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The Graduate Institute was first set up in August 1947 and was originally subdivided into three divisions: physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, each becoming an independent research institute later. The Department of Physiology, on the other hand, is a teaching unit for medical students. Under the current organization structure of College of Medicine, the Graduate Institute of Physiology and the Department of Physiology are merged into a single administration unit. At present, the institute admits sixteen master students and five Ph.D. students annually.

There are now nine full-time and nine part-time faculty members in the institute, including thirteen professors, two associate professors, and three assistant professors. All of the faculty members have received advanced trainings in physiological research in distinguished local or oversea laboratories. Their specialties include apoptosis, behavioral neuroscience, circulation physiology, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, endocrine physiology, gastrointestinal immunophysiology, respiratory genome.

The research field covers both molecular (cellular) physiology and integrative physiology. The institute publishes around twenty to thirty scientific papers every year, mostly in SCI journals. To facilitate communication and exchange of scientific information and idea, the institute also holds several seminar courses weekly and occasional special lectures by scholars outside NTU. It is the goal of this institute to ascertain the scientific nature of life via an integration of classical physiological approaches with modern biological knowledge and techniques.