Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Black and white picture of John Scott Burdon-Sanderson in 1870

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 have been postponed until 2021 and 2022 respectively due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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

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 poster



Back to Named Lectures