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Physiology Public Lectures

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posted on 2023-11-13, 12:19 authored by Harley Stevenson-CocksHarley Stevenson-Cocks

With Physiological Society support we have hosted a number of research-related lectures from visiting academics and present recordings of these events below. These include:

Dr Michael (Mike) Crawley from Durham University ( 'Ethiopian Running: Folk Physiologies of Altitude and Energy'.

  • This talk took place as part of Physiology Friday 2021. It was based on Mike's recent book “Out of Thin Air” and chronicled his time embedded in Ethiopian communities for over a year training alongside Ethiopian runners in their native forests and mountains, to explore the secrets of their success - physiologically, socially and competitively! We had around 100 attendees for the lecture, which was great to see, and plenty of audience discussion with Mike.

Professor Craig Williams from Exeter University ( 'Exercise and its role in the management of paediatric chronic diseases'.

  • A near-full auditorium attended to hear Craig detail two decades and more research undertaken at the Children's Health and Exercise Research centre ( to explore the impact, and potential benefits, of aerobic exercise in children with cystic fibrosis or congenital heart disease.

Professor David Sheppard, Bristol University ( 'Cystic Fibrosis: from gene to personalised medicines'

  • This Physiological Society GL Brown Lecture focussed on the molecular mechanisms underpinning disease development in patients with cystic fibrosis. David described the identification of the affected gene - encoding for the CFTR chloride ion channel - the impact of various mutations on cell and organ physiology, and how this information has been utilised to develop specific drugs to restore function and improve lifespan and quality of life in many individuals affected by cystic fibrosis.

Dr Graham Burns, Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary ( 'Coming up for Air'

  • This talk took place as part of Physiology Friday 2022. Dr Graham Burns, Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, published the first paper highlighting the benefits of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in COVID respiratory failure, and was later appointed as National Specialist Advisor on Long COVID to NHS England. In this public lecture, Dr Burns discussed what exactly it is that makes us breathe and his team's role in improving respiratory function in COVID patients.

Various speakers at the Physiological Society's "Celebrating Physiology in Newcastle" event (

  • At this celebratory event of Newcastle physiology, the Physiological Society unveiled a blue plaque to honour the work of the outstanding cardiac and exercise physiologist Francis Arthur Bainbridge, followed by talks from Dariel Burdass (Chief Executive of the Society), Professor David Atwell (President of the Society), Professor David Eisner (University of Manchester) and Newcastle University academics including Professor David Thwaites (not recorded), Dr Harley Stevenson-Cocks, Dr Faye McLeod and Dr Owen Jeffries (not recorded).

To read more about Physiology Friday, be sure to check out our separate link:

And to hear more about "What is Physiology?", check out our student-led interviews: