Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch
Search type

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

Professor Arthur Weston (BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, FMedSci) - personal details

Contact details

Professor Arthur Weston

Role: Pharmacology

Tel: +44161 275 5490

Location: Faculty of Life Sciences,3.10 Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT




Arthur Henry WESTON BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, FBPharmacolS, FMedSci : Emeritus Professor since October 2011. Leech Professor of Pharmacology from 1989 - 2011. I won a Scholarship to Hymers College, Hull in 1955 and entered the Victoria University of Manchester in 1962. After graduating BSc in Pharmacy with First Class Honours in Pharmacology (1966) and obtaining my MSc (1968) and PhD (1970), I was made Lecturer in Pharmacology in 1970, Senior Lecturer in 1979, Reader in 1987 and Professor in 1989. In 1974, I was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to study in the Department of Physiology in the University of Marburg (with Klaus Golenhofen) and a senior Humboldt Fellowship to study in the 2nd Department of Physiology in the University of Heidelberg (with Volker Kreye) in 1985. During 1987, I was a Royal Society-funded visiting Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Kyushu, Japan (with Hirosi Kuriyama) .

My research focuses on the physiology and pharmacology of ion channels in blood vessels and on the development of drugs to treat vascular disease associated with hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Much of my work, including that of my PhD students and of my post-doctoral researchers has been funded by industry. During the 1980s I discovered a new class of agent which I designated potassium channel opener and this has formed the basis of many on-going research programmes within the pharmaceutical industry. These studies led to the further discovery that blood vessels produce a relaxing factor that I termed endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). My most recent discoveries in Manchester concern the existence and role of a special calcium-sensing receptor in the endothelium of blood vessels.

Within the University of Manchester where I have been a Professor for the past 21 years, I have served on many University Committees and Working Parties. Within the School of Biological Sciences, I chaired the Tissue and Organs Teaching Board for 5 years, the Research Division of Physiology, Pharmacology & Toxicology for 5 years and in the Faculty of Life Sciences, the Biomedical Education Board for 4 years. In addition to providing academic leadership for 21 of the Faculty’s BSc degree programmes, my main individual contribution to undergraduate teaching in Manchester has been my 14-year pivotal role in developing and promoting the undergraduate Industrial Placement Programme, widely acknowledged to be the most comprehensive in the whole UK.

At a national level, I was Honorary Treasurer, a Director and Trustee of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) for the 8 years from 1999-2008. In these roles I have actively promoted all aspects of pharmacology throughout the world. As Chairman of the BPS’s Pharma-CAL-ogy Committee, I was involved in developing a national curriculum in Pharmacology for science and medical students and responsible for overseeing the authoring of 28 computer-assisted learning (CAL) packages currently in use in more than 100 Universities and HE Institutions world-wide for dental, medical, nursing and science undergraduates.

Since 1993, I have been recognised as one of the world’s most highly-cited research pharmacologists (see In 2001, I was elected Fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and in 2004 to a Fellowship of the British Pharmacological Society (FBPharmacolS). At the IUPHAR Meeting in Beijing in July 2006, I was elected President of EPHAR, the Federation of European Pharmacological Societies. In 2008, I was made Honorary Member of the Finnish Pharmacological Society and awarded the Gaddum Medal by the British Pharmacological Society. At the 2010 WorldPharma Meeting in Copenhagen, I was presented with a special commemorative award and plaque for my services to European pharmacology.