Professor Janice Marshall PhD DSc, FMedSci, FHEA, FRBS, Hon FBPS

Professor Janice Marshall

School of Biomedical Sciences
Bowman Professor of Physiology

Contact details

Institute of Clinical Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Janice is Bowman Professor of Physiology having been appointed to a Personal Chair in Cardiovascular Science in 2015.

Janice has an international reputation for research into the regulation of the cardiovascular system by the central nervous, reflex mechanisms and local factors released by tissue cells and endothelium.  Much of her work has focussed on responses evoked by environmental stressors, systemic hypoxia and exercise in cerebral, skeletal muscle and cutaneous circulations in health, but also in disease states including Primary Raynaud’s and Sickle cell disease. Recently, she and her group have begun to identify early markers of cardiovascular disease in young adults focussing on ethnicity-and sex-related differences and they are testing how dietary and exercise interventions may be beneficial in improving endothelial function.  

Janice has always enjoyed teaching and has made substantial contributions to direct teaching of cardiovascular physiology and physiology more generally, as well as to the development and management of modules and programmes.  Currently, she is responsible for the cardiovascular-respiratory teaching to first year Dental students and is Coordinator of 3rd year BSc module in Cardiovascular Science.

She has held several positions of responsibility in the University including Head of the Division of Medical Sciences and was the first Director of Education for the College of Medical & Dental Sciences.  She has been Chair of AWERB since 2015 and is the University “Champion” for Springboard Fellowships awarded annually by the Academy of Medical Sciences – she leads the process for selection and supports the candidates during the application process.  


  • RSB qualified accreditation assessor 2012
  • Honorary Fellow, British Pharmacological Society (HonBPhS) 2011
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy (FHEA) 2001
  • Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) 1999
  • Fellow Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) 1995
  • DSc in Cardiovascular Physiology 1993 (Birmingham)
  • PhD in Physiology 1973 (Birmingham)
  • BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences 1970 (Birmingham)


  • University of Birmingham and Guild of Students Outstanding Teaching Award, nominee, 2017
  • MBChB students’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010
  • Michael de Burgh Daly Prize Lecture, 2002 (awarded by The Physiological Society)
  • Joan Mott Prize Lecture, 1998 (awarded by The Physiological Society)


Janice studied for her PhD with Professor Sidney Hilton, an international figure in cardiovascular control.  She made the first observations by intravital microscopy of responses evoked in skeletal muscle and mesenteric microcirculation by sympathetic stimulation and factors implicated in exercise hyperaemia. In her first post-doctoral post, she made the novel finding that sensory fibre activation induces vasodilatation in limb muscle which is partially attributable to prostaglandins.  This led to work with Priscilla Piper, Royal College of Surgeons, using a cascade bioassay system to identify prostaglandins. Janice then joined the MRC Programme group on Central Nervous Control of the Cardiovascular System, led by Hilton and KM (Mike) Spyer.  She gained experience of using stereotactic approaches to activate brainstem defence regions which integrate the “alerting” pattern of cardiovascular response to novel, environmental stimuli and showed that peripheral chemoreceptor stimulation can evoke this response.  She also contributed to work demonstrating that the pathway from the defence regions synapses in rostral-ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) - now recognised as crucial in regulating arterial pressure.

Following appointment as Lecturer, Janice built her research group, initially focussed on systemic hypoxia. They unravelled the contributions of chemoreceptors, baroreceptors, respiratory reflexes, hormones and local mediators to responses evoked by acute hypoxia in cerebral and muscle vasculature, renal function, and then, to chronic hypoxia in utero and post-natally. A major finding was that the local dilator effect of systemic hypoxia is nitric oxide (NO)-dependent such that adenosine and prostaglandins are released from endothelium and act interdependently.  These same mediators are implicated in exercise hyperaemia, but Janice’s group recently demonstrated that in exercising muscle, the local fall in tissue O2 releases prostaglandins from endothelium and muscle fibres, which then induce vasodilatation.  

Janice’s parallel work on mechanisms underlying cutaneous vascular responses led to fruitful collaborations with Paul Bacon, Professor of Rheumatology and Professor Graham Serjeant, Sickle Cell Unit, West Indies.  Their findings indicated that exaggerated sympathetic vasoconstriction and release of endothelial vasoconstrictors during mild cooling and alerting responses to environmental stimuli may trigger the digital vasospasm and devasting painful crises of bone necrosis which characterise Primary Raynaud’s and Sickle Cell Disease.

Against this background, Janice’s group currently focusses on mechanisms underlying blunted endothelium-dependent dilatation and exaggerated vasoconstriction to environmental stressors in young adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease, including those with hypertensive parents, of South Asian or Black African ethnicity.  They are investigating whether dietary or exercise interventions are beneficial.

Janice has supervised >30 PhD students.  She enjoys teaching, led cardiovascular modules and pre-clinical Medicine and Dentistry over many years, introducing several innovations to encourage student engagement.  She has held several senior leadership positions including Head of Division, College Director of Education, Career Development Lead. She served on Equality & Diversity Committees at College and University levels and is Chair of AWERB. She is also University “Champion” for the AMS Springboard Fellowship scheme.

Janice has served on many Editorial Boards, committees of professional societies, as External Examiner across UK and European Universities and on working groups to develop professional training programmes. 


Biomedical Science BSc

  • 1st year Cardiovascular & Respiratory Science (SGTs)
  • 2nd year CardioRespiratory Physiology & Pharmacology (Lectures & SGTs)
  • 3rd year Cardiovascular Science (Integrated Regulation)

Janice is the coordinator of the 3rd year Cardiovascular Science module and regularly supervises final year research projects.  She is also a Personal tutor on the Biomedical Sciences programme.

Medicine and Surgery MBChB

  • 2nd year Cardiovascular Science (Lectures & SGTs)
  • 2nd year Renal Science  (SGTs)
  • 2nd year Reproduction, Endocrinology & Development (Lectures)

Dental Surgery BDS

  • 1st year Body Systems: Cardiovascular Physiology (Lectures, SGTs, Demonstrations)

Pharmacy MPharm

  • 2nd year Cardiovascular Physiology (Lectures, Demonstrations).
  • Cardiovascular Sciences MRes
  • Lecture & Practical Skills Toolkit

Postgraduate supervision

Janice currently supervises PhD and MSc by Research students on the following projects

  • Can cocoa flavanols improve vasodilator responses in young South Asian and White European women?
  • Early markers of hypertension in young adults with family history of hypertension: could slow breathing exert beneficial effects?
  • Is evidence of cardiovascular and respiratory disease already present in young healthy South Asians and White Europeans: can this be modified by respiratory training?
  • Assessment of a Mediterranean-diet intervention on endothelium-dependent dilatation in young healthy women.
Mechanisms of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in White European and South Asian women: possible relationships to cardiovascular disease.


Research interests

Based on the recent findings of Janice’s research group and on current public health concerns, her current interests lie in the early markers of future cardiovascular disease, which are evident in young adults, especially in ethnicity- and sex-related differences in these markers.  She is particularly keen to investigate whether the blunted endothelium-dependent dilatation which is evident during non-invasive testing of cutaneous vascular responses, but also during responses evoked in limb muscle during exercise and during the alerting response evoked by environmental and mental stressors such as sudden sound, or mental arithmetic, can be improved by lifestyle interventions.  These include trialling a healthier diet including anti-oxidants, increasing daily levels of physical activity, regular handgrip training and respiratory training (slow breathing or inspiratory muscle training). 

Current projects

  • Investigation of the potential beneficial effects of dietary flavanols on endothelial dilator function in young adult South Asians and White Europeans
  • Investigation of whether a Mediterranean-style dietary intervention can improve endothelium-dependent dilatation in young healthy women.
  • Can a modest improvement in daily physical activity achieve improvements in endothelial function and blood pressure regulation in young adults who are relatively sedentary?

Other activities

Academy of Medical Sciences

  • 2015 -  University Champion, Springboard Fellowship Awards
  • 2016-17 & 2009-12: Section 2 Nominations panel

The Physiological Society.

  • 2012- Chief Ethics Editor for Society’s journals
  • 1990-1996: Main Committee:
  • 1992-1996: Animal Welfare Sub-Committee (Chair)
  • 1986-1996: Education Sub-Committee

British Microcirculation Society.

  • 1992-1999: Treasurer and Committee

British Heart Foundation

  • 2002-2004: Fellowships Grant Committee
  • 1997-2000: Projects Grant Committee

Animal Welfare; HO Animals (Scientific Procedures Act) 1986

  • 1992-1998 UK Universities Accreditation & Audit Panel for HO Licence Training Courses
  • 1990-1996 Council:  Research Defence Society (now Understanding Animal Research).

Royal Society of Biology

  • 2013- : Accreditation Assessor for the Royal Society of Biology
  • 2011-2013: Working group on Accreditation of undergraduate programmes

Modernising Scientific Careers Programme

  • 2010-11: Working group which standardised education and training pathways for UK clinical Scientists

Editorial Boards

  • 2021-23 Physiological Reports
  • 2018- Frontiers in Neuroscience (Autonomic)
  • 2001-19 Clinical Science
  • 2001-18 Journal of Vascular Research
  • 2000-14 European Journal of Applied Physiology
  • 1997- 2003 Clinical Autonomic Research
  • 1993-98 British Journal of Pharmacology

1991-98 Journal of Physiology

1989-1991 Cardiovascular Research


Recent publications


Ali, M, Hussein, Z & Marshall, JM 2022, 'Young South Asian women in the United Kingdom show evidence of blunted endothelium-dependent dilatation: implications for future cardiovascular disease', Journal of Hypertension, vol. 40, no. 12, pp. 2438-2448.

Cao, L, Marshall, J, Fabritz, L & Brain, K 2021, 'Resting cardiac sympathetic firing frequencies suppress terminal norepinephrine transporter uptake', Autonomic Neuroscience, vol. 232, 102794.

Cao, L, Holmes, A, Marshall, J, Fabritz, L & Brain, K 2020, 'Dynamic monitoring of single-terminal norepinephrine transporter rate in the rodent cardiovascular system: a novel fluorescence imaging method', Autonomic Neuroscience, vol. 223, 102611.

Junejo, R, Ray, C & Marshall, J 2020, 'Prostaglandin contribution to postexercise hyperemia is dependent on tissue oxygenation during rhythmic and isometric contractions', Physiological reports, vol. 8, no. 12, e14471.

Aiku, A & Marshall, J 2019, 'Contribution of prostaglandins to exercise hyperaemia: workload, ethnicity and sex matter!', The Journal of Physiology, vol. 597, no. 19, pp. 4887-4900.

Junejo, R, Ray, C & Marshall, J 2019, 'Cuff inflation time significantly affects blood flow recorded with venous occlusion plethysmography: rapid cuff inflation improves estimations of hyperemic flow', European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 119, no. 3, pp. 665–674.

Flores-Langarica, A, Müller Luda, K, Persson, EK, Cook, CN, Bobat, S, Marshall, JL, Dahlgren, MW, Hägerbrand, K, Toellner, KM, Goodall, MD, Withers, D, Henderson, IR, Johansson Lindbom, B, Cunningham, A & Agace, WW 2018, 'CD103+CD11b+ mucosal classical dendritic cells initiate long-term switched antibody responses to flagellin', Mucosal immunology, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 681-692.

Hirst, A & Marshall, J 2018, 'Endothelium-dependent and cyclooxygenase-dependent cutaneous vasodilatation is blunted in young men with hypertensive parents', Journal of Hypertension, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 2140-2147.

Ormshaw, N, Junejo, R & Marshall, J 2018, 'Forearm vasodilator responses to environmental stress and reactive hyperaemia are impaired in young South Asian men', European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 118, no. 5, pp. 979–988.

Griffin, AE, Macdonald, R, Wagenmakers, AJM, Marshall, JM & Poucher, SM 2017, 'Development of microdialysis methodology for interstitial insulin measurement in rodents', Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, vol. 86, pp. 67-75.

Bowater, SE, Weaver, RA, Beadle, RM, Frenneaux, MP, Marshall, JM & Clift, PF 2016, 'Assessment of the Physiological Adaptations to Chronic Hypoxemia in Eisenmenger Syndrome.', Congenital Heart Disease.


Aiku, AO, Ormshaw, NG, Junejo, RT, Martin, U & Marshall, JM 2016, 'Both endothelium-dependent dilatation responses and muscle vasodilator responses to environmental stressors are impaired in young Black Africans and may contribute to their predisposition to develop hypertension', FASEB Journal, vol. 30, no. 1_supplement. <>

Junejo, RT, Ray, CJ, Lucas, SJE & Marshall, JM 2016, 'Investigation into effects of supplementary O-2 on tissue oxygenation during isometric handgrip in the ipsilateral and contralateral limb in young (Y) and older (O) men using Near Infra Red Spectroscopy (NIRS)', FASEB Journal, vol. 30, no. 1_supplement. <>

Conference contribution

Cao, L, Marshall, J & Brain, K 2020, Cannabinoid type I receptor-mediated inhibition of neuronal noradrenaline reuptake in the mouse heart. in British Journal of Pharmacology. vol. 178, P047, pp. 423-423.

Cao, L, Marshall, J, Fabritz, L & Brain, K 2020, Program and Abstracts of the 31st International Symposium on the Autonomic Nervous System: Norepinephrine transporter saturation at physiological sympathetic firing rates in the murine heart. in Clinical Autonomic Research. vol. 30, 21, Springer, pp. 470-471.

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