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.

Event video for the Newton-Abraham Lecture 2019, delivered by Professor Donald M. Bers, Ph.D. on Wednesday 25 September 2019 at the Oxford University Natural History Museum. The lecture discusses the mechanisms by which calcium orchestrates cardiac function in health and is also involved in heart failure and life-threatening arrhythmias.

Your heart beats 100,000 times a day and hopefully never misses. It is an amazing organ, but its failure to work properly remains a top cause of death.  Each heartbeat is initiated by an electrical signal that sweeps over the heart to synchronize the contraction of each of its 5 billion muscle cells to propel 7,000 litres of blood per day around your body to nourish your body’s other 35 trillion cells.  Calcium is critical in that normal electrical wave that starts the heartbeat and is the direct intracellular switch that activates contraction and pumping, but also allows the heart to relax and refill with blood between beats. Enhanced calcium levels in the myocyte also mediate the increased strength of your heartbeat when you exercise and also enhances the production of energy (ATP) that is required for that extra cardiac work. Calcium is also at the centre of complex signalling systems that maintain stable cardiac function, but when things go wrong it is also at the centre of clinical problems such as heart failure and arrhythmias.

Donald M. Bers, Ph.D. was DPAG's Newton-Abraham Visiting Professor from April - September 2019. His permanent post is as the Joseph Silva Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at University of California, Davis (UC Davis).

Photographs of the newton-abraham lecture 2019

Newton-Abraham Main Body 1.jpgNewton-Abraham Main Body 2.jpgNewton-Abraham Main Body 3.jpg

Following the lecture, a reception was held in the Museum.

Newton-Abraham Reception.jpg

Special thanks to Colin Beesley for the photographs.

 

The video is also available to watch on The University of Oxford Podcasts website.

Similar stories

Molly Stevens FRS delivers 2021 Mabel FitzGerald Prize Lecture

The annual lecture is held in dedication to pioneering Physiologist and Scientific Explorer, Mabel FitzGerald, in whose honour the Department recently erected The Physiological Society blue plaque outside the Cardiac Science Centre.

Dr Jessica Meir inspires the next generation of scientists and explorers

NASA Astronaut and Physiologist Dr Jessica Meir delivers the Sherrington Prize Lecture: Public Understanding of Science to an audience of DPAG staff, students and their families.

One high altitude explorer acknowledges another

NASA Astronaut and Physiologist Dr Jessica Meir unveils The Physiological Society blue plaque in honour of fellow pioneering Physiologist and Scientific Explorer Mabel FitzGerald.

Pioneer of 'reverspective' art unveils celebrated optical illusion piece in honour of Sir Colin Blakemore FRS

British artist Patrick Hughes has donated an artwork entitled “Popsee” to DPAG in honour of Emeritus Professor of Physiology Sir Colin Blakemore FRS and their shared interest in visual perception.

Dame Kay Davies FRS delivers inaugural Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark Prize Lecture

The new annual lecture is held in honour of Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark, the Department’s former Chair of Anatomy, after whom the Le Gros Clark building is named, who was a leading figure in British anatomy.