The Physiology Department commenced its activities in July 1978 with the head of department as Professor K.M. etta (1978-1985). Other subsequent heads of department include the following Professor E.E. Osim (1985-1995, 2000-2003), Late Dr. A.B. Akpogomeh (1995-1997), Prof. (Mrs.) A.B. Antai (1997-1999, 2006-2008), Prof. J.O. Ibu (2003-2006), Dr. C.O. Nku (2008-2010), Dr. (Mrs.) A.O. Obembe (2010-2012), Dr. C.O. Owu (2012-2014) and Dr. E.J. Ani (2014-2016). The department started with its first batch of medical students in 1978/79 session. In 1979/80 session B.Sc. Pysiology programme was added to its curriculum. In 1987 the department introduced a new B.Sc. Physiology programme (B.Sc. intercalated in the MBBCh programme) in the college. This programme allows outstanding medical students after their part 1 MBBCh examinations to spend extra three semesters for a B.Sc. degree in Physiology, Biochemistry and Anatomy before continuing with their MBBCh programme. The department started an M.Sc. programme in Physiology in 1992 with only 3 students who all graduated with M.Sc. in 1995. In 1995 a postgraduate diploma programme in Physiology was also approved. A Ph.D programme was added in 2001/2002 session.
Currently enrolment for the entire postgraduate programme now stands at twenty eight students. While thirty eight M.Sc. students have been graduated. The first Ph.D was defended in December, 2006. To date the department has produced many Ph.D. graduates, 9 of who are members of staff of this department. Our graduates at both undergraduate and postgraduate level are contributing meaningfully to the development of the subject in institutions of higher learning all over the country.
In a discipline that suffers a death of senior academics all over the country, the department for the first time boasts of four Professors of Physiology, two of which have been deans of Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences namely Prof. E.E. Osim (2006-2008) and Prof. A.B. Antai (2010-2012), one Readers, 7 senior lecturers (one visiting), 2 grade one lecturer, 3 grade two lecturers and 3 assistant lecturers. There are 20 academic staff, 16 of the staff have Ph.D. degree, an improvement from the past wherer staff were mainly in the junior cadre.
The equipment situation has also improved. Currently we have obtained some new equipment through the effort of our past Dean, Professor E.E. Osim and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana I. Akpagu. The physical structure of the department, especially the laboratories have been rehabilitated. New academic staff have been employed to boost the academic activity of the department. The department has finally been granted full accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and is active in a social media network to boost information dissemination.