Teaching Prize winners

In 2009 The Society launched the Otto Hutter Teaching Prize to recognise outstanding teachers of undergraduate physiology and to raise the profile of physiology teaching. The prize’s namesake, Professor Otto Hutter, emeritus Regius Professor of Physiology at University of Glasgow, is recognised as a passionate and innovative teacher. He pioneered perhaps the first, fully-integrated electrophysiological lab for junior teaching. He was also a virtuoso of small group teaching, famous for throwing the blackboard chalk to students as an inducement to do some of the board-work.


Prof Mary CotterThe inaugural prize winner in 2010 was Mary Cotter, who is Professor of Systems Physiology at the University of Aberdeen. She was nominated for her innovative approach to teaching- introducing problem-based learning, student-led teaching and interactive lectures- and the passion she gives to lecturing. It is reported that standing ovations are not unheard of in Mary’s lectures.

Speaking of her passion for teaching, Mary says “I feel it is a real privilege to be able to teach students Physiology because it is the best subject. I love teaching science and medical students Physiology, particularly the tricky bits like acid-base and respiratory mechanics.”


Dr Neil MorrisIn 2011 the prize was won by Neil Morris, a senior lecturer in Neuroscience at the University of Leeds. Another innovative lecturer, Neil has strong research interests in teaching, including the development of educational technology. Neil has pioneered a range of faculty-wide projects, introducing virtual learning environments, eVoting handsets and curriculum review. He is also editor-in-chief of Bioscience Horizons, an undergraduate research journal.

Neil says he is “passionate about providing students with the very best resources to help them learn effectively and become experts in their discipline.”


Dr Eugene LloydThe 2012 prize was awarded to Eugene Lloyd, a senior teaching fellow in the School of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Bristol. A consistently popular lecturer, he has won a number of teaching prizes while at Bristol, including the Students’ Union Teaching Award in 2010. Eugene’s interests include the use of high fidelity simulation, developing resources for computer-controlled Human Simulators, allowing students to see physiological mechanisms in action.

A practicing medic as well, Eugene explains how he became interested in teaching. "A six month demonstrator post in medical physiology whetted my appetite for this fascinating subject and I realised I had a passion for helping to educate and encourage students."

Dr Dave Lewis

In 2013, Dave Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Scientific Ethics at the University of Leeds, was awarded the prize. He was nominated for his development of innovative interventions, both within and outside of the taught curriculum, including education in in vivo physiology and pharmacology, ethics, alternative (non-laboratory) final year projects, educational research and public engagement internships.

Dave “seeks to develop interventions or teaching that are not normally found in the curriculum yet enhance graduate employability.”


Judy Harris

In 2014, the prize was awarded to Judy Harris, Professor of Physiology at the University of Bristol. Judy’s interests include developing novel teaching using technology such as human simulators and ‘virtual’ microscopy. She uses e-voting to engage students in large classes and was awarded a student-led Bristol Teaching Award in 2013. Her work in championing higher education teaching as a profession gained her recognition as a ‘Teacher Scientist’ in the Science Council’s list of the UK’s 100 leading scientists in 2014.

Judy says, “I really enjoy sharing my fascination with physiology with students and I am passionate about increasing the status of teaching in higher education”.


The prize winner in 2015 was Prem Kumar, Professor at the University of Birmingham. Prem was nominated for his enormous contribution to the physiology education of thousands of students, and his commitment to working directly with them to ensure they understand their own capabilities. Prem adopts new, evidenced-based approaches to education, such as the flipped classroom and peer instruction, to great effect - with positive feedback from students and improved performance.

Louise Robson

The 2017 Otto Hutter Prize was awarded to Louise Robson at the University of Sheffield for her innovative approach and commitment to teaching undergraduate students.             

Louise says, “I am a firm believer in challenging my students to achieve the very best they can, and I use traditional and blended learning approaches to help them enhance their knowledge and skills development in Physiology.  I love seeing their confidence grow throughout their studies, and of course their success after graduation in  a wide range of career pathways.” 

 The 2018 Otter Hutter Prize has been awarded to Julia Choate at Monash University, Australia. The award was made to recognise Julia's commitment to enhancing and expanding educational experience for students at her own institution, and beyond, through the innovative use of technology. 

Julia commented: "I feel lucky to teach physiology, as most of my students are extremely interestesd in the functions of the human body. I create learning environments (interactive guided-inquiry lectures and team-based workshops) that encourage student participation and active engagement with their learning. I mould the physiology concepts so that they are pertinent to students' lives, and incorporate hands-on practical sesions to consolidate knowledge and develop employability and research skills."