Professor elected as first Vice-President of IUPS

Professor Sue Wray

Professor Sue Wray

Professor Susan Wray from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology has been elected the First Vice-President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) at its recent congress in Brazil.

IUPS represents and promotes the world-wide community of physiological scientists and educators and has the mission to foster the study of physiology worldwide. It has members from over 80 countries and holds a scientific congress every four years.

Starting with the Kyoto conference in 2009, Professor Wray, who is the University’s Director of Athena SWAN, has instigated and supported Women in Science sessions at the IUPS congresses. She was also a Keynote speaker at the Rio congress.

Great opportunity

Professor Wray, said: “The IUPS congresses have always been something to look forward to. They are not only a great opportunity to talk science, but also to meet other physiologists from all over the world. It is the only meeting I go to where I know I will be able to interact face to face with colleagues from Africa and South America”.

The first International Congress of Physiological Sciences was organized in Basel, Switzerland in 1889, and included UK physiologists. In 1929 a ‘Permanent Committee’ was organized to carry on this tradition, which it has successfully done ever since. IUPS champions physiology without borders and works to remove political barriers from physiologists interacting and attending meetings.

Originally the International Physiological Congresses included biochemists and pharmacologists, but as science became more specialised, in 1949 the biochemists started their own international congresses as did the pharmacologists shortly thereafter.

Humankind benefit

IUPS co-owns with the American Physiological Society, the journal ‘Physiology’ of which Professor Wray is a past editorial board member.

There are four other members of the IUPS executive team working in New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany and the USA, which makes timetabling teleconferences challenging says Professor Wray. As well as starting the planning for the next congress (Beijing, 2021) the IUPS team will be working to “return physiology to centre stage”, as it becomes clearer that despite the mountains of molecular data, only when we appreciate their functional importance i.e. physiology, will humankind benefit.

For more information about IUPS please visit

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