Research Topic

The Future of Physiology: 2020 and Beyond

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The term Physiology was coined in the 16th century by Jean Francois Fernel to describe the study of the normal function of the body as opposed to pathology, the study of disease. Over the ensuing centuries, the concept of physiology has evolved and a central tenet that unites all the various ...

The term Physiology was coined in the 16th century by Jean Francois Fernel to describe the study of the normal function of the body as opposed to pathology, the study of disease. Over the ensuing centuries, the concept of physiology has evolved and a central tenet that unites all the various sub-disciplines of physiology has emerged: the quest to understand how the various components of an organism from the sub-cellular and cellular domain to tissue and organ levels work together to maintain a steady state in in the face of constantly changing and often hostile environmental conditions. It is only by understanding normal bodily function that the disruptions that leads to disease can be identified and corrected to restore the healthy state. A major challenge of physiology is to integrate and to translate that vast body of knowledge that has been obtained by reductionist approaches into a coherent understanding of function in the intact organism.

In 2010, Frontiers in Physiology was launched to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas and to develop an international community of scientists working together to meet the challenge of integrating function from molecules to man. As part of this mission the editors of each sub-discipline covered by Frontiers in Physiology wrote editorials that addressed the most pressing challenges and unanswered questions for their particular field of investigation. Now that it has been nearly a decade since Frontiers in Physiology was launched, it is time to reflect on what has been accomplished in the last decade and what questions and issues remain to be addressed. Therefore, it is the goal of this special edition Research Topic both to evaluate the progress made during past decade and to look forward to the next. In particular, the major issues and expected developments in each sub-discipline will be explored in order to inspire and to inform readers and researchers in the field of Physiology for the year 2020 and beyond.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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