Nobel Laureate Roger D. Kornberg to deliver Fenn Lecture at 2017 IUPS Congress

Jan. 31, 2017

The IUPS is proud to announce that Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger D. Kornberg will be delivering the Fenn Lecture at the 2017 International Congress of Physiological Sciences in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil hosted by SBFis. The Fenn Lecture will be the closing Plenary Lecture of the Congress, capping off a week of scientific meetings that will start on August 1 with a plenary lecture by fellow Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath.

Dr. Kornberg was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for is studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”

IUPS Nominations Committee Call for Nominations

July 20, 2016

The Nominating Committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences is soliciting nominees for the following positions on IUPS Council:

  • President
  • Secretary-General
  • Treasurer
  • 2nd Vice President Council Members (11) to serve as Chairs of Commissions and Committees (new responsibility)
  • Council Members (4) to serve as Regional Representatives (new positions)

The Nominations Committee hopes to complete the nominating process during the third quarter of this year, and post the results to the IUPS website in May 2017. Elections will be held at the 2017 IUPS Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Council members and officers serve a four year term, renewable once. We will soon be posting the Terms of Reference for each position on the IUPS website (www.IUPS.org).

Please send your nominations to IUPS Manager Steven Webster at sxw560@case.edu. Please include contact information and CV for each nominee.

Please submit nominations by August 8, 2016.

IUPS Executive Committee Editorial in Physiology

Dec. 11, 2015

The Landscape of Physiology

Denis Noble, Julie Chan, Penny Hansen, Walter Boron, Peter Wagner

Fifteen years into the 21st century, the landscape of opportunities for the physiological sciences within biology and medicine has become much clearer, and thankfully it is much brighter. This is an important development since, by contrast, the last 30 years of the previous century had become a pretty bleak environment for the more integrative fields of biology as university departments of physiology in various parts of the world changed name and focus, were absorbed into more basic departments, or even closed. Funding followed fashion, or was it the other way round? The fashion was that all would be revealed once we had read the “book of life,” the complete human genome. It took a mere decade of the present century for it to become clear that the “book” is an almost illegible “database” rather than a readable “program of life” that would automatically lead to advances in physiology and medicine. Ten years on, the leaders of the human genome project admitted that the outcome for human health is disappointing:

“But for all the intellectual ferment of the past decade, has human health truly benefited from the sequencing of the human genome? A startlingly honest response can be found on pages 674 and 676, where the leaders of the public and private efforts, Francis Collins and Craig Venter, both say ‘not much’”.

Read More

VIDEO: The Integration of Evolutionary Biology with Physiological Science

June 3, 2015

A central theme of the IUPS mission worldwide is that the physiological sciences are returning to centre stage. This was the theme of the opening of the IUPS 2013 Congress in the UK [URL Link], and of a special issue of the Journal of Physiology on the integration of physiology into evolutionary biology, published in June 2014 [URL link]. These initiatives have now been followed up with an exciting and often humorous ‘Conversation’ sponsored by the Journal of Physiology and given to a packed audience at EB 2015 in Boston. The video of this event can be viewed here.


Denis Noble's pioneering work on the heart honoured at the Royal Society's 350 year Celebration

March 6, 2015

On Friday 6th March the Royal Society celebrated 350 years of the world's first scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions. The celebration included special issues of Phil Trans A and Phil Trans B which have published commentaries on a highly selected set of papers from the whole 350 year history:

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Call for Plenary and Keynote Speakers

Feb. 12, 2015

On behalf of the International Scientific Programming Committee (ISPC) it is our pleasure to announce the 38th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS-2017). This will be a historical meeting of physiologists from all over the world in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brazilian Society of Physiology (SBFis) is the official host of the Congress, which will take place in the Riocentro Convention Center in the period from August 1 to August 5, 2017. The theme for the 38th Congress of IUPS is “Rhythms of Life”.

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Call for Proposals to Host the 2025 IUPS Congress

Jan. 3, 2017

The International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) invites proposals to host the 2025 International Congress of Physiological Sciences. Instructions for submissions can be found on the IUPS website: http://iups.org/congresses/host-a-congress/.

IUPS Executive Committee Editorial in Physiology

Jan. 11, 2015

IUPS and the Future of Physiology

Denis Noble, Julie Chan, Penny Hansen, Walter Boron, Peter Wagner

At the closing ceremony of the Congress in Kyoto, Japan, in 2009, the President of IUPS made a clear promise on behalf of the whole of Council:

What on earth does IUPS exist for? We need to give back to you, to the young and upcoming physiologists the conviction that we are creating the environment in which our subject can flourish, and flourish effectively. What we are going to do with regard to the activities of IUPS is to greatly expand the outreach to the community, not only to our fellow physiologists but also to the general public, and for that reason, we have taken decisions at Council meetings here to see how we can expand our membership. It would be good to target to ensure that at least half of those we have lost in recent years are back in the fold by the time of the next Congress and that at least some of the countries that have never interacted with us come to the next Congress. We are working on ways in which that might be done.

Read more


IUPS Travel Award Program to facilitate travel to IUPS-2017

Jan. 3, 2017 - April 30, 2017

IUPS is taking applications for Travel Awards to facilitate travel to the 2017 IUPS Congress in Rio de Jeniero, Brazil. More information can be found here: http://www.iups.org/congresses/Travel-Awards/

Dr. Walter Boron elected to Institute of Medicine

Oct. 21, 2014

Walter Boron, MD, PhD, has won election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM), one of the United State’s most prestigious societies for health and medicine.

The Institute of Medicine on Monday named Dr. Boron among 70 new members and 10 foreign associates announced as part of the 2014 class. The individuals are chosen by active IOM members, using criteria that include significant contributions to medical sciences, health care and/or public health. As the IOM explains, membership “recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service."

Dr. Boron has been the IUPS Secretary General since 2009.

Amendments to IUPS Constitution and By-Laws Ratified

Dec. 6, 2016

The General Assembly (GA) of the IUPS has ratified the proposed amendments to the IUPS Constitution and By-Laws, with 50 votes in favor versus 0 against as of the close of voting on December 6, 2016. A total of 76 GA members were eligible to cast ballots, 50% of which constitutes a quorum (i.e., 38 votes), with two-thirds required for ratification. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all eligible voters cast a positive vote.

In anticipation of the passage of the new Constitution, the IUPS Nominations Committee has already begun considering nominees to fill the new Council positions. It will release the names of the nominees as soon as the entire slate of nominees has agreed to serve.


Call for Abstracts for 2017 IUPS Congress in Rio de Janeiro

Dec. 1, 2016

The International Scientific Programming Committee (ISPC) and The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announce the CALL FOR ABSTRACTS SUBMISSION to the 38th World Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS-2017). This will be a historic meeting of physiologists from all over the world in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At this time, the ISPC and the LOC of IUPS-2017 invite you to submit your abstracts and play an active role on this world congress. The submission of abstracts must follow the guidelines available at the platform for abstract submission, which is open for accepting abstracts from December 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017.

Note that the submission of your abstract requires that you be registered for the Congress.


Prof. Colin Blakemore knighted

June 16, 2014

An influential scientist who defended medical research on animals, despite threats to his life, has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday honours.

Prof Colin Blakemore, 70, was recognised for his research and for communicating the importance of often controversial science. more...

Prof. Blakemore gave the introductory lecture for the 2009 IUPS Ethics Committee Symposium.

Special Issue of The Journal of Physiology

June 8, 2014

A Special Issue of The Journal of Physiology has appeared as a follow-up from the IUPS President’s Lecture at the 2013 Birmingham Congress. 35 leading physiologists, evolutionary biologists and clinicians have contributed articles describing the great opportunities developments in evolutionary biology have created for the Physiological Sciences. The Special issue of 200 pages can be accessed at:


A Message from the President

March 14, 2016

The Landscape of Physiology opens out even further

In the IUPS Editorial published in PHYSIOLOGY on 1st January (http://physiologyonline.physiology.org/content/31/1/2) we highlighted the mission to "return physiology to centre stage" following this theme at the 2013 IUPS Congress and in a video recorded at EB2015 in Boston (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_q_bOWc8i0). The central reason for saying that this mission is possible is that the biological sciences, all of them, are increasingly showing the need for multilevel physiological analysis to enable us to interpret the mountains of molecular data that we now have available. As your President, I have been leading the way on this mission. It is a pleasure therefore to report that later this year, on 7-9th November, the two national academies in the UK, The Royal Society and The British Academy, will be hosting a 3 day meeting on the new trends. The lecture I have agreed to give at the meeting will be on "Evolution viewed from medicine and physiology" so I will be highlighting the enhanced relevance that the Physiological Sciences now have in the interpretation of the central theory of biology, that of evolution. 

Call for Nominations for Commission Chairs

July 29, 2014

The International Union of Physiological Sciences is soliciting member organizations for candidates for chairs of three IUPS commissions:

·         Commission I – Locomotion

·         Commission III – Endocrine, Reproduction and Development

·         Commission IV – Neurobiology

One of the major tasks of Commissions is to help develop the program for IUPS Congresses, the next one of which is scheduled for 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also encourage Commissions to organize or promote other events during non-Congress years, and allocate a small budget for this purpose from IUPS funds.

Commission chairs are able to select members of their respective commissions. Members serve a four year term, renewable for a second four years.

More information about the Commissions can be found on the IUPS website at http://iups.org/about-us/commissions/. Please forward any nominations to the IUPS Manager, Steven Webster, at Steven.Webster@case.edu

Report from the Secretary General

Jan. 1, 2014

The report covers the activities of the International Union of Physiological Sciences for the calendar year 2013. It addresses the main events of that very busy year, including those surrounding the 2013 IUPS Congress in Birmingham, activities of the Board of the General Assembly, updates from Commissions and Committees, outreach endeavors, and the interactions of the IUPS with the International Council for Science (ICSU)...more

President Noble's Editorials in Physiology

Jan. 1, 2013

Physiologists Without Borders  More Info                   (original editorial by APS)                                                   Dec. 1, 2011  Vol. 26, no. 6      

Physiology Without Borders 2  More Info                         Feb. 1, 2012  Vol. 27, no. 1

More on Physiology Without Borders  More Info             Jan. 1, 2013 Vol. 28, no. 1



President Noble on Physiology and Evolution

Nov. 1, 2012

A major revolution is occurring in evolutionary biology. In this video the President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, Professor Denis Noble, explains what is happening and why it is set to change the nature of biology and of the importance of physiology to that change.


The Society regrets to announce the death of Andrew Huxley

June 1, 2012

Sir Andrew Huxley OM FRS has died aged 94.

Andrew, together with Alan Hodgkin, worked on nerve cell excitability in the Physiological Laboratory in Cambridge and at the Laboratory of The Marine Biological Association in Plymouth.

Their work was a fundamental breakthrough that led to the understanding of how voltage-gated ion channels give rise to propagating action potentials and provided the framework for studying and analysing ion channel kinetics. Andrew shared the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Alan Hodgkin and Jack Eccles.

In 1954, he published (with Rolf Niedergerke) the Nature paper that, together with an accompanying one by Jean Hanson and (the unrelated) Hugh Huxley, first described the sliding filament mechanism in striated muscle. His work on muscle continued at University College London from 1960, when he was appointed Jodrell Professor and Head of the Department of Physiology. He largely defined the current paradigm of muscle contraction - and indeed of cell motility overall - by developing the crossbridge theory of actin and myosin interaction.

Whilst at UCL he became President of the Royal Society, but retained his laboratory and continued to work there. He left to become Master of Trinity College Cambridge, following on Alan Hodgkin. Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955, was knighted in 1974, and subsequently appointed to the Order of Merit in 1983. He served as President of the Royal Society from 1980 to 1985.

On retirement he continued to live in the family home in Grantchester.

All of Hodgkin and Huxley's five papers on the generation of the action potential were published in The Journal of Physiology. A focused edition of The Journal to recognise the 60th anniversary of the Hodgkin-Huxley papers was published on 1 June 2012.

A full obituary will appear on the website and be published inThe Journal of Physiology and Physiology News later in the year.

Former IUPS Treasurer receives the National Medal of Science

Sept. 27, 2011

On September 27, 2011, Shu Chien was one of the seven eminent researchers to receive the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers. Chien is the only engineer among the seven medalists.

Shu Chien is a world leader in the study of how blood flow and pressure affect blood vessels. He is a university professor of bioengineering and medicine at UC San Diego and Director of the UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine. The Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is a leader insystems biology, regenerative medicine and multi-scale bioengineering focused on understanding, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.