Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

The Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, (PDN) is a part of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Research in PDN focuses on three main areas: Cellular and Systems Physiology, Developmental and Reproductive Biology, and Neuroscience and is currently headed by Sarah Bray and William Colledge. The department was formed on 1 January 2006, within the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge from the merger of the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology.[1] The department hosts the Centre for Trophoblast Research and has links with the Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and the Gurdon Institute.

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience (PDN)
ChairmanSarah Bray and William Colledge (joint Heads of Department)
AffiliationsUniversity of Cambridge

Senior staff in the department

As of 2014 the department has 25 Professors, ten of whom are Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS).[1]

  1. Horace Barlow FRS
  2. Andrea Brand FRS
  3. Dennis Bray
  4. Sarah Bray
  5. Nick Brown
  6. Graham Burton
  7. Roger Carpenter
  8. Bill Colledge
  9. Andrew Crawford FRS
  10. Abigail Fowden
  11. Dino Giussani
  12. Roger Hardie FRS
  13. William A Harris FRS
  14. Christine Holt FRS
  15. Chris Huang
  16. Martin Johnson FRS
  17. Randall S Johnson
  18. Roger Keynes
  19. Jenny Morton
  20. Ole Paulsen
  21. Angela Roberts
  22. Wolfram Schultz FRS
  23. Azim Surani FRS
  24. Roger C Thomas FRS
  25. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz


Anatomy was taught within the University since its foundation in about 1231. Initially, the teaching was of a theoretical nature based on readings of the classical texts of Galen, but the subject became established as an academic discipline in the early 16th century. In 1707 the first Professor of Anatomy, George Rolfe, was appointed. The tenth Professor of Anatomy, George Humphry, appointed in 1866, was a founder of the Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, and during the early tenure of his office, anatomy and physiology were taught together.

In 1870 Michael Foster was appointed as Praelector in Physiology. In 1878, the University supplied Foster with a purpose-built laboratory on the east side of Downing Street. Though Foster’s contributions to research were not enduring, he was an inspirational teacher and is the academic "great grandfather" to a large fraction of the world's current physiologists. In 1883 Foster became the first Professor of Physiology, Cambridge University.

Notable alumni

The Departments of Anatomy and Physiology (now fused to make PDN) and have been the home of many exceptional contributors to medical and physiological sciences and Nobel Prizes including


  1. ^ a b Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
  2. ^ Hodgkin, Alan (1979). "Edgar Douglas Adrian, Baron Adrian of Cambridge". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 25: 1–73. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1979.0002. PMID 11615790.
  3. ^ Feldberg, W. S. (1970). "Henry Hallett Dale. 1875-1968". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 16: 77–174. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1970.0006. PMID 11615480.
  4. ^ Huxley, S. A. (2000). "Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, O.M., K.B.E. 5 February 1914 -- 20 December 1998: Elected F.R.S. 1948". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 46: 219–241. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1999.0081.
  5. ^ Goldman, Y. E.; Franzini-Armstrong, C.; Armstrong, C. M. (2012). "Andrew Fielding Huxley". Nature. 486 (7404): 474. doi:10.1038/486474a.
  6. ^ Tsien, R (2010). "Interview with Roger Tsien: A glowing career. Interviewed by Harp Minhas". Integrative Biology. 2 (1): 10–1. doi:10.1039/b926006b. PMID 20473407.
  7. ^ Johnson, M. H. (2011). "Robert Edwards: The path to IVF". Reproductive BioMedicine Online. 23 (2): 245–262. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2011.04.010. PMC 3171154. PMID 21680248.
2016 Birthday Honours

The 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours are appointments by some of the 16 Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. The Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the Queen's Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June. The Queen's Birthday Honours were announced on 6 June 2016 in New Zealand and 10 June in the United Kingdom.The recipients of honours are displayed as they were styled before their new honour. They are arranged by the country (in order of precedence) whose ministers advised the Queen on the appointments, then by honour with grades, i.e. Knight/Dame Grand Cross, Knight/Dame Commander etc., and then by divisions, i.e. Civil, Diplomatic and Military as appropriate.

Andrea Brand

Andrea Hilary Brand (born March 9, 1959) is the Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology and a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. She heads a lab investigating nervous system development at the Gurdon Institute and the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. She developed the GAL4/UAS system with Norbert Perrimon which has been described as “a fly geneticist's Swiss army knife”.

Jenny Morton

Anne Jennifer Morton, , known as Jenny Morton, is a New Zealand neurobiologist and academic, specialising in neurodegenerative diseases. She has been a Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, since 1991 and a Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge since 2009. Her current research is focused on Huntington's disease, and she is using sheep as a large animal model for the disease. This research has led her to discover that sheep can recognise human faces.

Ole Paulsen

Ole Paulsen is the current Chair of Physiology (1883) in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.Paulsen holds a medical degree and a doctorate from the University of Oslo. He was appointed Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, in 1994. He was appointed University Lecturer in the University Laboratory of Physiology in 2000, along with a Fellowship at Keble College. He was also head of the Neuronal Oscillations Group.

In January 2010 he was appointed to the Chair of Physiology (1883) in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.

faculties, and
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