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Food for Thought - the Brain and Obesity

Professor David Spanswick, PhD MSc BSc (Hons)

David Spanswick photo

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

David Spanswick is Professor of Molecular Neurosciences.

Obesity is a global epidemic creating a significant healthcare burden, in part due to increased risk of secondary chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Whilst lack of physical activity and high fat diets are the main drivers of prevalence, genetic predisposition of some people and certain ethnic groups renders them increasingly susceptible. Bodyweight and energy stores are normally maintained within narrow limits by complex feedback systems and pathways involving glucose and lipid stores, short-term meal-related signals and nutrients.

Key components of these feedback systems include aspects of the brain. By researching the mechanisms by which the brain detects, processes and responds to nutrients and chemical messengers indicating the energy status of the body, we seek to understand how dysfunction of component parts of these signalling pathways results in the development and manifestation of obesity. This research will provide insight into mechanisms by which obesity is manifest and identify novel potential sites and strategies for therapeutic intervention into this debilitating condition.

Inaugural Lectures Series

View Prof Spanswick's lecture
March 20, 2007
((Video clip) Windows Media, 52 mins)