Obituary Notices

This page provides brief notices on the deaths of Society Members as soon as we hear about them. Please do feel free to notify us of the death of a member by emailing us at Full PDF obituaries may be found at the bottom of this page.

Members' obituaries A-H | Members' obituaries I-R Members' Obituaries S-Z


Sir Stanley Peart

The Society notes with regret the death on 14 March of Honorary Member Sir Stanley Peart FRS, FMedSci, FRCP at the age of 96. Trained in medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, where he later served as Professor of Medicine, Peart was the first to purify and determine the structure of the peptide hormone angiotensin and to isolate renin. A trustee  of the Wellcome Trust from 1975, he headed the clinical research panel which was instrumental in promoting the beginnings of the human genome project and neuroimaging research. He became a Society Member in 1953 and was knighted in 1985. 

Saffron Whitehead

The Society is greatly saddened to hear of the death on 19 February of Member Saffron Whitehead, an emerita Professor of St George's, University of London. With a PhD from McMaster University in 1974, she made significant contributions to endocrinology, providing early evidence for how endocrine disrupting chemicals and hormones impact on fertility and cancer. A Society member from 1980, Saffron edited Physiology News (1994-98) and served on Council (1995-99). As well as authoring an acclaimed textbook on clinical endocrinology, she was interviewed and wrote widely for the media on healthcare topics under her married name, Saffron Davies.

Malcolm Lidierth

The Society is saddened to hear of the death of Member Malcolm Lidierth at the age of 58. A neurophysiologist with a rare talent for in vivo recording, he completed a PhD with David Armstrong in Bristol before becoming a lecturer in 1990 at the Sherrington School of Physiology at UMDS, later part of King’s College London. As well as collaborating with Pat Wall on studies of the dorsal horn and Lissauer tract, Malcolm had a particular flair for developing physiological analysis software, which he made freely available to others and thus it was widely used. An innovative and conscientious teacher, he ran a highly popular 3rd year neuroscience module for many years.


Stephen Semple

The Society regrets to hear of the death of Member Stephen (‘Steve’) Semple. Professor of Medicine at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School from 1969-91, he was a highly respected  respiratory clinician and physiologist, working with many key figures in the field. One of his important contributions was developing the oscillation hypothesis for control of breathing in exercise. A Member of the Society since 1964  he served on the Committee from 1982-6.

David Armstrong

The Society regrets to hear of the death of David Armstrong, emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of Bristol, after a long illness following a stroke. David was internationally recognised for his work on how the brain controls goal-directed movement, using a combination of anatomical, physiological and behavioural methods. Completing a PhD in Canberra with John Eccles, he moved to Bristol where he became head of Physiology in 1990. A Society member from 1969,  he was an editor of The Journal of Physiology between 1979 and 1986. After retirement, David took up a second career in the Orkneys of ornithological photography. 

Liam Burke

The Society belatedly notes the death of Member Liam (William) Burke at the age of 96. Following a first degree in pharmacy, completed in 1945, he was one of the only two UK PhD students to be supervised by Bernard Katz in the Department of Biophysics at UCL. After publishing work with Bernard Ginsborg on slow muscle fibres, he moved to Australia in 1956 where he subsequently carried out research with Peter O. Bishop recording from the visual system. He became Head of the Department of Physiology in Sydney, retiring as Emeritus in 1987. Much admired for his scientific curiosity and great sense of humour, he last visited UCL in 2016.

Bernard Ginsborg 

The Society regrets to hear of the death of Bernard Ginsborg  at the age of 93. Born in London and trained as a physicist, he took a second degree in Physiology on AV Hill's recommendation. With Paul Fatt at UCL he discovered voltage-gated calcium currents which led on to a long-standing research interest in synaptic neurotransmission and secretion. Moving to Edinburgh, he became the Head of the Department of Pharmacology in 1980, retiring in 1985. A member from 1957, Ginsborg was great supporter of The Society for many years and an outstanding Editor of The Journal of Physiology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1971. 

Christopher Peers

It is with sadness that The Society reports the death of Christopher (Chris) Peers on 20 May 2018. Having obtained a degree in physiology and a PhD in pharmacology from RFHMS, University of London, a period of postdoctoral research at Oxford was followed by his appointment as Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Leeds in 1994. From then on, an exceptionally high level of research quality and productivity led to rapid career progression and promotion to Professor of Cellular Physiology in 2002. Chris will be remembered as a remarkably enthusiastic and gifted researcher with a warmth of personality that ensured numerous enduring collaborations.  A brief interview with Chris describing his research on hypoxia and cardiovascular disease can be found on the Society website.

John Cotes

John Cotes died on 15 April 2018, aged 94. Working at the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough (1950-2) then the MRC Pneumoconiosis Research Unit (PRU), Llandough (1953) his research concerned the design of an oxygen delivery system for the 1953 British Everest expedition. Oxygen equipment had a daunting reputation following failures on previous expeditions. As sole author of his first paper, he described an improved design and production of the oxygen masks and open circuit oxygen breathing circuits fundamental to the first successful Everest Summit. A member of The Society since 1954, he was well-known for his work on patients with industrial and other lung diseases at the PRU. Later, at the University of Newcastle, he developed systems to evaluate pulmonary function at rest and exercise, particularly lung gas transfer. The 6th Edition of his well-known text book, Lung Function: Physiology, Measurement and Application in Medicine, appeared in 2006.

Craig Sharp

The Society notes the death of Member Craig Sharp in March at the age of 84. Educated as a veterinary pathologist in Glasgow, his subsequent work laid the foundation of modern sports and exercise physiology in the UK.  A secondment to Kenya in 1963 resulted inter alia in his record ascent of Kilimanjaro, and the first scientific measurement of a cheetah’s running speed (64.3 mph). As the scientific head of the British Olympic Medical Centre in the 1980s, and Professor of Sports Science at West London Institute of Higher Education (later Brunel University) 1994-2005, he was responsible for guiding the training of many notable UK sports champions.

John Patterson

It is with sadness that The Society reports the death of John Patterson on 25 February 2018. John was an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medical Education (formerly Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Studies) at Barts and the Royal London, Queen Mary University (1978-2009). John taught physiology for 30 years and was three times elected 'best preclinical teacher'. In his role as associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Studies, he oversaw a revision of assessment structures across the programmes and as Head of Assessment he had oversight of the design, delivery and analysis of all MBBS examinations. More recently John was appointed as psychometrician and then, additionally, as Vice-Chairman of the Examinations Board, at the Society of Apothecaries of London.

Sir John Sulston CH

The Society regrets to hear of the death of Honorary Member Sir John Sulston CH who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2002 for his work on cell lineages and on the first complete DNA sequence to be published, of the nematode worm Caenorhaditis elegans. A forceful advocate for  genome information remaining in the public domain, he became the founding director of the Wellcome Sanger Centre at Hinxton. In 2002, he gave The Society's Annual Review Prize Lecture on the ethical uses of science. 



David R Curtis

David Curtis FRS FAA died in December 2017, aged 90. David is famous for his development and application of the technique of multi-barrelled microelectrophoresis for recording activity from identified central neurones in vivo. Thus he was able to eject a range of compounds into the locality of single neurones.  He combined this with activation of synaptic inputs either electrically or by application of other compounds.  David, with his chemist colleagues, Jeff Watkins and Graham Johnston, demonstrated the excitatory and inhibitory effects of amino acids on single neurones. They developed the pharmacology of glutamate, GABA and glycine receptors along with novel agonists and antagonists. This provided the core evidence for establishing the role of these amino acids as synaptic transmitters in the mammalian CNS.  David became the Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research and Director at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University. David was elected to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science in 1965, becoming its President in 1986-90, and to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1974.

Roger Carpenter

Roger Carpenter, Professor of Oculomotor Physiology at Cambridge, died on 27 October 2017, aged 72. His ‘Movements of the Eyes’ was a classic text. His own research, and his influential theoretical model, revealed how saccadic movements of the eyes could be used to study human decision making. His textbook of Neurophysiology has been used by generations of students. In his Cambridge college – Gonville and Caius – he was a much admired teacher: his engaging supervisions were intellectual in the noblest sense and inspired many medical students to combine experimental research with a clinical career. 

Hubert Britton

The Society notes the death of Member Hubert Britton in October 2017 at the age of 92.  With a medical degree and a PhD in chemistry, Hubert joined the Physiology Department at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, where he remained until retirement. A Member from 1965, he worked on  the metabolic role of the placenta and the foetal endocrine system, and developed a method for studying enzyme function by induced transport. A staunch supporter of integrative physiology, he arranged many demonstrations linked to the clinical course he taught.

Ricardo Miledi

The Society is much saddened to hear of the death of Ricardo Miledi at the age of 90.   Educated in Mexico and a skilled experimenter, he and Bernard Katz laid the foundations of our understanding of the role of calcium in synaptic neurotransmitter release.  As well as making many basic discoveries on the acetylcholine receptor channel (including the first description of ‘acetylcholine noise’ with Katz), he was one of the early developers of the use of oocytes for drug-receptor  expression studies. Succeeding Katz as head of the Department of Biophysics at UCL, he moved to the University of California Irvine in 1986.  Amongst other awards, Ricardo Miledi held the Royal Society’s  Fullerton Chair whilst at UCL and received its Royal Medal  in 1998. 

R A Webster

Roy Webster died peacefully on the 2nd April 2017. A Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Pharmacology at UCL, he was a gifted experimentalist. His early research focussed on confirming the identity and physiological roles of the newly discovered amino-acid neurotransmitters in the spinal cord. Later he went on to study drugs, notably the benzodiazepines, which interact with the receptors for these amino acid transmitters in specific regions of the central nervous system. He joined The Society in 1967.

John Coote

The Society is much saddened to hear of the death of Honorary Member John Coote, Bowman Professor of Physiology and Head of Department at the University of Birmingham from 1984 until his retirement. John joined the Society in 1967. He served on Council and as Chair of the editorial board of Experimental Physiology. An outstanding mentor to many students and colleagues, he was a distinguished autonomic neuroscientist with a wide range of interests including being a keen mountaineer and an expert in high altitude physiology. In 2003 he was awarded the Carl Ludwig Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiological Society.

Hans-Christoph Lüttgau

We are saddened to report that Hans-Christoph Lüttgau passed away on 5th November at the age of 91. He was an eminent physiologist who has made lasting contributions to our understanding of nerve function and the intricate events between excitation and contraction in muscle. He had been the founding Professor of Cell Physology at Ruhr University, Bochum in Germany, an Editor of The Journal of Physiology, a member of The Society since 1965 and an Honorary Member since 1997.

Robert O. Nneli

We are saddened to hear that Professor Robert O. Nneli, the Dean of the School of Basic Medical Sciences at the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ebonyi, died in a motor accident in April 2017 at the age of 69. He joined the university in 2012 after spending close to 20 years at Abia State University. He was educated at St. Patrick’s Secondary School Emene in Enugu and the University of Calabar. His physiological work covered a wide range of issues on cardiovascular and occular problems in the Nigerian population.

Margaret Lowrie

Margaret Lowrie gave her first communication to The Physiological Society in 1980 and joined the Society in 1986. In the 1980s and 1990s she worked with Professor Gerta Vrbova at University College London on nerve injury and she subsequently moved to Imperial College.

C.T.M. Davies

C.T. Mervyn Davies died on Sunday, 30April 2017, after a short final illness, aged 83. He was at the forefront of research into human exercise physiology and part of a global network of like-minded scientists from the mid-60’s onwards.  He was appointed founding Chair in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham in 1986 and transformed a respected Physical Education department into a School that would become the world-ranked Sport and Exercise Sciences School it now is.

Mike Rennie

Mike Rennie held the Symers Professor of Physiology at the University of Dundee for many years and was subsequently at the University of Nottingham in Derby. He was a member of the Physiological Society from 1978 and served on the Editorial Board of Journal of Physiology and on Council; he delivered  the G.L. Brown Prize lecture in 2004/5. He is best known for his work in human physiology where he pioneered the use of stable isotopes in metabolic studies.


Fred Imms

Fred Imms was a familiar figure at Society meetings for many years. He was an applied human physiologist who worked at Guys Hospital Medical School and then, following merger, at the GKT School of Medicine. An obituary was published in PN105.

Alan Benson

Alan Benson joined the Society in 1961. He specialised in aviation physiology and was Head of the Behavioural Sciences Division at the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough.

Harold Hillman

Harold Hillman joined the Society in 1968. He spent most of his career at the University of Surrey. He was known as a critic of modern methods of electron microscopy and for his writing on methods of resuscitation and humane execution techniques. Read more about his life and achievements in obituaries by the Guardian and Telegraph.

Tom Forrester

Tom Forrester was a Professor in the Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences at the University of St Louis for over 30 years. Previously, he worked at the University of Glasgow and at University College London. He joined the Society in 1969 and, around that time, gave a number of communications on the release of ATP and its extracellular actions. Read his obituary here.

Olof Lippold

Olof Lippold (1923-2016) was born in London to parents of Swedish and German ancestry. He studied medicine at University College London during WW2, qualifying in 1946. He became a member of The Physiological Society in 1953. After initial clinical work, he joined the Physiology Department at UCL where worked until 1983, then moving to Royal Holloway as Head of Department. He researched in areas as varied as tetanus toxin action and muscle spindle excitation, the latter led to work on the effects of Direct Current on long-term brain function. He observed that the EEG alpha rhythm originated from ocular muscle activity rather than the underlying cortex. And he worked on Parkinsonism. 

Olof was also a renowned teacher, revealed to a wider audience through successful textbooks such as ‘Human Physiology’ (a title taken over from Winton & Bayliss), ‘Respiratory Physiology’, ‘Neurophysiology of the Cerebral Cortex’ (with Lynn Bindmann) and ‘Physiology Illustrated’ (with his daughter, Barbara Cogdell). Amongst his many accomplishments, Olof was also a talented painter and pianist.

Alan Cuthbert

Professor Alan Cuthbert passed away on 27 August following a short illness. Alan has been part of The Society since 1973. He was Shield Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Cambrige and Master of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. His work expanded our knowledge of the physiology and pharmacology of sodium transport in secretory epithelia. In this video, Professor Alan Cuthbert speaks about his life and work.

(For a full obituary, see the article in Physiology News (Winter 2016) no 105, p 44).

Roger Y. Tsien

The energetic and inspiring Roger Tsien will be greatly missed by The Society, and the scientific world. He is most famous for creating a vital research tool from green fluorescent protein. This work earned him a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008. The decades of research he conducted changed the course of visualisation in molecular biology. Tsien served as professor of pharmacology, chemistry, and biochemistry at UC San Diego's medical school for 27 years, and his passing is sad and sudden news.

(For a full obituary, see the article in Physiology News (Winter 2016) no 105, p 40).

Declan John Anderson

The Society is saddened to hear of the death of Declan Anderson, Emeritus Professor of Oral Biology at Bristol. Declan Anderson was a dentist and physiologist; but foremost, a scientist. He died at the age of 95 on Easter Day, 27 March 2016. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital School and Guy’s Hospital. After graduating in dentistry in 1942, he went on to obtain a B.Sc. in Physiology in 1946, and a Ph. D. in 1955. During these latter studies, he held clinical posts and a lectureship in Physiology at Guy’s. A full obituary will be appear in Physiology News 103.

(For a full obituary, see the article in Physiology News (Summer 2016) no 103, p 45).

Max Lab

Professor Max Lab, an influential Physiologist working in the UK, sadly passed away in January. He has been affiliated to Imperial College for most of his career and we would like to organise a one day symposium in his honor, and celebrate his scientific discoveries. Max was an extremely popular figure in the Physiology community.

A full obituary can be downloaded here.


C J (John) Dickinson

Christopher John Dickinson, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (2002-15); Chairman, Department of Medicine, St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College (1975-92) died on the 30 September 2015 at the age of 88. He was a long time supporter of The Physiology Society, a member since 1966. He was Senior Lecturer at UCH London then Professor of Medicine at St Barts (London). He was interested in the nervous control of essential hypertension and co-authored a popular textbook (Clinical Physiology, E. J. Moran Campbell, C. J. Dickinson, J. H. D. Slater, C. R. W. Edwards, E. K. Sikora 1984 etc). In the late 1960s he developed a suite of computer programs to teach aspects of clinical physiology including respiration (Macpuf), kidney function (Macpee), drug action (Macdope) and integrative aspects of the circulation (Macman). (Despite their name, these programmes were initially written for microcomputers and then rewritten for PCs).

A longer obituary will be available here later. 

Susan Noble

Dr Susan Noble passed away in the John Radcliffe Hospital early in the morning of Sunday 4 October 2015, at the age of 75. She worked in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at The University of Oxford as a researcher and lecturer between 1969 and 1997. She published more than 50 papers while working in the Department, including the 1979 article in Nature with Drs Hilary Brown and Dario DiFrancesco that identified the 'funny' pacemaker current, and that led to the development of ivabradine (Servier). She was a Member since 1976.

A full obituary can be downloaded here.

George Darlow 

The Physiological Society is saddened to hear of the death of Dr George Darlow, who passed away in June.

Joe Lamb

Joe, JF Lamb, was born in 1928, formerly Chandos Professor of Physiology at St Andrews University and later headed the Rowett Research Institute at the University of Aberdeen. He was an Honorary Member (2005), a member since 1963 and had been The Society Secretary, 1982-5. Joe served on the Journal of Physiology Editorial Board and as Physiology News Editor. 

(For a full obituary, see the article in Physiology News (Winter 2015) no 101, p 40).

C Tissa Kappagoda

C Tissa Kappagoda died on 28th January, 2015 aged 71 in Sacramento, California. Mike Snow writes: 'He was Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis.  He qualified at the University of Ceylon in 1965. In 1966, he moved to England and held junior hospital appointments before joining the Cardiovascular Unit in the Department of Physiology at Leeds (then recently set up under R J Linden).  His Ph.D. thesis was on the function of atrial receptors: it was concluded that there exists an as yet unidentified diuretic hormone.   He was a member of The Society for some years from 1974.  His contribution to cardiovascular science both as an investigator and a teacher was great, but these scientific achievements should not over-shadow his work as a caring physician devoted to the welfare of his patients.'

(For a full obituary, see the article by HM Snow: Physiology News (Autumn 2015) no 100, p 41).

Constancio Gonzalez

The Society is sorry to hear of the sudden death of Dr Constancio Gonzalez, who was a JP Editor. Constancio had been a Member of The Society since 2012. A further obituary will follow in due course.

(For a full obituary, see the article in Physiology News (Winter 2016) no 105, p 45).

Roger Woledge

The Society is sad to hear of the death of Professor Roger Woledge on 13 March following a riding accident. He had been a Member since 1968. We have recently published an interview with him conducted in 2006 in which he gave an account of his life and work. Listen to the interview. A full obituary by Di Newham, Stuart Bruce and Nancy Curtain can be accessed here.

Vernon Mountcastle

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Dr Vernon Mountcastle, who was an Honorary Member of The Society, elected in 1986. He passed away in January. A full obituary by Roger Lemon can be accessed here. His obituary in the Daily Telegraph can be found here.


Paul Fatt

The Society is saddened to hear of the death of Professor Paul Fatt, Emeritus Professor of Biophysics, UCL, who passed away peacefully on 28 September. He was elected as an Honorary Member in 1990.

Bengt Saltin

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Professor Bengt Saltin of the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, who passed away on 12 September. He was elected a Member in 2001 and an Honorary Member in 2006.

Jack Diamond

The Society was saddened to hear of the death of Jack Diamond, a prominent physiologist who helped establish neuroscience at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine of McMaster University, at the age of 86. 

Alex Livingston

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Alex Livingston, of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He had been a member of The Society since 1998.

Brian Greenwood

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Brian Greenwood on 28 April, he was 84.  Brian was a member of The Society from 1965 until his retirement in 1989. He worked at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School in the 1960s, moving to the Agricultural Research Council's Institute of Animal Physiology in Babraham and then in the mid-1970s to Fisons. 

Olga Hudlicka

The Society is sorry to hear of the death on 3 May of Olga Hudlicka, Professor Emeritus at the University of Birmingham. She had been a member of The Society since 1972. She died at the age of 87 and had continued working in the School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine until quite recently. She worked on factors influencing blood flow and capillary growth in normal and ischaemic skeletal and cardiac muscle and gave the Annual Review Prize Lecture in 1990.

Syogoro Nishi

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Syogoro Nishi on 13 February. He was an Honorary Member of the Society, elected in 1999.

Abraham Guz

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Abraham Guz; he was 84 and had been a Member since 1966. He was Emeritus Professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, and had been Professor of Medicine at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School 1973–82 and Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine of the joint Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, University of London until September 1982–94.

Roderick P Kernan

The Society is sorry to hear of the death on 10 January of Roderick P (Roddy) Kernan, who was a member since 1963. He was Emeritus Professor of Physiology at University College Dublin. 

Peter Mott

The Society is saddened to learn of the death of Peter Mott on 14 March; he was 84. Peter worked at Cambridge University Press and was responsible for overseeing the publication of many journals including The Journal of Physiology and the meetings abstracts. When The Society took over the ailing Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology (now Experimental Physiology), Peter contributed to discussions on the change to monthly publication with a new title and cover design. 

Helen Duke

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Helen Duke. She became a Member in 1950 and published in respiratory physiology while at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and the Middlesex Hospital Medical School.



Colin Ingram

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Colin Ingram, who was a Member from 1994 to 2008. He was Professor of Psychobiology in the School of Neurology, Neurobiology & Psychiatry from 2000 and Director of the Institute of Neuroscience from 2004 at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He elucidated the neural mechanisms controlling the stress response and led research into neuroinformatics and translational neuroscience. He died on 15 December. 

Roger Wadsworth

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Roger Wadsworth, who was elected a Member in 1990. He was Professor of Cardiovascular Pharmacology at the University of Strathclyde and died 10 months after retiring. The British Pharmacological Society have published an obituary.

Alan Howe

The Society regrets to report the death of Alan Howe on 7 November 2013, aged 87. He became a Member in 1958. Alan retired in 1993 from the Post of Halliburton Professor of Physiology at King's College London. He had a distinguished career both as scientist and teacher starting from his graduation in 1952 from UCL, London with a B.Sc.(Hons) Physiology. Awarded the Bayliss-Starling Memorial Fellowship he investigated arterial chemoreceptors under Michael de Burgh Daly for his Ph.D. and actively worked on this topic for some 25 years, mainly in relation to the regional distribution and structure of the containing 'bodies' and in many collaborations also defining their distinctive functional cardiovascular or respiratory roles. Similarly, he studied the morphology and function of the pars intermedia of the pituitary gland culminating in an important review in 1973. Alan was an outstanding teacher and also involved himself deeply in academic administration particularly in relation to the London University Board of Studies in Physiology.

David Hubel

The Nobel laureate David Hubel died on 22 September 2013. He was elected an Honorary Member in 1983. A tribute by David Paterson with republication of an article on his work by Eric Kandel along with his reply can be found in the 1 January 2014 issue of The Journal of Physiology

Maureen Young

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Maureen Young, who was elected a Member in 1944. In the 1950s and 1960s she was at the forefront of placental research. She died on 17 August and would have been 98 in October. 

View Physiology News Winter 2013 for an in-depth obituary.

Annie B Elliott

The Society is sorry to have to record that Annie B Elliott FRPharmS, PhD, of Sheffield, who was elected a Member in 1968, has died at the age of 98. She had worked in the Department of Biology in Nanyang University, Singapore.

Joe Davison

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Joe Davison, who joined The Society in 1974. Joe made important contributions to our understanding of the neural control of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and its accessory organs. He died on 13 April at the age of 71.

View Physiology News Autumn 2013 for an in-depth obituary.

Vahe Amassian

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Vahe Amassian. He was elected an Associate Member in 1969 and converted to Ordinary membership in 1990. His research was on the electrophysiological properties of sensory-motor systems in the brain. He died on 7 January at the age of 88. 

Gordon Bisset

The Society is sorry to hear of the death of Gordon Bisset, who was elected a Member in 1964 and was an Editor of The Journal of Physiology from 1966 to 1967.

Sir Robert Edwards

Sir Robert was one of the pioneers of in vitro fertilisation, which is celebrated in Sir Richard Gardner’s personal account of Bob as a mentor, collaborator and friend in Physiology NewsBob was awarded Honorary Membership of The Society after receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010.

View Physiology News Autumn 2013 for an in-depth obituary.

J M Adam

The Society regrets to announce the death Colonel J M Adam OBE OStJ FRCP who was elected a Member in 1960. 

Michael William Blackburn Bradbury

Professor of Physiology Kings College London 1977-1995, Emeritus 1995-2013. Mike Bradbury died peacefully on the 9th of February 2013 in Blandford, Dorset aged 82. He became a Member of the Society in 1964 and served on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology from 1981-1988. His many friends and colleagues will miss him greatly.

View Physiology News Summer 2013 for an in-depth obituary.

Download an in-depth obituary [PDF, 134kb].

Gerald Elliott

Gerald Elliot, founding Professor of Biophysics at the Open University and a Society Member of many years standing, has died in Oxford, aged 82. He gave his first presentation to a Physiological Society meeting in 1959, and his last in Dublin at the 2009 Summer meeting.

View Physiology News Summer 2013 for an in-depth obituary.

Jean Banister

Jean, a former teaching Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, died on 15 February, aged 95. She had been a Member of The Society since 1950. Her research largely concentrated on the pulmonary vascular system. Jean is also remembered as a tireless champion of women's education.

Download an in-depth obituary [PDF, 73kb].


Robin Gow Willison

Robin Willison, a Member of the Society from 1965 and, from 1980 to his retirement in 1990, head of the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London. A pioneer of EMG analysis, he died on 18th February 2012.

Download an in-depth obituary [PDF, 46kb].

Marianne Fillenz

Marianne was a neuroscientist who worked in Oxford having trained in Dunedin, New Zealand where she was taught by JC Eccles and was influenced by Karl Popper. Her own work included studies both on transmitter release and on inhibitory synaptic mechanisms in the CNS. She was medical tutor at St Anne’s College and had a remarkable influence on generations of science and medical students. 

View Physiology News Winter 2013 for an in-depth obituary.


Beverly R Mackenna

Bev has died at the age of 83. He became a Society Member in 1964. Recruited to the Physiology Department at Glasgow University by Robert Campbell Gary, much of his career at Glasgow University was devoted to the professional courses in Medicine and in Dentistry. He revised later editions of the successful textbook 'Illustrated Physiology' with Robin Callander. A calm and reserved character, Bev's quiet professionalism and personal charm will be sadly missed by his many students and colleagues. 

View Physiology News Spring 2013 for an in-depth obituary.


John Warburton Thompson

John Warburton Thompson has died suddenly aged 88. John was a Member of The Society since 1958 when at the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Although he retired from the NHS in 1990, John continued to work in the field of chronic pain. He will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues.


Sir Gabriel Horn

Sir Gabriel Horn, a Member of The Society from 1963, has died aged 85. Gabriel was one of the outstanding neuroscientists of his generation. He was responsible for numerous advances in neuroscience encompassing diverse areas, but especially concerning neural mechanisms of learning and memory. He was a most gifted teacher, delivering lectures appreciated by generations of students. He will be remembered by many students, friends and colleagues for the generous warmth of his personality.

View Physiology News Winter 2012 for an in-depth obituary.

Stephen O'Neill

Stephen O'Neill, a cardiac physiologist and Member of The Physiological Society since 1990, had died aged just 49 after maintaining a positive attitude since being diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago.  Stephen continued working and publishing until a matter of weeks before passing away.  He has left warm and lasting memories of an excellent physiologist and loyal friend.

View Physiology News Winter 2012 for an in-depth obituary.

William F Dryden

Bill Dryden, a neuroscientist and true nenaissance man, has died aged 71. Bill grew up in Paisley, just west of Glasgow, Scotland and received a BSc in Pharmacy from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Strathclyde. Following postdoctoral studies in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, Bill returned to Strathclyde as a lecturer. He was appointed to the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Alberta in 1976 where he remained until his retirement in 2008. He was acting chair of the Department between 1991 and 1992. Bill was a founding member of the Division of (later Centre for) Neuroscience and served as its director between 1995 and 1999.

His insight, breadth of knowledge, collegiality and sense of humour will be fondly remembered. He was a true renaissance man and mentor for us all. Bill is survived by his wife Angela, three children, Colin, Gillian and Anna and one grandchild.

View Physiology News Spring 2013 for an in-depth obituary.


Yves Laporte

Yves Laporte, one of the most eminent physiologists of the second half of the 20th century, has died in Paris, aged 91. Yves was a great admirer and supporter of The Physiological Society, after he was introduced to it by David Barker in the early 60s.

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Sir Andrew Huxley

Sir Andrew Huxley OM FRS, one of the greatest physiologists of his generation, has died aged 94.

Andrew, together with Alan Hodgkin, determined the basis for nerve cell excitability, applying the technique of the voltage clamp to identify the ionic currents in the squid axon. This pioneering research was carried out at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth and at the Physiological Laboratory in Cambridge. Published exactly 60 years ago, the work was a fundamental breakthrough and  led to the subsequent understanding of voltage-gated ion channels, the understanding of propagating action potentials and provided the framework for studying and analysing ion channel kinetics. With Alan Hodgkin and John Eccles, Andrew shared the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for this work. In his subsequent work, carried out largely at UCL, he developed the cross-bridge theory of muscle contraction.

Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955 and was knighted in 1974 and subsequently appointed to the Order of Merit in 1983. He served as President of the Royal Society from 1980 to 1985.

A focused edition of The Journal of Physiology to recognise the 60th anniversary of the Hodgkin-Huxley papers will be published on 1 June 2012.

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Alison Douglas

Alison worked in the School of Biomedical Sciences in Edinburgh, where she played an important role in teaching and administration, including as Organiser of the Honours Programme in Physiology (2001-2004) and as Chair of the Honours Exam Board in Medical Biology (2007-2011). In 2011 she was elected Chair of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology. She was elected a Member in 1995.

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James Halliwell

James Halliwell, Emeritus Reader in Physiology at UCL, died on 7 March after a short illness. He was very much a 'hands-on' electrophysiologist who made substantial contributions to the physiology of ion channels in the CNS.

In recent years he focused on the roles of dopamine receptors in the mesolimbic system, and on the modulation of glutamatergic transmission in the olfactory tubercle. He was elected a Member in 1985.

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Ainsley Iggo

Ainsley Iggo was elected a Member in 1956. He was a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology from 1962 to 1969, and a member of the Editorial Board of The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology from 1980 to 1983.

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Vernon Pickles

Vernon Rycroft Pickles died on 27 April 2012. He became a Member in 1950.

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Anne Warner

Professor Anne Warner FRS, who has died aged 71, applied electrophysiological methods to the study of the development of the embryo.  She was responsible for initiating the Microelectrode Techniques workshop at the MBA, Plymouth and more recently directed CoMPLEX, the systems biology centre at UCL.

She was elected a Member in 1968 and served on the Committee (1975 to 1979) and on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology (1980-1987).

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Alan Chipperfield

Alan Chipperfield died in October 2011 at the age of 73. He was elected a Member in 1978.

His interests and expertise were in the areas of membrane transport physiology and he was distinguished for his work on sodium ion fluxes both through the sodium pump and through co-transporters (he was a pioneer in the area of sodium–potassium–chloride co-transport).

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Keith Cooper

Keith Cooper was elected a Member in 1950 and was on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology from 1968 to 1972. Keith was active in the thermoregulatory field, initially at Mill Hill and subsequently in Canada at the University of Calgary.


Rolf Niedergerke

Rolf Niedergerke (1921–2011) worked principally to elucidate the links between excitation and contraction in muscle, especially cardiac muscle.

His 1954 Nature paper with Andrew Huxley – the first by either on muscle – described in clear terms the sliding filament mechanism of muscle contraction, now acknowledged as the paradigm for all forms of cellular motility. He was both a consummate experimentalist and a scrupulous reporter of his science.

Rolf was elected a Member of The Society in 1959 and an Honorary Member in 1987.

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Paul S Richardson

Paul Richardson was at St George’s Medical School before he retired. Paul became a Member in 1973 and was a Journal of Physiology editor from 1974 until 1978.


Martin Rosenberg

Martin was elected a Member in 1968 when he was in the Department of Physiology, Basic Medical Sciences, Queen Mary & Westfield College.

For many years he was effectively the official photographer for The Society and was heavily involved in ensuring that the images in the Archives were indexed and properly stored.

As a member of the History & Archives Committee, he took a very active part in the recording of Oral Histories. By doing considerable homework before every session, he was able to get the maximum value from each interviewee.


David Shirley

David Shirley was a Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Reader, in the Department of Physiology and Division of Medicine (Nephrology) at UCL.

David was a leading UK renal physiologist and skilled micropuncturist. His work resulted in many significant publications concerning the membrane events underlying renal tubular fluid and electrolyte transport. David joined The Physiological Society in 1973.

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Brian Whipp

Brian was elected as a Member in 1984. He served on the Committee from 1993 to 1997, and was an Editor on the Board of Experimental Physiology from 1994 to 2000.

Brian and his collaborators produced defining research in muscle energetics, pulmonary gas exchange and ventilatory control.

His first love was sport and, among his many accomplishments, he was Welsh AAA champion for high hurdles and decathlon.

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Alison Brading

Alison's services to The Society were extensive. Alison studied Zoology at The University of Bristol, before working in the Department of Pharmacology in Oxford. Throughout her career she was a familiar and respected personality and made substantial contributions to understanding smooth muscle function.

View Physiology News Summer 2011 for an in-depth obituary.