About Us

The 1984 Department, then named Physiology & Biophysics, as captured by artist Joel Beckwith. 


The Neuroscience and Physiology Department has a long and distinguished history, making significant contributions in its major fields of focus since its inception in 1850 as the Department of Physiology at University Medical College. By bringing together faculty from basic, translational, and clinical laboratories, it has stood as a critical linchpin for the scientific community at the NYU School of Medicine. For 35 years, the department’s former chair and current University Professor, Dr. Rodolfo Llinás, brought the focus of the department to the brain as a means of better understanding “the nature of what we are” as humans.

In January 2012, the role of department chair passed to Dr. Richard Tsien, also Director of the NYU Neuroscience Institute. Through both of his positions, Dr. Tsien endeavors to create an environment of synergistic collaboration that will continue the department’s tradition of scientific excellence.