Dr Aaron Murray BSc, PhD

Dr Aaron Murray

School of Biomedical Sciences
Lecturer in Anatomy

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Murray is a Lecturer in Anatomy with teaching responsibilities across a number of undergraduate degree programmes in the Institute of Clinical Sciences. He is the Anatomy Lead for the MPharm programme and coordinates anatomy teaching for BDS Year 1. He also coordinates embryology teaching across a number of different undergraduate programmes.

Aaron’s research has previously examined the effects of novel non-invasive electrical stimulation techniques such as transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) on the autonomic nervous system in humans. At present he is developing a series of research projects related to the use and evaluation of innovative digital technologies in anatomy education.


  • PhD in Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, 2018
  • BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy), University of Aberdeen, 2012


Aaron gained a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from University of Aberdeen in 2012, specialising in Anatomy.  Following this he worked as a full-time anatomy demonstrator at University of Aberdeen before embarking on a PhD at University of Leeds in 2013.

For his PhD he investigated the effects of several different methods of non-invasive electrical nerve stimulation on the autonomic nervous system in humans. In particular he focused on assessing the autonomic effects of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) in healthy volunteers, using TENS machines and custom electrodes to stimulate the auricular branch of the vagus nerve in the ear.  This project also involved a pilot study to test the effects of tVNS on a group of patients with heart failure.  In addition, Aaron acquired expertise in measuring autonomic nervous system activity non-invasively (heart rate variability, baroreceptor reflex sensitivity) as well as through direct recordings of sympathetic nerve activity (microneurography).

As part of his PhD studentship Aaron worked as an anatomy demonstrator at University of Leeds, allowing him to continue teaching alongside his PhD research. This experience encouraged him to consider an academic career focused on anatomy education. After finishing his PhD in 2017 he took up an anatomy teaching post at Queen’s University Belfast, followed by a Teaching Fellow post at University of Birmingham in 2018.  In 2019 he was appointed as a Lecturer in Anatomy,

View Aaron's ResearchGate profile.


Aaron’s teaching responsibilities include acting as MPharm Anatomy Lead for Years 1 – 4 and coordinating anatomy teaching for BDS Year 1.  He teaches anatomy on the following programmes:

He is the cross-curricular lead for embryology teaching across a number of undergraduate programmes in the Institute of Clinical Sciences.  As part of this role he is involved in running the Embryological and Developmental Basis of Disease (EBDB) module for the intercalated BSc in Clinical Anatomy.

Aaron is a Personal Academic Tutor for a group of MBChB preclinical students.


Research Interests

  • Non-invasive electrical stimulation therapies such as transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation and trigeminal nerve stimulation.
  • Measurement of autonomic nervous system activity in humans
  • Technology-enhanced learning in anatomy education.
  • Development of interactive 3D digital anatomy resources.


  • Deuchars SA, Lall VK, Clancy JA, Mahadi M, Murray AR, Peers L, Deuchars J. (2018) Mechanisms underpinning sympathetic nervous activity and its modulation using transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation. Experimental Physiology 103 (3), 326-331
  • Antonino, A, Teixeira AL, Maia-Lopes PM, Souza MC, Sabino-Carvalho JL, Murray AR, Deuchars J, Vianna LC. (2017) Non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation acutely improves blood pressure control in healthy young men.  Brain Stimulation 10 (5), 875-881
  • Murray AR, Atkinson L, Mahadi MK, Deuchars SA, Deuchars J. (2016) The strange case of the ear and the heart: The auricular vagus nerve and its influence on cardiac control. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical 199, 48-53

View all publications in research portal