The Founders Circle

The Founders Circle

In the late 19th century, three renowned physiologists formed the American Physiological Society with the intent of promoting physiological knowledge and its utilization. Henry Pickering Bowditch, S. Weir Mitchell, and Henry Newell Martin were signers of the original letter of invitation to attend the organizational meeting in 1887. Henry Pickering Bowditch established the first university laboratory of experimental physiology in the United States and served as the first APS president in 1888 and again from 1891 to 1895 for a total of six years. S. Weir Mitchell was the eldest and most distinguished founder, known for researching snake venom, cerebellar function, the knee jerk, and the physiology and pathology of nerves. He introduced the idea to form the Society and served as the second APS president from 1889-1990. H. Newell Martin served as the first secretary-treasurer of APS from 1887-1892 and kept historical records for the Society. He is most well-known for his preparation of the isolated mammalian heart and training six of the charter members of the Society.

Two other physiologists, John Green Curtis and Russell H. Chittenden, are considered founders of APS given their prominent roles in the formation and early history of the Society. John Green Curtis was a member of the first Council of the Society and held the first organizational meeting in his laboratory at Columbia. Russell H. Chittenden is the Society’s longest serving president, a total of nine years (1896-1904). He performed pioneer work in nutrition and digestion and was responsible for a good portion of the papers published in early volumes of the American Journal of Physiology.

Our leadership giving recognition levels honor the founders of APS for their contributions to physiology and the Society.


Founders Circle Recognition Levels

  • Henry Pickering Bowditch Founders ($5,000 and greater) 
  • S. Weir Mitchell Founders ($2,500-$4,999) 
  • H. Newell Martin Founders ($1,000-$2,499) 
  • John Green Curtis Founders ($500-$999) 
  • Russell Henry Chittenden Founders ($250-$499) 

**Lifetime Founders: individuals who donate a cumulative $50,000.

APS determines giving levels from yearly contributions (January 1 – December 31).