St John's Medical College

Department of Physiology

The Department of Physiology was established along with the inception of the college in 1964. The Department has been imparting great quality medical education to undergraduate students from the medical, nursing, physiotherapy and allied health science courses. The Department of Physiology has been led by great leaders, who have paved the path to make the Department recognised nationally and internationally. The Division of Nutrition under Department of Physiology was established in 1985. The Division, over the last 35 years, has become a centre of excellence in human physiological and biochemical research. It also has begun to use molecular and epidemiological methods to study problems from a cell-to-society perspective. The research from the Division, particularly the energy and amino acid requirements of humans, has been used as the core evidence in setting guidelines for requirements. The Division of Nutrition is also an IAEA collaborative centre. The Clinical Nutrition unit of the division also provides nutritional and lifestyle advice for the patients. The Clinical Physiology Unit, a newer inclusion was setup in 2011 with the intention of translating Physiological measures into clinical outcomes. Currently the unit is providing services including autonomic testing and muscle function referred from various departments within and outside the institute.

Three main objectives form the backbone of the Department of Physiology-Academics, Research and Clinical service.

  1. Academics - Every staff in Department of Physiology spare no effort unturned in making sure that the students have a good grasp of Physiology which is the backbone of clinical medicine. Novel and creative methods of teaching are adapted to enhance the transfer of knowledge to the students. Students are made to enjoy the process of learning Physiology. Department has faculty who have been recognised as best teachers repeatedly both within institute, as well as various recognised societies. Professors from the Department of Physiology are also the authors of Asian Edition of Guyton Text book of Physiology
  2. Research - Department of Physiology has been working towards understanding the Physiological changes in health and disease from its commencement. State of the art metabolic labs where energy, substrate metabolism studies and amino acid requirement studies using stable isotope techniques have been conducted. One of its kind, the human skeletal muscle laboratory at the Department of Physiology has been conducting studies which assess muscle quality through physiological, histopathology and molecular based techniques. Department has well-equipped setups including analytical methods to assess various micronutrients status, metabolomics (LCMS, GCMS etc.,), minor OT (for muscle biopsies), nerve conduction, electroencephalogram, electromyography, fitness assessment to name few. Department of Physiology was the first centre to setup the gold standard technique to assess insulin sensitivity. A well-organized Division of Nutrition under the Department of Physiology is actively pursuing research on body composition. It has facilities including DXA, Bodpod, and Potassium counter. Department has been running various nutritional intervention programs to help various clinical conditions.
  3. Clinical service - The Department of Physiology has been providing clinical service including clinical autonomic evaluation, body composition, physical fitness, basal metabolic rate, skeletal muscle strength assessment.