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Black and white picture of John Scott Burdon-Sanderson in 1870

The 2023 Lecture 'Realizing The Promise of Cardiac Neuromodulation: Clinical & Laboratory Insights Paving the Path' was delivered by Professor Olujimi Ajijola (UCLA) on Monday 16 October at 4pm in the Blakemore Lecture Theatre.

For several years now the Department's Cardiac Centre has hosted a series of lectures in honour of the English Physiologist, John Burdon-Sanderson, after whom the Cardiac Centre is named. 

The 2018 Burdon-Sanderson Lecture was given by Professor Silvia G. Priori, from the University of Pavia, Italy, on Monday 8 October, on "Inherited arrhythmias: from bench to bedside and back".

The 2019 Lecture was held on Monday 14 October. A talk entitled "Cardiovascular diseases and drugs: hiPSC models moving forward" was given by Professor Christine Mummery from Leiden University Medical Centre. A video interview was recorded with Prof Mummery before the lecture. See "Professor Christine Mummery gives the 2019 John Burdon-Sanderson Lecture" for more information.

The 2020 and 2021 Lectures were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2022 Lecture was delivered on Monday 17 October by Professor Richard W. Tsien, Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience, Chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, and Director of the NYU Neuroscience Institute at New York University Medical Center. His talk was entitled "Synaptic plasticity, calcium regulation and Alzheimer’s disease". See "Richard Tsien delivers Burdon Sanderson Prize Lecture 2022" for more information.

The 2023 lecture, 'Realising the Promise of Cardiac Neuromodulation: Clinical and Laboratory Insights Paving the Path' was delivered by Olujimi Ajijola on 16 October 2023.


Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson was born on 21 December 1828 near Newcastle upon Tyne to a well-known Northumbrian family. He completed his medical education at the University of Edinburgh and at Paris, before becoming the Medical Office of Health for Paddington, London in 1856 and later physician to the Middlesex Hospital and the Brompton Consumption hospitals.

In 1871, Burdon-Sanderson reported that Penicillium inhibited the growth of bacteria, an observation that placed him amongst the forerunners of Alexander Fleming. In 1882 he was then appointed as the first Waynflete Professor of Physiology here at Oxford. Burdon-Sanderson’s appointment was initially controversial, partly because the University spent a large amount of money on his resources and partly because such a position entailed experimentation on animals. However in the same year he was awarded a Royal Medal by the Royal Society in recognition of his research into the electrical phenomena exhibited by plants, the relations of minute organisms to disease, and of his services to pathology and physiology. A year later, under Burdon-Sanderson's direction, the Department of Physiology was established at Oxford.

In 1895, Burdon-Sanderson was appointed Regius Professor of Medicine here at the University and in 1899 he was appointed a Baronet of Banbury Road in the Parish of Saint Giles, Oxford.

A year after resigning his University post, Burdon-Sanderson passed away in Oxford on 23 November 1905. 

list of speakers and talk titles

2022 - Professor Richard W. Tsien // Synaptic plasticity, calcium regulation and Alzheimer’s disease

2019 - Professor Christine Mummery // Cardiovascular diseases and drugs: hiPSC models moving forward

2018 - Professor Silvia G. Priori // Inherited arrhythmias: from bench to bedside and back

2017 - Professor Viviana Gradinaru // Optogenetic, tissue clearing, and viral vector approaches to understand and influence whole-animal physiology and behaviour

2016 - Professor Yoram Rudy // Multi-Scale Integration of Cardiac Excitation: From Ion-Channel Molecular Structure to the Human Heart 

2015 - Professor Beth Habecker // Post-infarct remodeling of cardiac sympathetic nerves and arrhythmia

2014 - Professor Donald Bers // Cardiac Calcium and CaMKII Signaling in Heart Failure and Arrhythmias

2013 - Professor David Eisner // Calcium cycling in the heart: from basics to arrhythmias

2012 (but given in 2013) - Professor Peter Hunter // Cardiac research at the Auckland bioengineering institute 

Decorative Montage of six Burdon-Sanderson lecture posters: 18 June 2013,  2 October 2013, 13 October 2014, 12 October 2015, 11 October 2016 and 15 October 2017.

Decorative image of Burdon-Sanderson 2018 lecture posterDecorative Burdon-Sanderson lecture 2019 posterLecture poster outlining speaker name, talk title and date.Burdon Sanderson Prize lecture small



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