• 08 July - 10 July 2019
  • Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen, UK

Physiology 2019

Register here

Download a pdf of the programme here.

Monday 8 July 2019


Otto Hutter Prize Lecture

The perils and pleasures of educating 21st century physiology undergraduates

Julia Choate, Monash University, Australia

Boyd Suite


Organiser: Holly Shiels, University of Manchester, UK
Co-organiser: Mark Miller, University of Edinburgh, UK

Air pollution is responsible for several million premature deaths each year. It is associated with wide-ranging adverse cardiovascular effects that can culminate in heart attacks, strokes and irregular rhythms, particularly in people already at risk for these conditions. The mechanisms underlying cardiovascular toxicity are still incompletely understood. Additionally, interplay between airway, vascular and cardiac effects are unclear. Understanding the mechanisms by which air pollution induces cardiovascular dysfunction, and the interactions between routes of entry and pathophysiology are vital, particularly now as air pollution levels increase worldwide. This symposia will bring together clinical and fundamental scientists working on cardiac and vascular aspects of air pollutants to share recent advances in mechanistic understanding and therapeutic possibilities.

Paul Wilkinson, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
10:30 The cardiotoxicity of phenanthrene
Charlotte Marris, University of Manchester, UK
10:45 From car to coronary: inhaled particles and the cardiovascular system
Mark Miller, University of Edinburgh, UK
11:00 The greenwashing of fuels
Jenny Bosson, University of Umeå, Sweden

Organiser: Derek Scott, University of Aberdeen, UK

Physiology is a practical subject, but it is also a flourishing discipline. This may mean classes attract students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, some with only limited laboratory experience. The popularity of physiology may mean that teachers must balance a desire to deliver advanced practical physiology experiences against increasing class sizes and other logistical constraints. This symposium will highlight innovative approaches used in designing, delivering and assessing practical experiences in physiology.

Supported by ADInstruments


10:00 Teaching physiology using human-patient simulators
Richard Helyer, University of Bristol, UK
10:30 Technology-enhanced learning-by-doing: Inclusive experimental human physiology in Higher Education
Abigail Rickard, University of Greenwich, UK
10:45 Teaching physiology practical exercises, education solutions at the University of Antwerp
Marc Demolder, University of Antwerp, Belgium
11:00 Using invertebrate and plant model systems to teach physiology and experimental design in inquiry-based practical teaching
Dee Silverthorn, The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Organiser: Ewan Smith, University of Cambridge, UK
Co-organiser: David Bulmer, University of Cambridge, UK

This symposium will bring together speakers who work on different aspects of pain, from ion channel biophysics to the role of the central nervous system in generating and maintaining pain. The overarching aim of the symposium is to provide a platform enabling researchers focused on different aspects of sensory processing and pain to come together in an effort to share new findings and establish new collaborations. Secondary aims are to disseminate findings from recent studies using exciting experimental methodologies, such as the power of combined retrograde tracing and single-cell RNA-sequencing, and the need for studying sex-dependent differences in pain processing.

For publication in The Journal of Physiology.

10:00 Why sodium channel Nav1.7 is required for pain sensation
John Wood, University College London, UK
10:30 Men and women are not the same – why we need to consider sex and pain
Katy Vincent, University of Oxford, UK
10:45 Single-cell RNAseq reveals seven classes of colonic sensory neuron
James Hockley, University of Cambridge, UK
11:00 Finding new analgesic targets – the long way round
Lucy Donaldson, University of Nottingham, UK

Oral Communications - Short talks

Refreshment break

The Paton Prize Lecture


An opportunity for early career physiologists to seek feedback on their CV from an experienced researcher and/or lecturer. Each session will be 15 minutes, and places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. To sign up, please send your CV to education@physoc.org by 1 July 2019, and indicate whether you would prefer a UK or non-UK reviewer, or someone with a research or teaching focus. If you submit your CV, please keep the hour free until you are assigned your time.

Your data will be processed in accordance with our Fair Processing Notice

Speaker panel:
Kim E Barrett, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Physiology
Mike Tipton, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Physiology

The goal of this session is to introduce postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career investigators to some of the unwritten “dos and don’ts” of publishing. Armed with this information, you should be equipped to increase your chances of securing publication of your work in the journal of your choice while avoiding ethical minefields along the way. Although designed for early carer researchers, all are welcome. The content would be useful for senior researchers to disseminate to their teams.

Lt is ADInstruments’ cloud-based online learning platform for Life Science education. We have over 340 interactive and customisable lessons across 9 collections, including Human Physiology, Animal Physiology and Neuroscience. Lt integrates with our teaching PowerLab hardware, to enable students to record physiological data and, once they’re finished, Lt will remember all the data, so they can login on their own device and finish their lesson at home.

In this session we will demonstrate Lt, taking you through one of our Human Physiology modules and show live recording of physiological data. We will show our grading tools by getting attendees to log in to Lt as a student and answer a series of MCQ’s – there will be a prize for our top student!

N.B. To participate in the quiz, you will need your own device (Laptop, Tablet or Phone) to access Lt.

Speaker panel:
Sadhana Sharma, BBSRC
Maja Wållberg, Wellcome Trust
Ashley Richardson, Abertay University

This session provides the opportunity to hear directly from BBSRC the kind of examples and language that funders are looking for in terms of demonstrating impact as part of grant applications. To provide real-life examples of this, we will be joined by academics from a Sport and Exercise Science department that contributed to The Society’s recent report Sport & Exercise Science Education: Impact on the UK economy. Case studies highlighted will include examples of how physiological research can be translated into sustained student engagement with some of Scotland’s most deprived communities and work to improve individual health outcomes and reduce the economic cost associated with inactivity and poor diet.

Enter our Early Career Researcher kick-starter competition for a chance to win £1000 of funding for your research project!

We are pleased to announce that we will be running our kick-starter competition for Early Career Researchers for the second year running at Physiology 2019.  We welcome you to enter by visiting The Physiological Society Stand (#6) between 8th – 10th July to film a 30-60 second elevator pitch for your proposed project. All video entries will be reviewed, post-conference, by a panel of senior journal editors and a prize winner will be announced in the weeks following.

What is an elevator pitch?

Imagine you’re in a lift with the funder for research at your faculty. You have their undivided attention for 20 seconds – pitch your research idea for funding within that time, to see if you can convince them to help you kickstart your project.

What your pitch needs to cover…

What are you researching?
What are the challenges in your area of research?
What problem you are trying to solve?
Why is it important?
What will the funding enable you to do?

Terms and conditions apply, please see the Wiley staff on the day.


Organiser: Johanna Lanner, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Co-organiser: Malcom Jackson, Liverpool University, UK

Intramuscular free radicals (reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, ROS/RNS) comprises a double-edged nature; they appear beneficial for adaptations to endurance training, but also linked to muscle weakness and degeneration in several common diseases and in normal ageing. The speakers of this symposium are engaged in trying to understand the molecular and mechanistic details of ROS/RNS and how free radicals shifts between being protective and modulatory to damaging and detrimental, which is of interest both for athletes that want to perform better and in the search for novel therapeutics to counteract muscle weakness.

14:30 Oxidative stress and inflammation in ageing muscle
Anne McArdle, University of Liverpool, UK
15:00 Skeletal muscle redox signalling in rheumatoid arthritis
Maarten Steinz, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
15:15 Role of redox signaling in skeletal muscle adaptations to training
Mari Carmen Gómez-Cabrera, University of Valencia, Spain
Michael Ristow, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Organiser: Deborah Baines, St George’s, University of London, UK

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), more commonly known as E-cigarettes, are used as a tobacco free nicotine delivery system. These devices utilise a liquid solution which is drawn over a heating element to produce a vapour which is then inhaled giving rise to the term ‘vaping’. The solution normally contains humectants to generate the vapour and act as carriers for nicotine and a wide range of flavourings.  E-cigarette usage has increased significantly in the past 10 years in former tobacco smokers and never smokers. However, E-cigarette devices and e-liquids remain unregulated. There is much debate around the safety of E-cigarettes and their benefit as a tool for quitting tobacco products and nicotine addiction. This symposium will provide new emerging information on the health impacts of E-cigarette use and their effect on airway physiology

For publication in The Journal of Physiology.

14:30 The smokefreebrain study: A multidisciplinary examination of e-cigarette toxicity
Tim Marczylo, Public Health England, UK
15:00 Physiologic effects of e-cigarettes on the cardiopulmonary system
Laura Crotty Alexander, UC San Diego School of Medicine, USA
15:15 The effect of e-cigarettes on susceptibility to pneumococcal infection
Lisa Miyashita, Queen Mary University of London, UK
15:30 What you don’t know can’t hurt you? The effects of E-cigarettes on the human lung
Robert Tarran, UNC School of Medicine, USA

Organiser: Bryan Taylor, University of Leeds, UK

This symposium will highlight the multifaceted utility of exercise in the assessment and treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We will discuss evidence from animal and computational models, and in humans that exercise training is safe and may improve pulmonary vascular function and pulmonary haemodynamics, attenuate maladaptive right ventricular hypertrophy and electrophysiological remodelling, increase exercise capacity, and enhance QoL in people with PH. We will also discuss the use of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to uncover ‘silent’ pulmonary vascular pathology, and the ever-increasing role of CPET in the assessment of disease severity/progression and the tracking of responses to therapy in people with PH.

For publication in Experimental Physiology.

14:30 Optimizing exercise prescription for pulmonary hypertension: Insight gained from acute and chronic exercise studies in rodent models and in patients
Mary-Beth Brown, University of Washington, USA
15:00 Effects of voluntary exercise on cardiac remodelling and vulnerability to arrhythmia in rats with pulmonary hypertension
Al Benson, University of Leeds, UK
15:15 Pulmonary pressures during exercise: Comparing the healthy older adult to the pulmonary hypertension patient
Kirsten Coffman, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, USA
15:30 Using exercise testing in the evaluation of pulmonary hypertension
Luke Howard, Imperial College London, UK

Oral Communications - Short talks

Poster Session A

Annual Public Lecture

Hunger Games - The Control of Appetite

Lora Heisler, University of Aberdeen, UK

Boyd Suite

Welcome Reception

Join us for a drink, and network with colleagues in an informal atmosphere with a traditional Scottish piper! Tickets are free but must be booked when you register.

Tuesday 9 July 2019


Speaker panel:
Alan Batterham

In this session I shall propose that it is time to retire binary decisions from statistical analyses based on a bright-line P-value threshold (typically P<0.05), together with the phrase ‘statistically significant/ non-significant’ and associated paraphernalia like asterisks and letters denoting ‘significance’. Alternatives to this process of ‘dichotomania’ in presenting results will be discussed from a toolbox of principled methods.

Joan Mott Prize Lecture

Mind the gap: connexins and cell communication in the kidney

Claire Hills, University of Lincoln, UK

Boyd Suite


Organiser: Barry McDonnell, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK
Co-organiser: John Cockcroft, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK

For publication in Experimental Physiology.

10:00 Current state and outstanding mechanisms in normal arterial physiology – lessons from implantable cardiac devices
Eric Stöhr, Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK
10:30 Increased aortic stiffness in continuous-flow left ventricular assist device patients is associated with higher rates of adverse events
Hannah Rosenblum, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, USA
10:45 Right ventricular function in patients with pulmonary hypertension - The devil is in the details
Manreet Kanwar, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, USA
11:00 Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and exercise pressor reflexes in the bionic man
William Cornwell, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA

Organiser: Ruoli Chen, Keele University, UK
Co-organiser: Mark Dallas, University of Reading, UK

Brain cells, in particular neurons, are vulnerable to a lack of oxygen. Neurons suffer extensive damage if oxygen supply is ceased leading to lasting brain damage. During oxygen deprivation, astrocytes support neuronal survival through metabolic stabilisation, and activate, which subsequently exert either neuroprotective or neurotoxic effects. Similarly, microglia activates with distinct patterns, which has implications in diverse CNS conditions, such as cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer’s disease. This symposium aims to discuss the response of neuron and glia cells to oxygen deprivation, and to explore to harness these responses for treatment of the brain diseases that are involved with oxygen deprivation.

10:00 The therapeutic potential of oxygen deprivation in neurological and vascular diseases
Arshad Majid, University of Sheffield, UK
10:30 Mechanisms of increased vulnerability to oxygen and glucose deprivation in astroglia carrying Alzheimer's disease mutations
Delores Martin-de-Saavedra, Northwestern University, USA
10:45 Ischaemic preconditioning of primary rat neural cultures induces tolerance to subsequent ischaemic insult (oxygen-glucose deprivation)
Ayesha Singh, Keele University, UK
Barry McColl, University of Edinburgh, UK

Organiser: Andreas Beyer, Medical College of Wisconsin, USA
Co-organiser: Petra Kleinbongard, University of Essen, Germany

Little information exists on how the microvascular vascular endothelium contributes to development of chronic heart failure. Understanding the impact on microvascular function to development of heart failure is a critical step in defining disease progression and identify novel therapies. Increasing evidence, mostly indirect, connects microvascular defects to the development of heart failure, and, when counteracted, these microvascular defects can restore physiological cardiac function in animal models. This symposium will review latest findings how microvascular function contributes to development of heart failure in several clinical and per-clinical models and conditions.

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society. 

10:00 The coronary microcirculation in advancing age: does aging set up the development of heart failure
Amanda Jo LeBlanc, University of Louisville, USA
10:30 Is heart failure a coronary microvascular disorder?
Vahagn Ohanyan, Northeast Ohio Medical University, USA
10:45 Role of non-coding RNAs in development of heart failure
Christian Baer, University of Hannover, Germany
11:00 Coronary microcirculation in left and right heart failure
Daphne Merkus, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Oral Communications - Short talks

Refreshment break

Hodgkin-Huxley-Katz Prize Lecture

Allosteric modulation of glutamate receptors

Stephen Traynelis, Emory University, USA

Boyd Suite


Speaker panel:
Patricia de Winter, University College London, UK
Gordon Drummond, Edinburgh University, UK
Peter Cahusac, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The session will explore different aspects of how statistics are used and abused. Patricia de Winter will focus on various ways of reporting risk and what the statistics actually mean in her talk title: “Figures often beguile me”, (Mis)reporting of Science and Health Statistics in the Media. This will be followed by Gordon Drummond giving practical advice about using statistical tests in his talk titled: What exactly can my test tell me – and do I need to test at all? Finally Peter Cahusac will briefly present an alternative way of looking at statistical evidence in: The Likelihood of Evidence-based Statistics.

Speaker panel:
Jake Laws, Stonewall Scotland

This workshop presents an opportunity for Members to come together and discuss the inclusion of LGBT people within The Society. This interactive session will involve group work and will explore the experiences of LGBT people in the UK. We will examine the different ways The Society can ensure that LGBT people are included throughout the organisation.

Speaker panel:
Alex Dimov, BIOPAC Systems, Inc.
Steve Clifford, BIOPAC UK
Robert Jones, BIOPAC UK

Life science educators aspire to deliver engaging lessons that enable students to obtain a high degree of knowledge while building a confident commitment to learning. This workshop will demonstrate the best way to set up your lab to improve student engagement while saving time. The workshop will include an overview of experiments, lesson workflow, lesson customization, live recordings of metabolic and biopotential data, and tips for an optimal experience for both students and educators.

Speaker panel:
Bella Williams, Head of Engagement, Understanding Animal Research

The use of animals in research has long-been considered a difficult and controversial issue, where discussion with people outside a research setting can lead to challenging discussions, and even argument and conflict. Over the past 10 years this view of animal research in physiology has changed as the research sector has become increasingly open, with more information about research practices and husbandry available in the public domain. This session will look at how this change has come about, and what it means for the physiologist community; drawing on recent public opinion data and current communication practices in the academic and commercial sector.

The session will also explore some of the usual questions asked by lay people about using animals in research, providing tips, techniques and underlying principles for answering those questions authoritatively and openly.

Enter our Early Career Researcher kick-starter competition for a chance to win £1000 of funding for your research project!

We are pleased to announce that we will be running our kick-starter competition for Early Career Researchers for the second year running at Physiology 2019.  We welcome you to enter by visiting The Physiological Society Stand (#6) between 8th – 10th July to film a 30-60 second elevator pitch for your proposed project. All video entries will be reviewed, post-conference, by a panel of senior journal editors and a prize winner will be announced in the weeks following.

What is an elevator pitch?

Imagine you’re in a lift with the funder for research at your faculty. You have their undivided attention for 20 seconds – pitch your research idea for funding within that time, to see if you can convince them to help you kickstart your project.

What your pitch needs to cover…

What are you researching?
What are the challenges in your area of research?
What problem you are trying to solve?
Why is it important?
What will the funding enable you to do?

Terms and conditions apply, please see the Wiley staff on the day.


Organiser: Hugh Piggins, University of Bristol, UK

Intrinsic 24h or circadian rhythms influence all aspects of our physiology and behavior. These rhythms allow our body to optimally align its key processes with the external cues of light and dark, temperature, food etc. Recurring night-shift work or exposure to light at night can result in misalignment of our circadian rhythms which increases risk of cancer, metabolic disorder, and cardiovascular disease. At one time circadian rhythms were believed to originate solely from the master brain clock in the hypothalamus, but we now know that molecular clock genes are rhythmically expressed in many peripheral tissues including lung, liver, and kidney. These clock genes are also expressed in the heart and since heart rate, stroke volume, and blood pressure vary over 24h, this raises the possibility that a local clock drives daily and circadian rhythms in cardiac function. However, it is unresolved as whether brain clock control of autonomic neurohormonal output or this putative intrinsic heart clock is the main driver of these rhythms in cardiac function. This symposium brings together researchers from around the globe to address the influence of metabolic cues, simulated jet-lag, autonomic tone, and a local circadian clock on cardiac function.

For publication in The Journal of Physiology.

14:30 Circadian rhythm in heart rate – role of intrinsic versus extrinsic factors
Mark Boyett, University of Manchester, UK
15:00 Direct recordings of cardiac sympathetic and vagal parasympathetic nerve activity to clarify the underlying mechanisms of circadian heart rhythm
Carol Bussey, University of Otago, New Zealand
15:15 Effect of disruption of the normal circadian rhythm on the heart
Yanwen Wang, University of Manchester, UK
15:30 Circadian rhythms in the heart
Martin Young, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Organiser: James Garnett, Newcastle University, UK

Homeostatic turnover and injury-induced repair of the lung epithelium requires precise control to maintain gas exchange function. Alveolar dysfunction is known to play a key role in the pathogenesis of a variety of degenerative, fibrotic, neoplastic and neonatal lung diseases. While an adult stem cell population is known to reside in the distal human lung which maintains alveolar epithelial function, and despite multiple studies aimed to characterize this cell type, many questions regarding the identity of epithelial stem cell niches in the human alveolus and its role in lung regeneration/repair still remain to be addressed. In this symposium, we will discuss recent advances as well as current limitations in our understanding of the origin, characteristics and function of alveolar epithelial stem cells.

14:30 Cell-cell interactions in normal human lung development
Emma Rawlins, Wellcome - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, UK
15:00 IPF-relevant cytokine cocktail induces a shift from alveolar to airway-like epithelial cells in an iPSC-derived model of alveolar epithelial progenitor differentiation
Eva Schruf, Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany
15:15 Unlimited expansion of putative distal lung bud tip progenitor cells from human pluripotent stem cells and their ex vivo and in vivo engraftment
Ya-Wen Chan, University of Southern California, USA
15:30 Macrophages and fibroblasts as niches in the adult lung
Jason Rock, Boston University School of Medicine, USA

Organiser: Michael Symonds, The University of Nottingham, UK

Since the rediscovery of brown fat in adult humans in 2009 there has been an exponential increase in research into this “new human organ” with high profile papers being published each month. It is therefore one of the most exciting and vibrant areas of bio-medical research worldwide and is multi-disciplinary. This has coincided with new insights in to our understanding of the development of brown adipocytes has led to the discovery that they share a common lineage with skeletal muscle. At the same time a plethora of new proteins have been discovered in brown fat that have the potential to promote whole body heat production. The precise role of brown fat to daily heat production in adults however remains a matter of intense debate with recent high profile papers suggesting that chronic cold exposure stimulates brown fat metabolism in vivo and in vitro. The symposium will therefore focus on the latest bio-medical and physiological related research into brown fat biology. This will include humans and the extent to which it can be a target tissue for promoting either heat production or glucose oxidation. It will also contrast this with the potential role of different anatomical locations of brown fat and compare both the development of these tissues and their response to chronic environmental challenges. Recent developments in stem cell biology and the ability to grow brown fat in vitro and/or induce its expression in vivo will also be covered. The symposium will uniquely offer an opportunity to debate the relationship between brown fat and energy balance and the extent to which they offer complementary strategies to improve metabolism, especially in overweight and obese adults. This topic always provides a vibrant and well attended symposium

For publication in Experimental Physiology.

14:30 Brown adipose tissue and heat production.
Barbara Cannon, Stockholm University, Sweden
15:00 Stem cell-based modelling of brown adipogenesis
Virginie Sottilie, University of Nottingham, UK
15:15 Elucidation of the roles of brown and BRITE fat genes
Mark Christian, Warwick University, UK
15:30 The gut hormone secretin triggers a gut-brown fat–brain-axis in the control of food intake
Martin Klingenspor, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Oral Communications - Short talks

Poster Session B

Annual Review Prize Lecture

Circuits Solutions for Programming Actions

Silvia Arber, University of Basel, Switzerland

Boyd Suite

Society Dinner

Every year the Society Dinner is the foremost social activity and Physiology 2019 is no different. Your ticket includes a welcome drink, three course meal, and wine and soft drinks, and ceilidh on the ballroom’s sprung dance floor.
Venue: Beach Ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen AB24 5NR
Cost: £60.00, and can be booked during registration.

Wednesday 10 July 2019



Organiser: Katharine Dibb, University of Manchester, UK
Co-organiser: Jessica Caldwell, University of Manchester, UK

Normal cardiac contraction requires a synchronous rise of systolic calcium. This is brought about by the close association of calcium channels on transverse (t)-tubules and RyR release channels on the intracellular calcium store which form dyads.  Alteration of these structures in disease contributes to cardiac dysfunction. Advanced imaging technologies are beginning to characterise these structural changes at the molecular level and link them to changes in function. Current work addressing how this remodelling translates to disturbed calcium handling, how t-tubules are built and if structural recovery of t-tubules may provide a therapeutic approach will form the basis for this symposium.

09:00 cBIN1: from t-tubule folds to dyad organization, microparticles and clinical utility
TingTing Hong, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA
09:30 Disordered yet functional atrial t-tubules following recovery from heart failure
Jessica Caldwell, University of Manchester, UK
09:45 Microdomain signaling around ryanodine receptors in cardiac disease
Eef Dries, KU Leuven, Belgium
10:00 Understanding dyadic plasticity in cardiomyocytes
William Louch, University of Oslo, Norway

Organiser: Lee Romer, Brunel University London, UK

The aim of this symposium is to discuss the respiratory influences on oxygen transport and how they might exacerbate exercise-induced respiratory and/or peripheral muscle fatigue and compromise endurance performance.  Specifically, the two featured presentations will highlight the role of neural feedback from working limb and respiratory muscles in limiting exercise tolerance in health and the effect of unloading the respiratory muscles on central and peripheral blood flow regulation in chronic disease.

09:00 Blood flow distribution between respiratory vs. locomotor muscles during exercise
Bill Sheel, University of British Columbia, Canada
09:30 Pulmonary vascular dysfunction and exercise intolerance in heart failure
Bryan Taylor, University of Leeds, UK
09:45 Respiratory influences on oxygen transport and exercise performance – a cystic fibrosis perspective
Zoe Saynor, University of Portsmouth, UK
10:00 The effect of manipulating respiratory muscle loading on respiratory and locomotor muscle blood flow regulation during exercise in health and chronic disease
Ioannis Vogiatzis, Northumbria University, UK

Organiser: Nimesh Mody, University of Aberdeen, UK
Co-organiser: Justin Rochford, University of Aberdeen, UK

Transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors is a fundamental way to regulate metabolic pathways in response to changes in nutrition and physiological states. The regulation of these signalling pathways is impaired in metabolic diseases like obesity and type-2 diabetes and thus nuclear receptors are the target of drugs to treat these diseases in humans. The investigators in this symposium have all been at the fore-front of research into the action of nuclear receptor and begun to examine some of the complexity of transcriptional programmes in terms of chromatin remodelling, alterations in transcription factor binding, cooperation and cross-talk of pathways.

Adriana Maggi, University of Milan, Italy
Ines Pineda-Torra, University College London, UK
09:45 Regulation of the hepatic feeding response by combined action of insulin and glucocorticoid receptor signalling
Lars Grøntved, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
10:00 Regulation of lipid metabolism by the nuclear receptor PPARα
Sander Kersten, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Oral Communications - Short talks

Refreshment break

Sharpey Schafer Prize Lecture

From Retroviruses to Human Birth

Roger Smith, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Boyd Suite


Enter our Early Career Researcher kick-starter competition for a chance to win £1000 of funding for your research project!

We are pleased to announce that we will be running our kick-starter competition for Early Career Researchers for the second year running at Physiology 2019.  We welcome you to enter by visiting The Physiological Society Stand (#6) between 8th – 10th July to film a 30-60 second elevator pitch for your proposed project. All video entries will be reviewed, post-conference, by a panel of senior journal editors and a prize winner will be announced in the weeks following.

What is an elevator pitch?

Imagine you’re in a lift with the funder for research at your faculty. You have their undivided attention for 20 seconds – pitch your research idea for funding within that time, to see if you can convince them to help you kickstart your project.

What your pitch needs to cover…

What are you researching?
What are the challenges in your area of research?
What problem you are trying to solve?
Why is it important?
What will the funding enable you to do?

Terms and conditions apply, please see the Wiley staff on the day.


Organiser: Ursula Seidler, Hannover Medical School, Germany
Co-organiser: Vinciane Saint-Criq, Newcastle University, UK

Epithelial anion transport maintains the fluidity in glandular outflows, establishes pH microclimates, regulates mucus secretion, and protects mucosal surfaces from noxious agents and bacterial pathogens. The importance of Cl- and HCO3- secretion and its derangements in congenital and acquired diarrheal diseases, cystic fibrosis, peptic diseases, inflammatory bowel disease had been realized many decades ago, more recently pancreatitis, asthma, cancer and other diseases were added to the list. Despite the obvious importance of anion transport processes in health and disease, it proved difficult to understand the molecular details and to find appropriate treatment. The inability to culture differentiated intestinal cells, the inaccessibility of epithelia in the native state, the difficulty to patch brush border membranes, and of measuring anion fluxes have all hindered rapid progress. Nevertheless, in the last few years a number of long-struggled-for milestones have been reached, and unexpected and astonishing findings have been made. This symposium aims to highlight recent groundbreaking discoveries in the field of epithelial anion transport. I have identified 5 topics of particular interest and potential importance for understanding physiology or pathophysiology, drug design or preventive treatment (the fifth as a backup): 1. Molecular mechanism of dynamic regulation of the bicarbonate permeability of the anion channels CFTR and TMEM16a (Min Goo Lee), 2. Anion channels of the Anotamin/TMEM16 family as modulators of Ca2+ signaling and mucin secretion(Junior speaker Roberta Benedetto or senior speaker Karl Kunzelmann or Luis Galietta), 3. Importance of CFTR corrector therapy for apical cytoskeletal network restoration in cystic fibrosis airways (Junior speaker Stefania Monterisi or senior speakers Valeria Casavola or Manuela Zaccolo), 4. Molecular mechanisms of defective or dysfunctional CFTR in the pathophysiology of pancreatitis (Junior speaker Joszef Maleth or senior speakers Mike Gray or Peter Hegyi), 5. Intrinsic defects in intracellular and organellar pH-regulation result in defects in growth control and mucin exocytosis in CFTR null organoids (junior speaker Jinhua Liu or senior speaker Lane Clarke).  Alternative anion-transporter related topics and speakers are avialable for each topic, also from Europe.

13.30 Molecular basis for dynamic change in the bicarbonate permeability of anion channels
Min-Goo Lee, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
14.00 Anion channels of the Anoctamin/TMEM16 family as modulators of Ca2+ signalling and mucin secretion
Roberta Benedetto, University of Regensburg, Germany
14.15 The Volume Regulated Anion Channel: from molecular identification to physiological roles and 3D structure
Sara Bertelli, Istituto di Biofisica, CNR, Italy
14.30 The consequences of altered wnt signaling in the cystic fibrosis intestine
Lane Clarke, University of Missouri, USA

Organiser: Guy Bewick, University of Aberdeen, UK

Mechanosensation has been the least understood of all the senses, with even the first step of stimulus detection under dispute. However, recent discoveries are radically revising the classical model of mechansensory physiology. They also promise new principles relevant throughout sensory physiology, from motor control, posture and athletic performance, through touch, spasticity, hearing and balance to blood pressure regulation, vision and musculoskeletal development and repair. As the largest mechanosensory organs in the body, the size and accessibility of muscle spindles was a great attraction for early studies of mechanosensation. Now these same advantages are offering exciting opportunities and insights for the next generation of researchers studying primary mechanosensory terminals.

Partly supported by an unrestricted educational grant by Nanion.

13:30 Chemotherapy-induced pathophysiology of muscle spindles in rats
Timothy Cope, Georgia Tech, USA
14:00 Piezo2 is essential for the maintenance of skeletal integrity by acting as a key regulator of the proprioceptive system
Eran Assaraf, Weizmann Institute, Israel
14:15 Altered muscle spindle function in mouse models of muscular dystrophy
Bridgette Watkins, LMU Munich, Germany
14:30 Diet induced obesity alters muscle spindle afferent mechanosensation and Hoffmann’s Reflex excitability in adult mice of both sexes
Katherine Willkinson, San Jose State University, USA

Organiser: Geraldine Clough, University of Southampton, UK
Co-Organiser: Jefferson C Frisbee, Western University, Canada

Societies around the world are increasingly struggling with the social and economic challenges of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD risk.  However, traditional markers of vascular dysfunction have poor predictive power for understanding and predicting more complex functional/clinical outcomes. This symposium will present innovative investigative and conceptual approaches to the multi-scale nature of vascular and microvascular dysfunction and explore whether we may  gain useful insight into system behaviour and organ perfusion in health and disease/disease risk.

For publication in Experimental Physiology.

13.30 Shifted vascular optimization: The emergence of a new arteriolar behaviour with chronic metabolic disease
Jefferson C Frisbee, Western University, Canada
14.00 Perivascular adipose tissue – an immune cell metropolis
Sarah B Withers, University of Salford, UK
14.15 Extracting new information from old waveforms: Attractor reconstruction where maths meets medicine
Manasi Nandi, King’s College London, UK
14.30 Multi-scale, multi-domain analysis of microvascular flow dynamics.
Andrew J Chipperfield, University of Southampton, UK

Oral Communications - Short talks

End of conference


Satellite Symposia

The Annual Conference is our flagship event and we want to continue to develop this so that it is more international in scope, provides a platform for dissemination of high quality research and appeals to the broadest physiology community. In addition, one of our key strategic objectives is to increase involvement of subdisciplines of physiology that are not well represented at our meetings.

With this in mind, we are hosting a number of stimulating satellite symposia to complement Physiology 2019 on Sunday, 7 July.

Cellular mechanisms of anti-cancer induced cardiotoxicity
Organiser: Susan Currie, University of Strathclyde, UK
Co-organiser: Margaret Cunningham, University of Strathclyde, UK

Fatigue as a limitation to performance
Organiser: Derek Ball, University of Aberdeen, UK
Co-organiser: Ron Maughan, University of St Andrews, UK

Physiology of obesity and diabetes
Organiser: Lora Heisler, University of Aberdeen, UK
Co-organisers: Peter Aldiss, University of Birmingham, UK
Daniel Brayson, University College London, UK
Jo Lewis, University of Cambridge, UK

Renal physiology: Recent advances and emerging concepts
Organiser:  Morag K Mansley, The University of Edinburgh, UK
Co-organiser:  Robert W. Hunter, The University of Edinburgh, UK

The placenta and maternal metabolic regulation in health and disease
Organisers: Luis Sobrevia, Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
Raheela Khan, University of Nottingham, UK
Abigail Fowden, University of Cambridge, UK



Registration is now open. Register here.

Before registering please make sure to read our event terms and conditions.

If you are a Member of The Society, please log in with your username and password. If you are not a Member of The Society, then you will need to create a guest account and then log in to register.

If you need any assistance, please email meetings@physoc.org or call +44 (0)20 7269 5710 and ask to speak to the events team.

Registration rates

CategoryEarly (until 31 May 2019)Late (from 1 June 2019)Day fee*
Full Member£150£250£125
Affiliate Member£90£140£70
Honorary or Retired MemberFreeFreeFree
Undergraduate MemberFreeFreeFree
Non-Member ECR*£130£180£90

Registration fees include all refreshments, including tea and coffee, lunch and drinks during the welcome reception.

Children under 18 can attend Physiology 2019 free of charge. If you are intending to bring your child(ren), then please do let us know by emailing meetings@physoc.org 

* Non-Member ECR is a non-Member of The Society who is enrolled in post-graduate studies (PhD or MSc) or is in a junior post-doc position.

** If you want to register for the day only, please email meetings@physoc.org or call +44 (0)20 7269 5710 and ask to speak to the events team.

Optional extras

Free walking tour

Explore the city with our free walking tour of Aberdeen.

Date: Sunday, 7 July 2019.
Time: 16:00 – 17:45
Cost: FREE, but you must pre-register as places are limited. To register, please email meetings@physoc.org

Welcome Reception

The Welcome Reception will also officially open the conference. Join us for a drink, and network with colleagues in an informal atmosphere with a traditional Scottish piper! Tickets must be booked when you register.

Date: Monday, 8 July
Time: 19:00- 20:00
Venue: Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
Cost: FREE, but you must pre-register

Society Dinner and Ceilidh

Every year the Society Dinner is the foremost social activity and Physiology 2019 is no different. Your ticket includes a welcome drink, three course meal, and wine and soft drinks, and ceilidh on the ballroom’s sprung dance floor.

Date: Tuesday, 9 July
Time: 19:30 – late
Venue: Beach Ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen AB24 5NR
Cost: £60.00, and can be booked during registration.

Applying for a visa

  • Do you need a visa to be able to participate in the meeting?

    To check whether you need a visa to be able to attend Physiology 2019, please click here.

    For more detailed information, application forms and guidance notes, please visit the official UK visa website.

    It is recommended that you apply for your visa well in advance (at least 12 weeks before the meeting) as applications for UK visas in certain countries can take longer than expected. Attendees are requested that they book early enough and apply for a visa with sufficient time prior to the conference. The organisers of Physiology 2019 cannot be held responsible if delegates do not receive their visas in time, and the cancellation policy will automatically apply. Every effort will be made to support genuine applications.

    The organisers of Physiology 2019 are happy to provide you with documentation to support your application which will be sent as a PDF attachment. If you require a hard copy to be sent to you, please include your mailing (postal) address. The Physiological Society will only send via regular post.

    Documentation to support visa applications will only be provided to those attendees who have submitted an abstract which has been accepted for presentation at the conference (submitted by the abstract deadline 15 April 2019), registered and paid to attend.

    Please complete the webform below, and attach confirmation of your registration, and submitted abstract.

    Please note that The Society can not influence consular decisions, letters will be distributed within 10 working days - it is the responsibility of the attendee to allow sufficient time for processing.

  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY

  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY

  • Your data will be processed in accordance with our Fair Processing Notice.


Key Dates

Registration opens1 January 2019
Abstract submission opens1 March 2019
Abstract submission closes15 April 2019
Abstract decisions8 May 2019
Travel Grant deadline31 May 2019
Early bird registration deadline31 May 2019
Online registration deadline21 June 2019
Meeting dates8–10 July 2019


For information on travelling to Aberdeen, please see Visit Aberdeen.

Physiology 2019 will be hosted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Exhibition Ave, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8BL. The AECC is the largest convention centre in northern Scotland, hosting 600 events and welcoming over 300,000 visitors each year.

AECC sits right next to the A90. It’s only a 15-minute taxi ride from Aberdeen railway and bus stations in the city centre.

By Bus

By Rail

Scotrail have been kind enough to offer a 10% discount on their services to all delegates travelling to/from Physiology 2019. To make use of this discount, please call Scotrail Customer Services Team on 0344 8110141 and select option 2 and then option 4. Explain that you are travelling for Physiology 2019 to receive the discount.


We are delighted to confirm MICE Concierge Ltd is our trusted official accommodation and concierge service for Physiology 2019.

MICE Concierge will be providing an enhanced service for all attendees to help ensure you are well looked after whilst you are in Aberdeen. As our trusted supplier, they have exclusive accommodation rates at surrounding hotels in Aberdeen and will ensure you receive the best experience and most importantly the best rates.

We advise you to book through the official channel as the service is supported by the event; you will get the best rates and by staying in one of the accredited hotels you will be with other attendees and will therefore be able to network, and socialise more, to get the most out of the event.

To view all exclusive rates and to book online, please click here

Alternatively, if you would like to contact MICE Concierge Ltd direct, please feel free to contact Tony Brinsden on +44 (0) 1438 908770 or email tony.brinsden@miceconcierge.com and he will be happy to help.

Venue Accessibility

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Where possible, efforts have been made at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to ensure that physically challenged persons and wheelchair users have full access to the venue. The venue boasts the following features:


  • Automatic doors at the entrance with a low-level push pad suitable for wheelchair users
  • The Arena has wide main entry doors, with stewards on hand to open


  • There are designated spaces for blue badge holders, nearest to the venue


  • All halls in the main building are at ground level. There are several lifts throughout AECC to the upper levels. These can be found at Concourse level (leading to floors 1-3), at Crombie/Boyd Orr (leading to the Gordon Room), and at Room 23. Wheelchair lifts are available also at the Fleming Auditorium.

Induction loops

  • There is a permanent induction loop for the hard of hearing in the Forbes Suite; portable induction loops are available for some other areas. The Main Reception Conference Entrance also has a permanent induction loop system.

Please note, the Venue requires 48 hours notice to install the portable hearing loop. Please email The Physiological Society Events Team on events@physoc.org  or call to request an induction loop.


  • AECC provides wheelchair accessible and disabled toilets throughout the venue

Beach Ballroom (Society Dinner)

The Society Dinner and Ceilidh will be held at the Beach Ballroom. The venue has the following features:


  • The Beach Road entrance gives access to the ground floor where the Society Dinner and Ceilidh will take place
  • There is a moderately-sloped ramp (width 185cm) that leads from the carpark into the Beach Ballroom for wheelchair users
  • Internally, all areas of the Beach Ballroom are accessible for wheelchair users (either level flooring or via a ramp)


  • There are two designated disabled parking bays within the carpark
  • The dimensions of the disabled parking bays are 11ft x 16ft


  • There is an accessible toilet located adjacent to the car park entrance
  • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 4ft 6in x 7ft 7in

Additional Info

  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog

Mercure Ardoe House Hotel

The Satellite Meeting ‘Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes’ will be held at the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel.  The Ardoe House Hotel is accessible in the following ways:


  • Ardoe House Hotel and Spa is fully accessible via portable ramps and lifts, with exception to bedrooms in the ‘old house’ part of the hotel
  • The stairs within the hotel all have handrails
  • Entrance to the hotel usually requires use of a ramp so assistance may be required by wheelchair users
  • Guests should contact staff if in need of a portable ramp


  • The Mercure Ardoe House Hotel has its own car park without a height restriction barrier
  • There are two blue badge parking spaces in the front carpark and six in the rear carpark of the hotel, all with dimensions 13ft 1in x 16ft 5in


  • There is a standard lift at the hotel for public use
  • The dimensions of the lift are 3ft 1in x 4ft 4in
  • The lift has a mirror to aid reversing


  • Accessible toilets are available at the Ardoe Hotel
  • The dimensions of the accessible toilets are 5ft x 5ft 7in

Additional Information

  • Staff at the Ardoe House Hotel receive disability awareness/equality training
  • There are three bedrooms with accessible ensuite facilities
  • Documents at the hotel can be requested in braille and in large print
  • Water can be requested for assistance dogs
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the hotel

About Aberdeen

The city of Aberdeen and the surrounding area along the north-east coast of Scotland, UK form the county of Aberdeenshire.

Filled with stretching beaches and sheer cliffs, Aberdeenshire has some of the UK’s most breath-taking scenery. The city itself also has lots to offer including a warm Scottish welcome and customs: Ceilidh, whisky, haggis, and dophin and seal watching from the city’s two rivers.

As the ‘Oil Capital of Europe’, we have excellent transport links, including a well-served international airport, plus restaurants for every budget and taste.

For the more adventurous, there are Olympic standard indoor sport and aquatic facilities, the UK’s largest mountain range (Cairngorm National Park), and Royal Deeside, where the royal family spend the summer and attend local Highland Games.

Completing the list are more than 300 castles and stately homes, including Balmoral and dramatic Dunnotar (setting for Mel Gibson’s Hamlet), numerous ‘recumbent’ stone circles, Neolithic hillforts, decorated Pictish standing stones and 20hr/day of natural light to fit it all in. There is something for everyone – including, of course, the unmissable ceilidh dance to burn off those calories from The Physiological Society dinner.

Aberdeen is associated with five Nobel Prizes, including John Macleod’s for Medicine or Physiology for studying insulin. It has two Universities, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, and is Scotland’s ‘Safest University City’. The University of Aberdeen (est. 1496) runs a very popular Physiology degree, annually awarding a Society-sponsored Physiology Prize.

Local Organising Committee

Derek Ball, University of Aberdeen, UK
Guy Bewick, University of Aberdeen, UK
Katherine Burgess, Robert Gordon University, UK
Stephen Davies, University of Aberdeen, UK
Mirela Delibegovic, University of Aberdeen, UK
Gordon McEwan, University of Aberdeen, UK
Graeme Nixon, University of Aberdeen, UK
Nimesh Mody, University of Aberdeen, UK
Ann Rajnicek, University of Aberdeen, UK
Iain Rowe, Robert Gordon University, UK
Derek Scott, University of Aberdeen, UK

Travel Grants

As part of our aim to ensure physiology is flourishing we provide travel grants to enable physiologists to network and attend conferences. In a rolling, 12-month period the following funding is available: £700 for Members, £500 for Affiliate Members and £100 for Undergraduate Members.

Where The Society’s main meetings fall less than 12 months apart, Members applying for travel grants to attend sequential meetings WILL BE ELIGIBLE to apply for funding.

The deadline for applying to travel funding for Physiology 2019 is 31 May 2019.

Apply here

Funding for Carers

In order to ensure our activities are inclusive, we have established a Carer’s Fund to support members with caring responsibilities, as well as those that need carers.  The grants are intended to go towards the cost of the attendee’s care arrangements for any meeting or workshop that we organise. More information about eligibility and scheme criteria can be found here.

Apply here


Children under 18 can attend Physiology 2019 free of charge.

Children over 10 years of age can sit with their parents and/or carers and read, or use a tablet on silent, in sessions. Please do let us know by emailing meetings@physoc.org so we can register them.

If you are intending to bring children under 10 years of age, then please do let us know by emailing meetings@physoc.org as we will provide a childcare facility if there is demand.

No food will be provided, but water will be freely available.


Exhibition and sponsorship

Physiology 2019 is the annual conference of The Physiological Society and as such, a major event in the physiological community’s calendar. Anticipated attendance is expected to be at around 1000 delegates, all active in physiological research.

An extensive range of sponsorship packages to suit every budget offers prime opportunities to promote your organisation at Physiology 2019, and to create invaluable contacts amongst physiologists from the UK, Europe and worldwide. The trade exhibition is a high-profile platform that will showcase products, technology and services.

Demand is expected to be high so booking early is advisable.

To register your interest, please email Uta Boeger Brown physocexhibition@biomedex.co.uk

Exhibition hall floorplans >>> 
Opportunities brochure >>>
Booking form >>>

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