline begins in the 18th century with the first American to employ the practical application of physiology and concludes with the 2012 Nobel Prize discovery for the mechanism that regulates cell growth, division and death.