Conway Review Lecture 1986

15/09/1986 in St. James

A Biophysical Approach to Bronchospasm

Dr. C.T. Kirkpatrick, Environmental Sciences Division, R.A.F. /nstitute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough, Hants GU 14 6SZ.

I thank┬áthe Council for inviting me to give the Conway Review Lecture and to prepare this article. It was an honour to be elected, and to find myself in company with some of Ireland’s most distinguished medical scientists. I was particularly happy to be addressing the Biological Sciences section of the, Academy, as this is the forum to which I first brought many of my new findings; at its meetings I was assured of a lively audience, stimulating discussions and a great deal of encouragement from the Fellows and guests.

E. J. Conway, FRS was one of the most influential of Irish Biochemists in the, years between the wars and in the post-war period. His work on the control of ion distribution in skeletal muscle and other tissues has been directly relevant to my own work: I have. recently been re-reading some. of his papers 1,2 and find’ them astonishingly modern (though much longer than we are used to nowadays!). He displayed a meticulous attention to detail, and wrote stylish papers of the highest scientific and literary quality.

Several of the previous Conway Lecturers have touched on topics related to Conway’s work. R. P. Kernan was the second Conway Lecturer, and had the privilege of being Conway’s pupil and colleague. He described the distribution of ions in skeletal muscle, using the up-to-date technique of ion sensitive intracellular microelectrodes ‘~. Dan O’Donovan, the Conway Lecturer of 1984, spoke about electrolyte regulation by the kidney 4, another topic which Conway investigated, lan Roddie, the very first Conway Lecturer, spoke about the control of the peripheral circulationS; this may not seem to be closely connected to the work of Conway, but lan spent some time in the United States studying the membrane properties of vascular smooth muscle 6, a topic which relies heavily on the knowledge created by Conway, and which leads directly on to the subject of my Review.

A biophysical approach to bronchospasm ormerly Lecturer in Physiology, The Queen’s University of Belfast.