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Cardiff University Professor recognised for ground-breaking work

9 October 2017

Photograph of award

A Professor from Cardiff University has been elected as an Honorary Member of the oldest gastroenterological society in Europe in recognition for his ground-breaking work, researching the role of calcium signalling in pancreatic disease.

In 1984 Professor Ole Petersen CBE FRS, Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences and Director of the Academia Europaea Cardiff Knowledge Hub, recorded the first single-channel currents from epithelial cells and later discovered intracellular local calcium signals, release of calcium from the nuclear envelope as well as intracellular calcium tunnels.

The Cardiff Professor’s research has clarified the role of the signalling molecule, inositol trisphosphate, in acute pancreatitis and demonstrated the potential use of pharmaceutical inhibitors of calcium channels for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Clinical trials based on his discoveries are soon to be developed.

The German Society of Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases, established in 1913, presented Professor Ole Petersen with the Honorary Membership in recognition of his research regarding the function of ion channels in epithelial cells and the role of calcium signal transduction in the exocrine pancreas.

Ole Petersen was presented with his award by Society President Professor Markus Lerch at the Society’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Dresden, before giving a state-of-the-art Award Lecture in German, regarding the mechanism of alcohol-related pancreatitis.

Ole said: “It is a very great honour to receive this award from the German Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases.

“I have, for many years, had close links to German Science and Medicine as a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, as a member of Advisory Boards of the Max Planck Society and as principal organiser of the annual symposia on biomedical subjects at the Klaus Tschira Foundation in Heidelberg.
“Today, these links have been further strengthened by the election as Honorary Member of this most prominent, largest and oldest gastroenterological society in Europe.”

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