Department of Human and Animal Physiology was established in February 1876 on the initiative of prof. BUT. Kovalevsky. In the Kazan Imperial University, it was the second department of physiology at the Faculty of physics and mathematics, the first one was created in the Faculty of Medicine. The first head of the Department was KV Voroshilov. KV Voroshilov in 1889-1899  workedalso asa Rector, engaged in the construction of university hospitals. Ordinary Professor. AF Samoilov, headed the department from 1903 to 1930. They were created electrophysiological laboratory in which for the first time in Russia in 1906 were recorded electrocardiogram of heart of frog and human - healthy and sick. Almost twenty years physiological laboratory served as a center of learning electrophysiological methods of investigation. Thanks to Samoilovprincipally new clinical laboratory methods for studying the human bodyin medicine began to be used, he organized the direction of Clinical Physiology. In 20th year of the XX century he studied at the Department mechanisms of excitatory and inhibitory effects in the nervous system and the motor system. Samoilovwas the first who established the chemical process of transfer from nerve to muscle.

    From 1930 to 1935 Department was headed by prof. DS Vorontsov. He went on to study traditional nerve-muscle preparation and the processes of fatigue in it, and also studied questions of evolutionary physiology and occupational physiology. MA Kiselev (1935-1937), a student of AF Samoilov, organized the first in the country specialization of labor physiologyat the Faculty of Biology. During the Great Patriotic War, Professor. NP Rezvyakov (1938-1948) brought the theoretical to the practical problems of physiology and medicine proposed using vinyl-butyl ether and the polymer for the healing of wounds. The staff conducted research on the effects of the drug in experiment and clinic. Prof. IG Validov (1948-1965)studied mechanisms of synaptic transmission and was the first who proved the participation of calcium ions in this process. This view of the role of calcium is widely accepted now in science.

    The main topic of the department of research under the guidance of prof. LN Zefirov (1965-1991) was the role of mediators in the activity and regulation of neuromuscular system. Zefirovhas been established the regulatory role of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the neuromuscular preparation. Together with his student, senior lecturer VI Alatyrev, he revived the clinical direction of researches. In 70 years at the Department the question of the physiological mechanisms of contractures in experiment and clinicwas intensively developed. He resumed the applied research on the physiology of labor to investigate the mode of work and rest for the workers of the chemical industry, questions of suitability and selection for specialty workers in the motor industry, etc. The laboratory of physiological electronics and psychophysiologywas established, which created devices for neurophysiological studies examined psychophysiology of speech and memory.

    Prof. VI Alatyrev (1991-1996) started the new direction of the department research on the problem of tonic reflexes protective mechanisms in animals and humans. The electromyographic tonic reflex patterns, the basic mechanisms and conditions of segmental brain tonic apparatus in defense reactions was established; the classification of electrical responses of skeletal muscle arising on a background of prolonged pain stimulus; a diagnostic method that has been successfully used to assess the functional state of muscles was developed.

    Under the leadership of JH Pleshchinskii (1996 - 2012) members of the department continued to research, established by his teachers - LN Zefirov and VI Alatyrev. The main area of research was related to the study of motor control problems in humans and animals. The department has developed several research groups, teachers, graduate students and students of various aspects of this problem. Department staff conducted research on the state of spinal motor centers in terms of traumatic damage to the nervous system, the proportionality of activities studied physical and motor components in the multi-level physical activity management system, state nerve centers in conditions of antigravity. In addition, the microelectrode methods of recording nerve ending ion currents and endplate potentials at the neuromuscular junction were developed and the study of modulation of neuromuscular transmission by gaseous messengers has started.

    Prof. GF Sitdikova is head of the Department since 2012 and the modernization of scientific and teaching equipment have been started.  Under her leadership, the research of the molecular mechanisms of cell-cell interactions in the excitable structures in health and diseaseis conducted, particularly, the role of membrane receptor-channel complexes, cell signaling systems and the functioning of the neurotransmitters in the central and peripheral nervous systems,in the regulation of functions cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract are investigated. We study the mechanisms of regulation of neurotransmitter secretion, exo and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles in the central and peripheral synapses exogenous and endogenous biologically active compounds. The Department have got the to grant of the Russian Government for supportingof scientific research conducted under the guidance of leading scientists (Mega-Grant). The Research Laboratory of Neurobiology was created where research work is conducting by  Director of Research, AMS France Khazipov RN. The main task of the scientific laboratory is the study of brain development in the early stages of ontogeny. Department staff also continue electromyographic study the organization of motor control system in violation of and / or the limitation of physical activity and transformation analysis, registered in the various parts of the motor vehicle in these conditions; Instruments developed rapid diagnosis of diseases of internal organs; study some physiological problems, in particular, mechanisms of adaptation to stress, functional asymmetry of the brain; work is under way to study the history of the department.