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Peter Baker Lecture in Physiology

Peter Baker Lecture in Physiology

The Peter Baker Lecture is an annual lecture held by the Department of Physiology in honour of Professor Peter Baker FRS, Halliburton Professor of Physiology. Baker was Head of the Department of Physiology and Fellow of King’s College London up until his early death in 1987.

Peter Baker, served on the editorial board of The Journal of Membrane Biology for many years. His interests in the life sciences were diverse and his contributions in corresponding fields of research internationally acclaimed.

Peter was born in Lincoln, England, on March 11, 1939. He attended Lincoln School and from there won an open scholarship to Emmanuel College Cambridge where he read Natural Sciences, specializing in Biochemistry. His talent and enthusiasm for research were apparent at an early age when, before entering university, he undertook two research projects in the area of entomology, the results of which were subsequently published.

He was appointed Halliburton Professor in Physiology at King's College London in 1975 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society a year later. Baker was able to pursue his research interests in the area of calcium homeostasis (Baker & Dipolo, 1984), and using the squid axon as an experimental model, branched out into other areas of physiology.

The demands on Peter Baker were very great. He served not only on the editorial board of the Journal of Membrane Biology, but also as an editor for the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology and Cell Calcium, and earlier as an editor for the Journal of Physiology. He was a member of various national research council committees and, as well as taking a keen interest in his own research, was the Head of a Department at a time when many colleges and departments were under constant threat of closure or reorganization. Nothing permeates the structure of a department so quickly and so thoroughly as bad management. It is a measure of Peter's qualities of leadership that over this difficult period the morale of the department was kept high and many of those within it were protected from this atmosphere of uncertainty and instability, and allowed to pursue their research without distraction. His unwavering enthusiasm for all that he did never failed to stimulate, and he was thus able to create an environment in which research and achievement flourished. His resilience and strength came not only from his unwavering beliefs, but also from the love and support of his wife and four children.

View details of this year's lecture.

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