Editor's Message

A Reflection from Incoming Editor-in-Chief

It is with sincere appreciation that I thank and commend Dr. Walter Boron for his service as founding editor-in-chief of Physiology. In the course of his 9 years of service, he has transformed the former News in Physiological Sciences into a premier review journal. His improvements include introducing an award-winning format that aptly represents the high quality of all American Physiological Society (APS) publications. I am honored to follow in his footsteps.

Physiology is a joint venture of the APS and the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS), from which both institutions benefit as we collaborate to reflect the wide range of work and interests of international physiology. Physiology provides an avenue, for both the IUPS and APS, to promote the importance of physiology as a discipline through international outreach.

Why do we study physiology? In the end, isn't it because we wish our research to make someone's life better? As a premier review journal, Physiology strives to publish state-of-the-art reviews on topics spanning the entire breadth of the discipline of physiology to represent the variety of ways APS and IUPS members work toward improving human life. Some of themes under this umbrella include:

Physiology is medicine. Human physiology plays an essential role in medical research, providing the evidence for evidence-based clinical practice.

Sex matters. Sex differences in physiology has received far too little attention in the past, even though sex is the primary distinguishing feature in the world of individualized medicine.

Aging gracefully. The physiology of the elderly can be viewed as the concluding chapters in a continuum of the physiological progression from birth to death.

Rhythms of life. Biological rhythms, such as circadian, ultradian, and infradian rhythms, reflect physiological interactions with our environment and within our bodies.

Striving for wellness. The physiology of wellness illustrates the benefits of a healthy life. From exercise to nutrition, we can all learn how to have an improved quality of life and stave off chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.

Nature vs. nurture. Deciphering the human genome sparked the genomic revolution, yet we understand very little of the functional importance of our genes. At the same time, we are beginning to understand the influence of our environment on gene regulation via epigenetics. Unraveling these complex interactions provides immense opportunities for physiologists.

Technological advancement. Technological advances drive scientific discovery and medical practice. The future of physiological research and discovery lies, in large part, with next-generation technologies. Advances in computational biology, medical imaging, tissue engineering, and many other areas should open exciting new areas of discovery.

No doubt your quest to understand how living organisms work has precipitated venturing into the fields of biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, mathematical modeling, pharmacology, or zoology. We will continue to represent basic cellular and molecular research, while placing greater emphasis on topics in integrative, applied, comparative, and translational physiology. I believe this broad approach will best illustrate the importance of physiology in medicine, biology, and everyday life.

Gary C. Sieck