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Robert Gesell
The Michigan Alumnus 787


One hears little talk of physiology. 
 Yet physiology is a science basic
 in the study of medicine, and is coming 
more and more to underlie psychology, 
 which in turn underlies philosophy. 
 Therefore the University is not neglect
ing physiology. Recently it has added
 to its Faculty Robert Gesell, Professor
 of Physiology. Professor Gesell took 
his A.B. degree at the University of Wisconsin in 1910, and his M.D. degree at
 Washington University Medical School 
in 1914. He began his teaching as as
sistant in zoology at the University of
 Wisconsin, 1909-1910. Between 1910 
and 1919 he was in turn assistant, in
structor, associate, and associate profes
sor of physiology in the Washington Uni
versity Medical School. From 1919 to 
1922 he was professor of physiology at 
the University of California. 

Mechanism of the Heart

In the course of his experience as a 
teacher, Professor Gesell has been active
ly engaged in research and has published
 numerous papers, many of them in the 
American Journal of Physiology. In his
 earliest research he studied the mechan
ics of the heart. His published reports 
upon this study number eight or nine 
titles. Later he became interested in the 
physiology of the submaxillary gland, 
 with particular reference to changes in 
electrical potential accompanying changes 
in the gland's activity. Upon this subject also he published some eight re

New Device Employed

The subject of still later research was 
the relation of blood volume to the vol
ume flow of blood and the nutrition of 
the tissues. Experiments made in this work were carried on by means of a new 
device, which made possible an automatic 
and bloodless method of recording the
 volume flow of blood. On this subject 
also, in collaboration with others, Pro
fessor Gesell published six reports. Re
cently he has been studying the chemi
cal regulation of respiration, the regula
tion that assures an adequate supply 
of oxygen and sufficient elimination of
 carbon dioxide. On this subject he has
 published one report.

Married in 1912

In 1912 Professor Gesell was married
 to Miss Cora Lees. They have a daugh
ter, Christine Gesell.