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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Please note that some of these books may be available as electronic copies to be read "for free", via the Cambridge University Library. To check whether a particular book is available, go to


Some ideas for preparatory reading, over the summer holidays

  • Ashcroft, F. (2000) Life at the Extremes. London: Flamingo.
  • Bainbridge, D. (2000) A Visitor Within: the Science of Pregnancy. London: Orion Books Ltd.
  • Piantadosi, C.A. (2003) The Biology of Human Survival: Life and Death in Extreme Environments. Oxford: University Press.
  • Sapolsky, R.M. (2004) Why Zebras don't get Ulcers, 3rd edition. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
  • Vogel, S. (1992) Vital Circuits: On Pumps, Pipes, and the Workings of Circulatory Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Widmaier, E.P. (1998) Why Geese don't get Obese (and we do). New York: W.H. Freeman and Co.


For those who did not take NST IA Physiology of Organisms

Read through the PoO handouts from last year, concentrating in particular on the Michaelmas term courses (except for the neuro lectures), and the Lent term lectures on thermoregulation and metabolism.


Useful text-books for students (discuss which to buy with your supervisor)

  • Berne, R.M., Levy, M.N., Koeppen, B.M. & Stanton, B.A. (eds) (2008) Physiology, 6th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Boron, W.F. & Boulpaep, E.L. (2012) Medical Physiology, 2nd updated ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
  • Frayn, K.N. (2010) Metabolic Regulation: a Human Perspective, 3rd ed. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Hall, J.E. (2016) Guyton & Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, 13th edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier
  • Johnson, M.H. (2018) Essential Reproduction, 8th edition. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Herring, N. & Paterson, D.J. (2018) Levick's Introduction to Cardiovascular Physiology, 6th edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • Young, B., Lowe, J.S., Stevens, A. & Heath, J.W. (2006) Wheater’s Functional Histology: a Text and Colour Atlas, 5th edition. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.