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Ole H Petersen, CBE MD FRCP FSB MAE FMedSci FRS, is Medical Research Council Professor and Director of Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences. Educated as a medical doctor at the University of Copenhagen, he has been Professor of Physiology at the University of Dundee and George Holt Professor of Physiology at the University of Liverpool.

Ole Petersen pioneered single channel and whole cell current recording in epithelial cells, characterizing the calcium-activated ion channels that control exocrine fluid secretion. He discovered hormone-evoked local intracellular calcium signals, as well as their mechanism of generation, and showed that they control exocytotic enzyme secretion.


He was elected Fellow of The Royal Society in 2000 and Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2010. He is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences & Letters and an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He received the Nordic Insulin Foundation’s Jacobaeus Prize in 1994, the Czech Academy of Sciences’ Purkyn? Medal in 2003 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008.

In 2013, Ole Petersen was awarded The American Physiological Society’s Horace W Davenport Distinguished Lectureship and delivered the Award Lecture at ‘Experimental Biology’ in Boston, USA. He has served as Vice-President of The Royal Society, President of The Physiological Society (UK), President of the Federation of European Physiological Societies as well as Secretary General of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

Ole Petersen is now Chair of Academia Europaea’s Nominations Committee and he also chairs the Biological Sciences Panel for REF2014, the UK Government’s Research Excellence Framework in which all University-based research will be evaluated, forming the basis for the distribution of Quality-Related general research funding in the UK’s Higher Education Sector.