Keith L Dorrington

Keith L Dorrington

Mary Dunhill Tutorial Fellow in Medicine; Associate Professor of Physiology

Contact information


I teach Physiology and Pharmacology to our undergraduate students in Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, of which we admit six each year to the College. Tutorials are commonly in pairs, and we cover the systems of the body, including the circulation, respiratory physiology, the function of the gastrointestinal and renal systems, muscle and autonomic nerves. The action of drugs in these systems is a fascinating part of what we cover.  Being an anaesthetist with duties in the Radcliffe Hospital, I attach importance to trying to make our teaching clinically relevant to our medical students right from the beginning of their course.

In the University I lecture on topics in physiology and run several practical classes in which the students enjoy performing experiments on themselves, a tradition in Oxford going back about 100 years.


The right side of the heart pumps blood through what is sometimes called the ‘lesser circulation’, which transports blood through the lungs. The tone in the blood vessels of the lungs is regulated by the respiratory gases oxygen and carbon dioxide in ways we are only partially coming to understand. Our work on these vessels has involved studies at high altitude and includes studying the role of iron in fine-tuning their behaviour, recently focusing on how they function when elderly people perform vigorous exercise.

Other areas of research have included the effects of surgery and anaesthesia on cognitive function, the mechanism of action of drugs taken for high blood pressure, and aspects of the conduct of anaesthesia.

Selected Publications

For a full list of key and recent publications, please see

Contact Univ

If you have any questions or need more information, just ask: