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The Journal of Physiology pays tribute to Cardiff Professor

17 January 2014

Professor Ole Petersen with two other people

Top physiological journal, The Journal of Physiology, has published a collection of review articles by some of the most important international investigators to honour MRC Professor Ole Petersen CBE FRS, Director of the Cardiff School of Biosciences.

The review articles summarise the most prominent talks presented at the Bioscience Birthday Symposium for Ole Petersen on 'Physiology and Pathophysiology', held at the National Museum Cardiff last year.

The introductory editorial by Professor Anant Parekh FMedSci, from the University of Oxford, celebrates Professor Petersen's work by saying: "For several decades, Ole's laboratory has provided fundamental insight into the role of ion channels and calcium signals in regulating secretory cell physiology and how aberrant activity of these pathways can engender disease, particularly acute pancreatitis."

Professor Petersen's research recently provided for the first time a proof of principle for a drug-based treatment of acute pancreatitis – a disease for which currently there is no treatment. This breakthrough has huge potential to radically change and improve the outcome for patients suffering from severe pancreatitis.

One of the published review articles is based on the symposium lecture given by Ole's closest collaborator in the School of Biosciences Dr Julia Gerasimenko, which dealt with this progress in understanding and treating pancreatitis. Professor Parekh's editorial specifically refers to these findings: "Gerasimenko et al describe the elegant recent work from Ole's laboratory that raises the exciting prospect that inhibition of store-operated calcium channels might provide an effective therapy against acute pancreatitis".

The other review articles in the collection from the Bioscience Birthday Symposium in Cardiff, including one by Professor Sir Michael Berridge FRS, University of Cambridge, provide – in the words from Professor Parekh's editorial - "insight into the breadth of research contributions of Ole Petersen over the last forty years". The congratulatory editorial inThe Journal of Physiology ends by looking "forward with great anticipation to the next series of major contributions that Ole will make in the coming years."