The Spark of Life, Ever Wondered What Makes Us Human? – Professor Frances Ashcroft


Event Details


Royal Society of New Zealand Distinguished Speaker series. Electric signals in our cells drive everything we think, feel or do.  These signals are produced by amazing proteins – the ion channels – that are found in every cell on Earth and govern all aspects of our lives from consciousness to sexual attraction, our ability to see and hear and the beating of our hearts.

Can someone really die of fright? Why do chilli peppers taste hot? How do cocaine, LSD and morphine work? Frances weaves real-life stories with the latest scientific findings, including an account of her own discoveries, to explain the fundamental role of ion channels in our bodies and why they truly are the ‘spark of life’.

Frances Ashcroft is a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford and director of OXION, a training and research programme on the physiology of ion channels. Her ground-breaking research has shown how changes in blood glucose levels regulate insulin secretion from the pancreas and how this process is impaired in type 2 diabetes. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1999.

Tickets are free, but please register to ensure a seat.