Famous British Physiologists

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Find out more about the greatest British Physiologists, including Andrew Huxley, Charles Scott Sherrington, Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, John Scott Haldane and John James Rickard Macleod.
Vote for Your Favourite British Physiologists
 1 
Andrew Huxley
(English Physiologist, Biophysicist and Winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physiology / Medicine)
Andrew Huxley
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Birthdate: November 22, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: May 30, 2012

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Andrew Huxley is remembered for his studies on nerves and fibers and the chemical processes related to the transmission of nerve impulses. The grandson of biologist T.H. Huxley and the son of the author Leonard Huxley, he was later also knighted for his achievements.

 2 
Charles Scott Sherrington
(English Neurophysiologist Who Won the 1932 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Charles Scott Sherrington
3
Birthdate: November 27, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: March 4, 1952

Charles Scott Sherrington was an English histologist, neurophysiologist, pathologist, and bacteriologist. In 1932, Sherrington and Edgar Douglas Adrian were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of the functions of neurons. Charles Scott Sherrington's exposition of synaptic communication between neurons helped understand the central nervous system. He was also the recipient of the prestigious Royal Medal.

 3 
John Scott Haldane
(Former Physician, Physiologist known for Black Veil Respirator, Haldane effect in haemoglobin)
John Scott Haldane
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Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Died: March 14, 1936

Copley Medal-winning Scottish physiologist John Scott Haldane is best remembered for his research on the physiology of respiration. He also contributed significantly to mine safety regulations and developed a method to help deep-sea divers. It is believed, he would often lock himself in sealed rooms, inhaling gases, to observe their effects on him.

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 4 
Henry Hallett Dale
(English Physiologist, Pharmacologist and 1936 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine)
Henry Hallett Dale
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Birthdate: June 9, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 23, 1968

Henry Hallett Dale was an English physiologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for winning the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1936 along with Otto Loewi. Henry Hallett Dale was also the recipient of many other awards like the Royal Medal, the Copley Medal, and the Albert Medal.

 5 
Archibald Hill
(British Physiologist and Winner of 1922 Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine)
Archibald Hill
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: June 3, 1977

Nobel Prize-winning physiologist and biophysicist Archibald Hill is best remembered for his research on muscular heat production. The Cambridge alumnus also taught physiology at Manchester University and UCL, and was a research professor at the Royal Society. He was married to the sister of economist John Maynard Keynes.

 6 
John James Rickard Macleod
(British Biochemist and Physiologist Who Co-Discovered 'Insulin' and Worked on 'Carbohydrate Metabolism')
John James Rickard Macleod
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Birthdate: September 6, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clunie, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: March 16, 1935

John James Rickard Macleod was a Scottish biochemist and physiologist. Even though his research covered diverse topics in physiology and biochemistry, he is best remembered for his work in carbohydrate metabolism. He played a major role in the discovery and isolation of insulin, for which he shared the 1923 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine with Frederick Banting.  

 7 
Ernest Starling
(Physiologist)
Ernest Starling
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Birthdate: April 17, 1866
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 2, 1927

British physiologist Ernest Starling is best known for establishing the Starling’s hypothesis, which explained the fluid balance between tissues and vessels. A physiology professor at UCL, he later laid down the Law of the Heart and also worked on poisonous gases during World War I. He was, however, shunned by the Nobel Committee.

 8 
Nehemiah Grew
(British Botanist and Physiologist Known for His Careful and Novel Observations on Plant Anatomy)
Nehemiah Grew
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Birthdate: September 26, 1641
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mancetter Parish, Warwickshire, England
Died: March 25, 1712

English botanist Nehemiah Grew is considered a pioneer of plant anatomy, along with Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi. Initially a physician, he later penned iconic books on botany, such as The Anatomy of Plants. He also made pioneering studies in finger-print patterns. A genus of trees has been named after him.

 9 
Richard Keynes
(Physiologist)
Richard Keynes
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Birthdate: August 14, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: England
Died: June 12, 2010

Richard Keynes was a British physiologist best remembered for editing his great-grandfather Charles Darwin's accounts and illustrations of his popular voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Richard Keynes' work, which earned praises from The New York Times Book Review and The New York Review of Books, has proved to be influential.

 10 
Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian
(Electrophysiologist)
Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian
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Birthdate: November 30, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England
Died: August 4, 1977
 11 
William Bayliss
(Physiologist)
William Bayliss
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Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wolverhampton, England
Died: August 27, 1924

William Bayliss was an English physiologist whose contribution to medicine was honored with a knighthood in 1922. He published his life's work in the book Principles of General Physiology in 1919. The same year, he was honored with the prestigious Copley Medal. William Bayliss had earlier won the Royal Medal in 1911.

 12 
John Mayow
(British Chemist and Physiologist Best Known for Conducting Early Research Into Respiration and the Nature of Air)
John Mayow
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Birthdate: May 24, 1640
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Looe, England
Died: September 30, 1679

John Mayow is said to have discovered oxygen as piritus nitroaereus about a century before the existence of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Joseph Pristley. Though he initially studied law, he later switched to practicing medicine and is remembered for his contribution to pneumatic chemistry. He was named a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 13 
William Hewson
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Birthdate: November 14, 1739
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hexham, England
Died: May 1, 1774

Widely regarded as the father of hematology, Copley Medal-winning British physiologist William Hewson studied blood coagulation, the lymphatic system, and red blood cells, and isolated fibrin, which he named coagulable lymph. He was made a Royal Society member and was also named to the American Philosophical Society.

 14 
Michael Foster
(Physiologist)
Michael Foster
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Birthdate: March 8, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Huntingdon, England
Died: January 29, 1907

British physiologist Michael Foster scripted history as the first physiology professor at the University of Cambridge. As a teacher, he stressed on the importance of laboratory experiments and thus modernized the teaching methods for subjects such as biology and physiology. He had also tried his luck in politics.

 15 
Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer
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Birthdate: June 2, 1850
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hornsey, England
Died: March 29, 1935

Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer was an English physiologist credited with founding endocrinology, a branch of medicine and biology dealing with the endocrine system. In 1894, along with George Oliver, Schafer discovered the existence of adrenaline. Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer is also credited with coining the word insulin

 16 
Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet
(British Physiologist and Surgeon Who Pioneered Research Into Bone and Joint Disease)
Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet
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Birthdate: June 9, 1783
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: West Winterslow, England
Died: October 21, 1862

Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet, was an English surgeon and physiologist best remembered for his pioneering research into joint and bone disease. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1810 where he published many papers describing investigations in physiology. From 1858 to 1861, Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie served as the 29th President of the Royal Society.

 17 
Griffith Pugh
(Physiologist)
Griffith Pugh
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Birthdate: October 29, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: December 22, 1994

Griffith Pugh was a British mountaineer and physiologist best remembered for his role as the expedition physiologist during the famous 1953 British Mount Everest expedition that witnessed the first ascent of the Everest. Griffith Pugh is also remembered for his research pertaining to the effects of altitude and cold on human physiology.

 18 
Marshall Hall
(Physician)
Marshall Hall
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Birthdate: February 18, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Basford, England
Died: August 11, 1857

Marshall Hall was an English physician, neurologist, and physiologist. He is credited with contributing immensely to the theory of reflex arc. Hall also wrote many books on neurological diseases, such as epilepsy and apoplexy (stroke). An ardent supporter of the abolitionist movement, Marshall Hall was inducted into the American Philosophical Society (APS) in 1853.