Executive Committee

See also Past Officers of The Physiological Society

President: David Eisner

David Eisner is the British Heart Foundation Chair of Cardiac Physiology in the University of Manchester.  Previously, he worked in University College London and the University of Liverpool.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.  His research focuses on the regulation of intracellular calcium in cardiac muscle and he is interested in both normal physiology and also in the alterations that lead to cardiac arrhythmias.

He gave his first communication in 1977 and became a member of The Physiological Society in 1980.  He  has served as its International Secretary and as Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology.  He feels strongly that Physiology has a key role, not only as an important subject in its own right but, also, as a key discipline linking basic science to clinical medicine.


Deputy President: Bridget Lumb

Professor Bridget Lumb was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and graduated with a BSc (1978) and PhD (1982) from the University of Birmingham. She presented her first communication to the Society in 1983 and has been a Member of the Society since 1990. 

Bridget’s experience of Higher Education started as a technician in the Physiology Department at Nottingham University in the 1970s and latterly at Bristol where she has worked in the Department of Physiology (now Physiology and Pharmacology) for the last 27 years, starting as a postdoctoral worker. 

Bridget’s experience spans a broad academic arena e.g. membership of editorial boards (including deputy chair of Experimental Physiology) and grant awarding bodies and Council membership of The Physiological Society. As its scientific Meetings Secretary, she became the first female executive committee member of the Society in 126 years. In this role, she was involved in strategic development of the Society and, additionally, set the agenda and organised scientific meetings in the UK and at many international venues. She was also a member and chaired several of the Society’s committees, including its Education Committee and the Animal Legislation and Welfare Committee.


Meetings Secretary: Ken O'Halloran

Ken O’Halloran is Professor of Physiology at University College Cork, Ireland. He is head of the Department of Physiology and Director of UCC’s Biological Research Services Unit encompassing the National Transgenic and Germ Free Facility. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, currently serving on the academy Executive as General Secretary and he is Executive Editor of the Irish Journal of Medical Science, in addition to editorial roles for other publications. Ken read physiology for his primary degree (BSc, 1992) and was awarded his doctorate by the National University of Ireland in 1995, having trained in Aidan Bradford’s laboratory at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Following postdoctoral fellowships at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and at the University of Wisconsin –Madison (in the laboratory of the carotid body guru - Jerry Bisgard), he returned to Ireland to take up a lectureship in physiology at University College Dublin (chaired by EP Editor-in-Chief Paul McLoughlin) and returned to his native Cork and alma mater in 2011 to take up the Chair vacated by Edward J. Johns.

Ken is a respiratory physiologist with a current interest in hypoxic remodelling in the cardiorespiratory system, at multiple levels, in translational models of disease. The major focus of his group at present is respiratory muscle plasticity in models of chronic intermittent hypoxia. He is director of the pre-clinical sciences stream in the Medicine programme at UCC, and as head of department he oversees the BSc Physiology degree programme in Cork, in addition to significant contributions by the department to several other allied health programmes.

Ken was elected a Trustee of The Physiological Society in 2012 and he has served on the Membership & Grants Committee and Meetings Committee. He was appointed Meetings Secretary in 2014.


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.


Chair, Education & Outreach: Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall is a Senior Lecturer in Physiology at Cardiff University and is course director for the research placement (sandwich) degree schemes in Biomedical Sciences.  Sarah graduated from UCL with a BSc in pharmacology and gained her PhD in physiology at UMDS (St Thomas); she then worked in the USA as a post-doctoral fellow at Duke University and NIH, where her research interests centred on cardiac cell physiology and ion channel regulation.  During her time in Cardiff, Sarah has developed a primary role as an educator and has recently completed an MA in Education.  Themes of her current research include physiology students’ approaches to learning and the impact of authentic research opportunities within the undergraduate curriculum. Sarah also contributes to a range of education and outreach activities and is committed to engaging school pupils and the general public with the discipline of physiology and the activities of the Physiological Society.

 Sarah delivered her first communication in 1990 and has been a member of the Physiological Society since 1996.  She has served previously on the Society’s Council (2003-2007) during which time she was a member of the International, Grants and Audit Committees; she has since served on the Education and Outreach Committee (2009-2014) and on the editorial board of Physiology News (2008-2014).  Sarah was elected as a trustee in 2016 and now chairs the Education and Outreach Committee.

Chair, Membership & Grants: Rachel Tribe

Rachel Tribe, a member of The Physiological Society since 1996, became a Trustee and Director in 2013 and is currently Chair of the Membership and Grants Committee and a co-Trustee lead for ‘Equality and Diversity’ within The Society.   She is committed to the promotion of physiology through teaching and research and the active engagement of schoolchildren and the wider public in The Society’s activities.   

Dr Tribe trained as a physiologist at University of Sheffield and gained her PhD at UMDS, London.  Rachel, now Reader in Women’s Health at King’s College London, heads the ‘Parturition Research group’, an active and well-funded research team of scientists and clinicians.  Her group focuses on translational research aimed at tackling preterm birth and other pregnancy associated conditions.  Specific research interests include uterine smooth muscle physiology/pharmacology, the innate immune system in pregnancy and the identification of biomarkers for prediction of preterm birth.  

Other roles include Honorary Treasurer for the UK Preterm Birth Clinical Study Group and Assessment Lead for MB BS Year 2 at King’s College London.   


Chair, Policy: Lucy Donaldson

Dr Lucy Donaldson is an Associate Professor in Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham and a Trustee of the Physiological Society. She is a neurophysiologist with expertise in sensory neuronal function in disease states, with degrees in Dentistry (BDS), Neuroscience (BSc) and Pharmacology (PhD ) from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked at the University of California Davis (’94-’96), the University of Leicester UK(’96-’98), the University of Bristol UK(’99-2013) and now as Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham. She runs an active research group, investigating chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain, and human taste perception in health and disease, and has been heavily involved in undergraduate teaching in Neuroscience, Physiology and Dentistry for many years. She is also co-founder and consultant to a University of Nottingham spin-out drug development company Exonate Ltd.


Chair, Publications: Prem Kumar 

Prem Kumar is Professor of Physiological Science at the University of Birmingham where he is also the Director of Education for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. Prem completed his D.Phil at the University of Oxford, where he first became interested in understanding how the body senses and responds to changes in its blood chemical composition.

His research interests remain largely in the field of chemoreception, with a particular emphasis on carotid body transduction mechanisms in health and disease and in the cardiorespiratory reflex responses to hypoxia and changes in blood glucose concentrations.

Prem has had a long history of service with The Physiological Society, working as Deputy Editor in Chief on The Journal of Physiology and as an Editor for Experimental Physiology. In addition, he chaired the Meetings Committee of The Society and was a member of The Society’s Executive between 2006-2010 and was on the Organising Committee of IUPS 2013. He is also a member of the International Committee of the American Physiological Society and has held a consulting editor role for the Journal of Applied Physiology.

In his new role as Chair of the Publications Committee, Prem is keen to ensure that The Society’s Journals retain and improve their reputation as class leading for original research papers in all aspects of physiology.