Departamento de Fisiología

Departamento de Fisiología

Departamento de Fisiología

About us…

The Department of Physiology is responsible for the physiology course that is taught in the second year of the Doctor of Medicine degree offered at the Faculty of Medicine of the UNAM. This is an eight hours a week course that includes 4h of theory and 4h of laboratory.

43 full-time professors and researchers, 61 lecturers and 15 teaching assistants compose the core faculty of the Department.

Mission statement

The mission of the Doctorate of Medicine offered by the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico is to form ethical, critical and humanistic general practitioners that respond to the nation’s health needs, with innovation and educational excellence, capable of developing scientific research for the benefit of human kind.

Vision statement

Keep at the forefront the training of leading physicians, competent in the professional practice for the benefit of the nation and humanity.

Historical review

The department finds its most remote antecedent in 1578 in the chair "Prima de Medicina" which, being the only chair, included all the medical knowledge of the time.

In 1727 Dr. Marcos José Salgado (Puebla de los Angeles 1671), writes a treatise on Physiology, being the first written on the subject by someone born and educated in the American continent. This work was consulted and studied until the end of the eighteenth century.

The Ancient Royal and Pontifical University reached the end of the eighteenth century plunged into a deep decline that led to its closure. In 1833 the School of Medical Sciences was established, which closely followed the new precepts of French medicine, emulating the Ecoles de Santé. It is at this moment that the subject of physiology emerges as an independent field of study.
Dr. Miguel Carpio (1791-1860) was the first professor of physiology at the new School of Medical Sciences. The course was theoretical and fed on new knowledge about living matter arising from physics and chemistry.

In 1842 the National School of Medicine was formed, settling in the old Palace of the Inquisition, and it is until 1854 when the area of physiology is located at the new building.

In 1861 Ignacio Alvarado covers the chair of physiology and is responsible for promoting the concept of scientific medicine, based on the numerous advances of knowledge of the time.

By 1900 the chair of physiology does not have its own premise and was exclusively theoretical, only some animal demonstrations were carried out. In July of the same year, the first physiology devices arrived, but they were not acquired or organized by the staff of the School. Dr. Fernando Altamirano, was in charge of acquiring the devices, since he had created the first physiology laboratory in the country in the recently opened National Medical Institute (1888).

In 1904 the new director, Dr. Eduardo Liceaga, instituted the practical courses and in 1906 the laboratory chair of physiology was established. In 1910 an area for keeping laboratory animals was allocated, but the practical courses were still very irregular.

Dr. Manuel Uribe y Troncoso was the first to carry out research work in the physiology department (1905) with works on the aqueous humor of the eye and glaucoma.

It is in 1915 when Dr. Fernando Ocaranza establishes, for the first time, the formal laboratory courses of physiology based on an internship program and began to promote physiological thinking so that it becomes the main guide for medical studies.

In 1920, the position of Head of Laboratory Works was created by Dr. J. Joaquín Izquierdo. It is in 1929, under the framework of obtaining the autonomy of the university, when experimental physiology is promoted and the entire area of physiology is transferred to the annex building on the street of Venezuela, in the historic center.

In 1933 Dr. Ignacio Chávez promoted the renovation of spaces for classrooms and laboratories of the department, occupying two floors of the annex building, a research section and a library were created. In this same year Dr. J. Joaquín Izquierdo reforms laboratory teaching by training teachers and designing new practices for the best use of students. The laboratory practices are changed to a semester modality and the students are compulsorily evaluated in the laboratory. Dr. Izquierdo greatly encouraged the spirit of investigation; during this time the scientific method was taken as an imperative in the training of the doctor and the physiological reasoning was implanted in the curriculum.

In 1956, the physiology department was relocated within the new facilities of the National School of Medicine at Ciudad Universitaria, on the fourth and fifth floors of building A.

In 1970, the physiology department initiated the training of personnel for research activities with didactic purposes.

In 1980, the development of didactic material through films was promoted for the explanation and demonstration of some laboratory practices.

In 1986, laboratory teaching was incorporated under the modality of "Free Projects", which was considered a half course of development of practices and a half course of elaboration of research projects carried out by the students.

In 1993 the use of computer simulators in the laboratory was incorporated, permanently eliminating the need for the use of animals during teaching.

In 2013, the remodeling of the teaching laboratories was carried out and clinical electrophysiology and ultrasound equipment was acquired.

Head of the Department
Dr. Virginia Inclán Rubio

Evaluation Coordinator
Dr. Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Molina

Teaching Coordinator
Dr. Vito Hernández Melchor

Research and Postgraduate Coordinator
Dr. Elia Martha Pérez Armendáriz

Head of the Administrative Unit
Lic. Carlos González Dionisio


Hours of Service

Monday to Friday from 07:30 hours to 19:00 hours


Av. Universidad 3000,
Circuito Interior de Ciudad Universitaria S/N
Facultad de Medicina
Building "A", fourth and fifth floors,
Col. UNAM,
Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510


Head of the Department:

Evaluation coordinator:

Teaching coordinator:

Research and postgraduate coordinator:

Administrative unit: