Physiologists

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Physiologists study the functions of living organisms. Physiology is the science of understanding the mechanical, physical and biochemical functioning in a living system. The organs, organ systems, cells, and bio-chemical molecules that constitute the living organism are analyzed to understand the physical and chemical functions that take place within the organism. The field of physiology is closely related to anatomy and the two sciences are often studied in tandem. Physiologists conduct research on the organ system and cellular structure of animals and plants. They study processes like respiration, growth, movement, digestion, reproduction, excretion and other functions of living organisms under different conditions. They determine the effects of external environmental factors like presence of pollutants and carcinogens on their life processes and functions. Physiologists may work in hospitals and help in the development of new and improved treatment regimes for patients. One very popular job option is that of exercise physiologist. They study how the body responds to training and exercises and help athletes and sports people to follow a scientifically designed food and exercise schedule. Physiologists may specialize in human physiology, animal physiology, plant physiology, or the sub-branches under any of these fields. This section gives you information about the life and works of various famous physiologists from all over the world.
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 1 
Jared Diamond
(Scientist & Author)
Jared Diamond
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
 2 
Wilhelm Wundt
(Philosopher)
Wilhelm Wundt
6
Birthdate: August 16, 1832
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: August 31, 1920

Wilhelm Wundt was a German physiologist, professor, and philosopher. He is often counted among the founders of modern psychology and is widely considered the father of experimental psychology. He is also credited with founding the first laboratory for psychological research, which he founded at the University of Leipzig in 1879.

 3 
Otto Heinrich Warburg
(Physiologist)
Otto Heinrich Warburg
6
Birthdate: October 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: August 1, 1970

Otto Heinrich Warburg was a German medical doctor and physiologist. In 1931, his discovery of the nature of the respiratory enzyme earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also played an important role during World War I where he served as an officer in the cavalry regiment; he was honored with the Iron Cross for bravery.

 4 
Theodor Schwann
(Physiologist)
Theodor Schwann
6
Birthdate: December 7, 1810
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Neuss, Germany
Died: January 11, 1882

Theodor Schwann was a German physiologist and physician best remembered for his important contributions to biology. He is credited with discovering the Schwann cells, which is named after him. He is also credited with discovering pepsin and the organic nature of yeast. Theodor Schwann also invented the term metabolism.

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 5 
Jessica Meir
(NASA astronaut)
Jessica Meir
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Caribou, Maine, United States
 6 
Claude Bernard
(Physiologist)
Claude Bernard
6
Birthdate: July 12, 1813
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Julien, France
Died: February 10, 1878

Claude Bernard was a French physiologist whose scientific experiments led to several important discoveries. He is credited with coining the phrase milieu intérieur, which refers to the extracellular fluid (ECF) environment. He also pioneered the use of a blinded experiment to eliminate various experimental biases.

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 7 
Albert Szent-Györgyi
(Physiologist)
Albert Szent-Györgyi
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: October 22, 1986

Born in Budapest, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi shot himself in the arm while serving in World War II, so that he could be sent back home, and then studied medicine. While he is remembered for first isolating vitamin C, unknown to many, he was also a skilled pianist.

 8 
Andrew Huxley
(Biophysicist)
Andrew Huxley
4
Birthdate: November 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: May 30, 2012

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Andrew Huxley is remembered for his studies on nerves and fibers and the chemical processes related to the transmission of nerve impulses. The grandson of biologist T.H. Huxley and the son of the author Leonard Huxley, he was later also knighted for his achievements.

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 9 
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
(German Physician & Naturalist Considered to be a Main Founder of 'Zoology' and 'Anthropology' as Comparative, Scientific Disciplines)
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach
8
Birthdate: May 11, 1752
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gotha, Germany
Died: January 22, 1840

A pioneer of physical anthropology, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach laid down one of the first racial classification systems for humans after studying human skulls, dividing mankind into five racial groups. Born into a family of academics, he was a prodigy. He was against scientific racism, though his theory promoted the degenerative hypothesis.

 10 
Jan Baptista van Helmont
(Belgian Physician and Chemist Who First Identified Carbon Dioxide)
Jan Baptista van Helmont
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1580
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 30, 1644

Belgian physician and chemist Jan Baptista van Helmont often considered the founder of pneumatic chemistry, is also said to have used the word “gas” for the first time in the scientific world. He is also said to have been the first to identify gas sylvestre, which later came to be known as carbon dioxide.

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 11 
Emil Adolf von Behring
(German physiologist)
Emil Adolf von Behring
6
Birthdate: March 15, 1854
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ławice
Died: March 31, 1917

Nobel Prize-winning German physiologist Emil Adolf von Behring is remembered as a pioneer of immunology for his research on serum therapy developed an antitoxin to cure diphtheria. One of the 13 children of his parents, he had studied medicine at a military academy due to lack of funds.

 12 
Charles Scott Sherrington
(English Neurophysiologist Who Won the 1932 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Charles Scott Sherrington
3
Birthdate: November 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: March 4, 1952

Charles Scott Sherrington was an English histologist, neurophysiologist, pathologist, and bacteriologist. In 1932, Sherrington and Edgar Douglas Adrian were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of the functions of neurons. Charles Scott Sherrington's exposition of synaptic communication between neurons helped understand the central nervous system. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Royal Medal.

 13 
Jan Evangelista Purkinje
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Libochovice, Bohemia
Died: July 28, 1869
 14 
Étienne-Jules Marey
(French Scientist Who is Widely Considered to be a Pioneer of Photography)
Étienne-Jules Marey
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Beaune, France
Died: May 15, 1904

Étienne-Jules Marey was a French scientist, chronophotographer, and physiologist. He is best remembered for his work which played a major role in the development of physical instrumentation, cardiology, cinematography, aviation, and the science of laboratory photography. Étienne-Jules Marey is widely regarded as a pioneer of photography.

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 15 
David H. Hubel
(Neurophysiologist)
David H. Hubel
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
Died: September 22, 2013
 16 
Nicolae Paulescu
(Romanian Scientist Who Is Known for His Research on 'Insulin' and His Anti-Semitic Writings)
Nicolae Paulescu
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1869
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Died: July 17, 1931
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 17 
David Julius
(Physiologist and and Nobel Prize laureate known for his work on molecular mechanisms of pain)
David Julius
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 18 
Sir John Eccles
(Neurophysiologist)
Sir John Eccles
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: May 2, 1997

Sir John Eccles was a philosopher and neurophysiologist whose services to physiological research earned him the title of Knight Bachelor in 1958. His work on the synapse earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Alan Lloyd Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley in 1963. The same year, he also received the Australian of the Year Award.

 19 
Walter Bradford Cannon
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 1, 1945
 20 
Johannes Peter Müller
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1801
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: April 28, 1858

Johannes Peter Müller was a German physiologist, ichthyologist, herpetologist, and comparative anatomist. Known for his discoveries and his capability to synthesize knowledge, Müller made important contributions to the field of physiology. He also mentored physiologists and scientists like Hermann von Helmholtz, Theodor Schwann, Emil du Bois-Reymond, Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, Ernst Haeckel, and Ernst Wilhelm Brücke.

 21 
Charles Best
(Co-discoverer of Insulin)
Charles Best
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Pembroke, Pembroke, Maine, United States
Died: March 31, 1978

Charles Best made history with his discovery of insulin, along with Sir Frederick Banting, thus paving the path for its use as a treatment for diabetes. He, however, failed to get the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, like Banting, as he didn’t receive his medical degree till 1925.

 22 
Brian Kobilka
(Physiologist)
Brian Kobilka
3
Birthdate: May 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota, United States
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 23 
Arthur Guyton
(Physiologist)
Arthur Guyton
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oxford, Mississippi, United States
Died: April 3, 2003
 24 
John Scott Haldane
(Former Physician, Physiologist known for Black Veil Respirator, Haldane effect in haemoglobin)
John Scott Haldane
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Died: March 14, 1936

Copley Medal-winning Scottish physiologist John Scott Haldane is best remembered for his research on the physiology of respiration. He also contributed significantly to mine safety regulations and developed a method to help deep-sea divers. It is believed, he would often lock himself in sealed rooms, inhaling gases, to observe their effects on him.

 25 
Henry Hallett Dale
(English Physiologist, Pharmacologist and 1936 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine)
Henry Hallett Dale
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 1968

Henry Hallett Dale was an English physiologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for winning the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1936 along with Otto Loewi. Henry Hallett Dale was also the recipient of many other awards like the Royal Medal, the Copley Medal, and the Albert Medal.

 26 
Archibald Hill
(Physiologist)
Archibald Hill
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: June 3, 1977

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist and biophysicist Archibald Hill is best remembered for his research on muscular heat production. The Cambridge alumnus also taught physiology at Manchester University and UCL, and was a research professor at the Royal Society. He was married to the sister of economist John Maynard Keynes.

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 27 
Charles Richet
(Physiologist)
Charles Richet
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1850
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 4, 1935

Charles Richet was a French physiologist remembered for his pioneering work in immunology. He is acclaimed for his work on anaphylaxis, which earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1913. He was also interested in the study of the paranormal. A proponent of eugenics, Richet was in charge of the French Eugenics Society for six years.

 28 
John James Rickard Macleod
(British Biochemist and Physiologist Who Co-Discovered 'Insulin' and Worked on 'Carbohydrate Metabolism')
John James Rickard Macleod
7
Birthdate: September 6, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clunie, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: March 16, 1935

John James Rickard Macleod was a Scottish biochemist and physiologist. Even though his research covered diverse topics in physiology and biochemistry, he is best remembered for his work in carbohydrate metabolism. He played a major role in the discovery and isolation of insulin, for which he shared the 1923 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine with Frederick Banting.  

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 29 
Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille
(French Physiologist and Physicist Best Remembered for Formulating and Publishing the 'Hagen–Poiseuille Equation')
Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1797
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 26, 1869

Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille was a French physiologist and physicist. He is best remembered for formulating and publishing the Hagen–Poiseuille equation. Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille came up with the equation after developing an interest in the flow of blood in capillaries and veins.

 30 
Bernardo Houssay
(Argentine Physiologist Known for His Work on Pituitary Regulation of Glucose in Animals)
Bernardo Houssay
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1887
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: September 21, 1971

Bernardo Houssay was an Argentine physiologist best remembered for winning the 1947 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine and becoming the first Argentine Nobel Prize winner in the field of sciences. Bernardo Houssay won the award for discovering the role of the pituitary hormones in regulating the amount of glucose in animals. 

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 31 
Ernest Starling
(Physiologist)
Ernest Starling
3
Birthdate: April 17, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 2, 1927

British physiologist Ernest Starling is best known for establishing the Starling’s hypothesis, which explained the fluid balance between tissues and vessels. A physiology professor at UCL, he later laid down the Law of the Heart and also worked on poisonous gases during World War I. He was, however, shunned by the Nobel Committee.

 32 
Albert von Kölliker
3
Birthdate: July 6, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: November 2, 1905
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 33 
Nehemiah Grew
(British Botanist and Physiologist Known for His Careful and Novel Observations on Plant Anatomy)
Nehemiah Grew
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1641
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mancetter Parish, Warwickshire, England
Died: March 25, 1712

English botanist Nehemiah Grew is considered a pioneer of plant anatomy, along with Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi. Initially a physician, he later penned iconic books on botany, such as The Anatomy of Plants. He also made pioneering studies in finger-print patterns. A genus of trees has been named after him.

Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Louis, Mauritius
Died: April 2, 1894
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 35 
Santorio Santorio
(Italian Physician and Physiologist Known for His Discoveries Concerning Metabolism and Invention of Technical Instruments)
Santorio Santorio
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1561
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Koper, Slovenia
Died: February 22, 1636

Santorio Santorio was an Italian physician, physiologist, and professor. He is best remembered for inventing several medical devices during his lifetime. He was the first person to use a water current meter, a wind gauge, and a thermoscope. Among his best known work is De Statica Medicina, which is credited with influencing generations of physicians.

 36 
Robert Remak
(German Physiologist Known for Discovering the Three Germ Layers of Embryo: 'Ectoderm', 'Mesoderm' and 'Endoderm')
Robert Remak
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1815
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Poznań, Poland
Died: August 29, 1865

German embryologist and neurologist Robert Remak is known for pathbreaking scientific feats such as the discovery of the Remak’s ganglia and the use of electrotherapy to treat nervous ailments. He also named the three layers of the embryo, the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. His Jewish origin deprived him from valid recognition.

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 37 
E. Morton Jellinek
(Physiologist)
E. Morton Jellinek
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 22, 1963
 38 
Emil du Bois-Reymond
(German Physiologist and Physician Who Developed Experimental Electrophysiology and Co-Discovering Nerve Action Potential)
Emil du Bois-Reymond
2
Birthdate: November 7, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: December 26, 1896

Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond was a German physiologist and physician. He is credited with developing experimental electrophysiology and co-discovering nerve action potential. He was also a renowned teacher and is known for his association with the University of Berlin where he served as a professor.

 39 
Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 11, 1927

Danish geneticist and botanist Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen is remembered for his research on plant heredity. Initially a professor, who had also taught plant physiology at the University of Copenhagen, he later focused on research. He is also credited with coining the terms phenotype, genotype, and genes.

 40 
Roger Guillemin
(French-American Neuroscientist Who Won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1977)
Roger Guillemin
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dijon, France

Roger Guillemin is a French-American neuroscientist. He is best known for his work on neurohormones, which earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1977. Guillemin is also the recipient of other prominent awards such as the National Medal of Science, Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, and Passano Award in Medical Sciences.

 41 
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg
(German Scientist & Comparative Anatomist)
Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg
4
Birthdate: April 19, 1795
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Delitzsch, Germany
Died: June 27, 1876

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was a German zoologist, naturalist, geologist, microscopist, and comparative anatomist. Regarded as one of the most popular and productive scientists of his generation, Ehrenberg was honored with several prestigious awards including the first Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1877.

 42 
Carl Gustav Carus
(German Painter and Physiologist Who Created the Concept of the Vertebrate Archetype.)
Carl Gustav Carus
4
Birthdate: January 3, 1789
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: July 28, 1869

Carl Gustav Carus was a German painter and physiologist. He is best remembered for creating the concept of the vertebrate archetype. A man of many talents, Carl Gustav Carus was a renowned naturalist, psychologist, scientist, and doctor.

 43 
Albrecht von Haller
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1708
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bern
Died: December 12, 1777

Swiss biologist Albrecht von Haller, who is hailed as the father of experimental physiology, grew up as a sickly child and thus often avoided sports and mastered Greek, Hebrew, and the Bible instead. Associated with the University of Göttingen, he later penned Physiological Elements of the Human Body, which revolutionized medical science.

 44 
Nathaniel Kleitman
(Physiologist)
Nathaniel Kleitman
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moldova
Died: August 13, 1999
 45 
Charles Brenton Huggins
(Physician & Physiologist)
Charles Brenton Huggins
2
Birthdate: September 22, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
Died: January 12, 1997

Canadian-American surgeon and urologist Charles Brenton Huggins is remembered for his pathbreaking research on how some hormones are related to cancer, which eventually won him the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. His studies paved the way for the cure of cancer, specifically prostate cancer and breast cancer.

 46 
Ulf von Euler
(Physiologist and Pharmacologist)
Ulf von Euler
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: March 9, 1983

Noted Swedish physiologist and pharmacologist Ulf von Euler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology (1970) for his work on discovery of neurotransmitters. A full Professor of Physiology at Karolinska Institute for over three decades, he also received the Gairdner prize, became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and a founding member of the World Cultural Council.

 47 
Paul Bert
(French Physiologist Who is Referred to as the 'Father of Aviation Medicine')
Paul Bert
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1833
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Auxerre, France
Died: November 11, 1886

Paul Bert was a French physiologist, zoologist, and politician. Referred to as the Father of Aviation Medicine, Bert is best remembered for his 1878 work La Pression barometrique, which explains the physiological effects of air-pressure. Paul Bert is also credited with describing oxygen toxicity for the first time.

 48 
Richard Keynes
(Physiologist)
Richard Keynes
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: England
Died: June 12, 2010

Richard Keynes was a British physiologist best remembered for editing his great-grandfather Charles Darwin's accounts and illustrations of his popular voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Richard Keynes' work, which earned praises from The New York Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books, has proved to be influential.

 49 
François Magendie
(French physiologist and a Pioneer of Experimental Physiology)
François Magendie
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1783
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: October 7, 1855

François Magendie was a French physiologist and a pioneer of experimental physiology. He is perhaps best remembered as a notorious vivisector who often shocked his contemporaries and general public with live dissections at public lectures. Many scholars and scientists have criticized him for needlessly torturing animals in the name of experiments.

 50 
Ewald Hering
(German Physiologist Who Is Remembered for His Research on Binocular Vision, Eye Movements and Color Vision)
Ewald Hering
2
Birthdate: August 5, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gersdorf, Germany
Died: January 26, 1918