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Professor celebrates 80th birthday

9 March 2023

Professor Ole Petersen 80th birthday
Left to right: Professor John Harwood, Professor Carl Petersen (EPFL, Switzerland), Professor Alex Verkhratsky (University of Manchester), Professor Ole Petersen, Professor Jim Murray, Professor Valerie O’Donnell and Professor Anant Parekh (Oxford University)

International symposium marks the birthday of Professor Ole Petersen CBE FRS

On March 3, a very special symposium organised by the School of Biosciences and The Physiological Society recognised the lifetime achievements of Professor Ole Petersen, one of the world’s most prominent physiologists.

Held at Cardiff University’s historic Glamorgan Council Chamber, the event was chaired by Drs Oleg and Julia Gerasimenko and included speakers from Academia Europaea, of which Professor Petersen is Vice-President.

Professor Jim Murray, Head of the School of Biosciences, opened the symposium by thanking Professor Petersen for his contribution to science and his service.

Professor Valerie O’Donnell, School of Medicine, expressed her gratitude for Professor Petersen’s mentorship, whilst his son, Professor Carl Petersen (EPFL Lausanne), paid tribute to his father for encouraging and inspiring him and his brother.

Family members flew in from Japan, Singapore and Switzerland to attend the occasion.

Professor Petersen said: “I am very grateful to Professor Jim Murray for his very kind and generous introduction at the symposium.

“I am also immensely grateful to my excellent, long-term collaborators Drs Julia and Oleg Gerasimenko for organising it, bringing together so many friends and former colleagues for this occasion. It was a particular pleasure that my distinguished friend, Anant Parekh FRS, now at the NIEH, NIH in North Carolina, USA was able to come to Cardiff and speak at the symposium.”

A former Head of School, Professor Petersen leads a research group on disease of the pancreas. He was elected Fellow of The Royal Society in 2000 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2008 for ‘Services to Science’.

More recently, Professor Petersen received the American Physiological Society’s Walter B Cannon Memorial Award and the prestigious International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) Palade Prize in 2022.

Professor Petersen is Vice-President of Academia Europaea and Director of the AE Cardiff Knowledge Hub. He is Chief Editor of American Physiological Society’s Open Access flagship journal Function launched in 2020.