Executive Committee

President: Jonathan Ashmore

Jonathan AshmoreJonathan Ashmore is Bernard Katz Professor of Biophysics in the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology at University College London. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society. Jonathan's research concerns the physiology of hearing. He has worked on the cellular mechanisms in the inner ear which amplify sound and more recently he has been using microscopy and biophysical techniques to understand how information is conveyed out of the cochlea at the synaptic contact between the sensory cells and the auditory nerve. He is part of a large group of auditory neuroscience researchers at the UCL Ear Institute who are actively working on problems of hearing and deafness. 

Previously, he has served as Editor of The Journal of Physiology as well as a Trustee of The Society. His first published research with The Society resulted from a demonstration of a homebuilt microelectrode system for recording signals from bipolar cells in the retina. This was given at a Society Meeting in 1976. He believes that physiology is a unique discipline in the biomedical sciences that provides the tools and ideas to unify many diverse approaches in modern biology and medicine.

Deputy President: Richard Vaughan-JoneRichard Vaughan-Joness

Richard Vaughan-Jones is Professor of Cellular Physiology at Oxford. He is co-founder and Joint-Director of the Burdon Sanderson Cardiac Science Centre, in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, and Tutorial Fellow in Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Exeter College, Oxford. He studied Physiology at the University of Bristol (BSc, PhD), subsequently specialising in membrane ion-transport. He researches the mechanism and function of intracellular H+ ion sensing, signalling and regulation. His work centres on the heart, but also cancer and arterial chemoreception. He was the first to identify Cl/HCO3 exchange activity in non-erythroid tissue, Na-HCO3 and Cl/OH transporter activity in heart, and the role of gap-junctions and carbonic anhydrase enzymes in the spatial control of pH in the heart and in tumours.

Richard Vaughan-Jones was elected to the Physiological Society in 1978. He has served as an Editor of The Journal of Physiology and as a Trustee of the Society and, for three years, was Deputy Head of his Oxford College. He firmly believes in the importance of Physiology as an essential life-sciences/medical discipline, and in the pre-eminence of the Society for growing and sustaining a dynamic, research community.

Honorary Treasurer: Anne King

Anne King is currently the Programme Director for Human Physiology at the University of Leeds and has active research interests relating to Neuroscience and Neurophysiology. Her group works on signalling and neuronal communication in the mammalian spinal cord.The work focuses on synaptic modulation of somatosensory processing in the sensory dorsal horn with a particular emphasis on synaptic transmission between peripheral sensory afferents and target spinal neurons that underpin nociception (pain).  Anne has been a Member of The Society since 1987 and has contributed actively to The Society's activities at many different levels.  Anne served previously on The Society’s Council (2004-07) and was a member of the International, Education and Grants Committees.  She was also a member of the Local Scientific Programme Committee for IUPS 2013. 

As Honorary Treasurer of The Society, Anne chairs the Finance Committee whose remit is “To take delegated responsibility on behalf of the Council of Trustees for overseeing all financial aspects of The Society, to support its short and long term ability to achieve its charitable objects”.  As Honorary Treasurer, it is Anne's responsibility to present financial data to Council in a user friendly format and explain the potential financial consequences of decisions it may take.  Anne works closely with The Society's Director of Finance to do this.

Meetings Secretary: David WyllieDavid Wyllie

David Wyllie is Professor of Ion Channel Physiology and Pharmacology in the Centre for Integrative Physiology at The University of Edinburgh. David became the Meetings Secretary of The Society in July 2010 having been previously elected a Trustee in July 2006. David's association with The Society began in 1989 when he gave his first communication at a summer meeting held at Cambridge. As Meetings Secretary his overarching aim is to ensure the Meetings Committee and the Events Team continues to provide The Society's membership with high-quality scientific meetings in an environment that stimulates discussion and collaboration between physiologists at all stages in their careers.

David's own research interests focus on ionotropic glutamate receptors and glutamatergic synaptic transmission. In particular, current research investigates structure–function studies of NMDA receptors and how subtype-dependent biophysical and pharmacological properties sub-serve physiological and pathophysiological functions and investigation of synaptic function in models of CNS developmental dysfunction and neurodegeneration.

Chair, Education & Outreach: Blair GrubbBlair Grubb

Blair Grubb is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Cell Physiology ad Pharmacology at the University of Leicester and has been a member of the Physiological Society for over 25 years. He is currently Chair of the Education & Outreach Committee that promotes physiology as a separate academic discipline to a number of audiences including schools, universities, government and the general public. This Education & Outreach Committee coordinates activity and processes applications for grants schemes that promote undergraduate and postgraduate research training, outreach programmes, public engagement in science and pedagogical research in universities related to physiology.

He is a strong advocate of physiology as a separate academic discipline due to the unique approach that physiologists bring to scientific problems. He is also very keen to ensure that physiology teaching, as a separate degree programme or as part of an integrated Biological Sciences degree, is clearly identifiable and is promoted within any university curriculum.

Blair is a neuroscientist whose research interests are mainly focused on sensory systems. He has a longstanding interesting in the pathophysiology of inflammatory and neuropathic pain and the identification of molecular targets for their treatment. More recently he has developed an interest in plasticity in the auditory system in an attempt to understand the pathophysiological responses to noise-induced hearing loss with special emphasis on auditory afferent nerve fibres in the cochlea. Blair also collaborates with scientists at Leicester on projects relating to stroke and ventricular arrhythmias.  

Chair, Policy: Mary MorrellMary Morell

Mary Morrell is a respiratory physiologist within the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London. She received her PhD from London University in 1994, followed by a Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon her return to the UK she established the Academic Unit of Sleep and Breathing with clinical colleagues at the Royal Brompton Hospital. The aim of the unit is to investigate the causes and consequences of sleep-related breathing disorders; translating research into improvements in patient care. Her current research focuses on the cardiovascular and neurological impact of sleep apnoea, particularly in older people.

Mary is committed to education and is involved in both postgraduate and undergraduate teaching. She has served on the Board of Directors for the American Thoracic Society and is currently on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. When not in the lab, Mary has also carried out research projects at high altitude and held a Wellcome Trust Science-Arts award.

Chair, Publications: Mike ShipstonMike Shipston

Mike Shipston is Professor of Physiology and Director, Centre for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently the Chair of The Physiological Society Publications Committee that oversees the Publications strategy of The Society’s Flagship journals: The Journal of Physiology and Experimental Physiology as well as the Members’ magazine Physiology News and new developments in a society-produced textbook in Medical Physiology.

His own research work is focused on the physiology of calcium-activated potassium channels that are implicated in the regulation of an eclectic array of physiological processes ranging from the control of blood pressure, through to neuronal excitability and cell proliferation. He has a particular interest in post-transcriptional (e.g. alternative pre mRNA splicing) and post-translational mechanisms (e.g. phosphorylation and palmitoylation) that generate physiological diversity from a limited genome. His laboratory exploits approaches from single ion channel analysis and molecular imaging through to whole organism physiology.