This web site is an initiative of The Section on Thermal Physiology from the International Commission of Comparative Physiology (Commission VII), and it is maintained solely to support and promote science and education related to the physiology and pharmacology of temperature regulation across all species. This Commission is part of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS). The IUPS coordinates national physiological societies, and it does this through the establishment and fostering of Commissions. The principal responsibilities of these Commissions are to survey the entire field of its specialty, and to foster international research communication and education. This includes organising and coordinating scientific meetings, providing encouragement and support to those whose resources may keep them somewhat at the margins of scientific advancement, and promoting undergraduate and postgraduate education through the preparation of appropriate texts, reviews and other media. However, this web site is not only for physiologists, but for all who are interested in temperature and life.
Previous web site: http://physio1.utmem.edu/THERMOPHYSIOLOGY/
The major activity of the Section on Thermal Physiology is the oversight of integrated meetings on the Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation (PPTR), which are held every two to three years. This integrated meeting originated from two independent, and long-running symposia: the Thermal Physiology Symposium and the Symposium on the Pharmacology of Thermoregulation. It was decided to merge these symposia in 1999, with the First Integrated Meeting on Thermal Physiology and Pharmacology of Thermoregulation being held in 2004 (Rhodes, Greece).
After the 2001 Thermal Physiology Symposium, and due also to the overlapping interests with scientists attending the International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE), it was also decided to more closely align these independent conferences. Now, conferences from each group are scheduled to facilitate attendance at both meetings, with each conference offering a wide range of dedicated sessions applicable to thermal and applied physiologists, pharmacologists and ergonomists. Accordingly, the PPTR and ICCE conferences are generally held on alternating years: 2011 (ICEE: Greece), 2012 (PPTR: Brazil), 2013 (ICEE: New Zealand), 2014 (PPTR: South Africa).
Another important activity of the Section is education and communication. As part of this process, publication of the Glossary of terms for Thermal Physiology was designed to facilitate better communication among scientists within the same field, scientists working in other fields and the general public. Three iterations of this Glossary have been published thus far: (a) Bligh and Johnson (1973) J. Applied Physiology 35:941-961; (b) Simon (1987) Eur. J. Physiology: Pflugers Archives 410:567-587; and (c) Mercer and Werner (2001) Japanese J. Physiology 51:245-280. The expansion of this field, the re-evaluation of old concepts, and the inclusion of new concepts and ideas will result in the continued revision of this Glossary.
In addition, past members of this Committee (then known as the Commission on Thermal Physiology) collaborated to write a monograph dedicated to thermal physiology and pathophysiology: Physiology and Pathophysiology of Temperature Regulation (Ed. Clark Blatteis: see the Education Page). This task was pursued due to the absence of a current monograph that would provide state-of-the-art information to students and scientists. An extensive list of relevant monographs and special issue journals can been seen under the Education page of this site.
Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation (PPTR - 2004-present):
The Integrated Meeting on the Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation (PPTR) is held every two to three years. This seminal meeting originated from two independent, and long-running symposia.
The first to be initiated was the Thermal Physiology Symposium, which had its inaugural meeting in New Haven (U.S.A.) in 1968, and was organised by James Hardy. This was the legendary meeting known from the famous book, Physiological and Behavioral Temperature Regulation (see the Education Page). Since then, the Thermal Physiology Symposium was held as a satellite meeting of the IUPS main congress. The last independent Thermal meeting in this series was held in 2001 (Wollongong, Australia).
The second series of conferences was the Symposium on the Pharmacology of Thermoregulation, first held in1972 (San Francisco, U.S.A.), and organised by Ed Schönbaum and Peter Lomax. This series of meetings arose from the increasing recognition of the strong relationship between pharmacology and thermoregulation. This symposium continued every three years, independently of the Thermal Physiology Symposium, with the last conference from this series being held in 1999 (Seville, Spain).
However, since pharmacological methods have become more and more important in the study of physiological mechanisms, and since physiology is, of course, the basis of pharmacological research, many researchers attended both meetings. Furthermore, since the IUPS main congress became quadrennial instead of triennial since 1993, it became increasingly difficult to set the timing of the two independent series of symposia. Thus, the merger of the two conferences was decided at the Pharmacology meeting in 1999.
The First Integrated Meeting on Thermal Physiology and Pharmacology of Thermoregulation was successfully held in 2004 (Rhodes, Greece), and about 200 scientists gathered on that beautiful island in the Aegean Sea. Following this meeting, it was decided that each of these conferences would use the name: Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation (PPTR).
After the 2001 Thermal Physiology Symposium, and due also to the overlapping interests with scientists attending the International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics, it was decided to more closely align these independent conferences. Now conferences from each group are scheduled to facilitate attendance at both meetings, with each conference offering a wide range of dedicated sessions applicable to thermal and applied physiologists, pharmacologists and ergonomists.
Thermal Physiology Symposia (1968-2001):
Historical information ...
International Symposia on the Pharmacology of Thermoregulation (1972-1999):
The first formal gathering in the series, known as the International Symposia on the Pharmacology of Thermoregulation (ISPT), was held in 1972. Peter Lomax and Eduard Schönbaum organised the meeting as a Satellite Symposium in conjunction with the Fifth International Congress on Pharmacology (San Francisco, U.S.A.). Lomax (then Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of California at Los Angeles, USA) and Schönbaum (then Associate Medical Director (Pharmacology), Ciba-Geigy, Canada) perceived the importance and interest of temperature in pharmacology, hence a further genealogical development in the physiological sciences. They quoted from Fenn in their preface to the proceedings, The Pharmacology of Thermoregulation (Karger, Basel, 1973): In his History of the International Congress of Physiological Sciences 1889-1968, the late Fenn records the evolution of the physiological sciences. Pharmacology was an integral part of these meetings until growth led to the founding of the International Congresses on Pharmacology. Now attention would be focussed on pharmacology in thermoregulation, and they brought together a group of biomedical scientists for discussions specifically on this topic. The relatively small (by international standards) number of delegates at the meeting made for a happy and informal gathering, with informed science being critically debated. These features were warmly appreciated and prompted the organisation of further ISPT. For the next 22 years, up to and including the ninth ISPT (Giessen, 1994), these meetings were synonymous with Lomax and Schönbaum, who injected enthusiasm, energy and experience into the organisation and fund-raising, as well as to the editing and publication of the presented papers.
Equally vital were the efforts of the local organisers. A desired feature of these meetings was to alternate meetings between North America and Europe. With one exception (Fifth Symposium held in France), this was achieved, as Lomax and Schönbaum identified and encouraged colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic to host the ISPT. Without financial support from any parent congress, the task of financing, as well as organising successful scientific meetings, together with the obligatory social program, cannot be overstated. There was no formally constituted executive committee to organise ISPT, instead a loose association of Lomax and Schönbaum (both up to 1994) and the main local organiser(s) of the immediate past, present and next meetings acted as the ISPT Steering Group. It is appropriate, therefore, to list the ISPT not only to inform, but also to acknowledge the service of colleagues serving as main local organisers.
During the late 1990s, several contemporary issues pressed for a rethink of ISPT policy. These included recognition of the fact that many biomedical researchers attended not only ISPT, but also other, closely-related scientific meetings, in particular IUPS Thermal Physiology Symposia. Time, travel grants and new data were seen as finite for many scientists, risks included reductions in both the number of delegates and the amount of original material that could be presented.
Steering Group members present at the tenth ISPT (Memphis, U.S.A., 1996) agreed to discuss with the IUPS Thermal Commission the possible merger of ISPT with the IUPS Thermal Physiology Symposia. Both parties expressed similar views. The outcome was the announcement, at the closing session of the eleventh ISPT (Seville, Spain, 1999), that the next ISPT would be combined with the IUPS Thermal Physiology Symposium following the IUPS meeting in Wollongong (Australia) in 2001.
Ed Schönbaum (born 1923 in Vienna, Austria) died in December 2000; Peter Lomax (born 1928 in Salford, U.K.) died in December 2002. Therefore, they did not witness this recent regrouping of pharmacology and physiology (at least in the field of thermoregulation), that is a reversal of the ungrouping described by Fenn and highlighted by them in their preface to the first ISPT Proceedings in 1972. The purpose of the ISPT series initiated by Lomax and Schönbaum was to promote lively, informed, yet critical debate and research on the pharmacology of thermoregulation. Their belief that this subject is both important and interesting in basic and clinical sciences is not undermined, but rather endorsed by recent pragmatism to ensure the continuation of such symposia more then 30 years later.
Thermal Physiology Executive (alphabetical order):
Gloria de SOUZA
Department of Veterinary Physiology
The Hebrew University
P.O. Box 12272
Department of Automation, Biocybernetics and Robotics
Jozef Stefan Institute
Conference Organisers (Kruger National Park, SOUTH AFRICA - 2014):
Conference Organisers (Ljubljana, SLOVENIA - 2016):