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Welcome to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, which is a major basic-science department within the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford.

The entrance of Sherrington building shows a reception, sofa, three signs (centre for integrative physiology, laboratory of physiology, centre for integrative neuroscience, and three arches leading to a video wall
Entrance to the Sherrington Building

Defining Excellence: Oxford Anatomy and Physiology ranked number 1 in the QS world rankings by subject 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021.


Our mission is empowering discovery in the physiological sciences to improve health and educate the next generation of doctors and biomedical scientists


We are home to a large number of internationally-renowned teams of scientists addressing major questions in biomedicine, the answers to which will have a profound effect on modern biology. Crucially, though, we think that learning is just as important as research, and at our core lies a belief that a synthesis of the two is key to advancing our understanding. As such, we work to provide outstanding opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral workers to gain a research training of the very highest quality, which will enable them to become the leaders of tomorrow and to communicate and employ their research in the wider world.

Our research is split into six broad areas of study, including: Cardiac Science; Cell Physiology; Development and Cell Biology; Functional Genomics; Metabolism and Endocrinology; Neuroscience. Our work is necessarily multidisciplinary and cross-cutting, which means our researchers often work across more than one theme, as well as collaborating with colleagues in the physical sciences, life sciences and clinical departments across Oxford.

Alongside all of this, our staff undertakes most of the preclinical teaching for the University's top-ranked medical degrees, and our graduate courses attract a wealth of international talent. Ultimately, our department is built on a desire to understand basic science and a belief that our students are the future of research — together, we’re exploring the frontiers of biology.

The Department sits within the University’s Medical Sciences Division, which includes the pre-clinical departments (Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics; Pathology; and Pharmacology), all the clinical departments of the Medical School, plus the Departments of Biochemistry and the Department of Experimental Psychology. The Medical Sciences Division is the largest academic division of the four divisions within the University of Oxford and is an internationally recognized centre of excellence for biomedical and clinical research and teaching.

The Department is housed in four buildings of approximately 16,000 m² in total. The buildings, all in the University's Science Area include the Le Gros Clark Building, the Sherrington Building, which houses the Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Science Centre, the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, the Centre for Integrative Physiology and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (formerly the Oxford Centre for Gene Function), the Tinsley Building on Mansfield Road, which houses our Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, and the Kavli Institute for NanoScience Discovery (Kavli INSD), which houses the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre.

An administrative team of 45 dedicated staff supports the Department's academic, research and teaching objectives and ensures its smooth running. The team is responsible for all aspects of the financial, personnel and facilities management of the Department along with providing research facilitation, IT support, and the technical and teaching facilities required.

Reporting to the Head of Department, the Administrator is responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the six specialist Operations Managers and providing the Head of Department with all the operational support and information required to develop and deliver the strategic aims of the Department.