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Metabolic Memories

Professor Victor Zammit DPhil DSc


Tuesday 20 November, 2007

Victor Zammit is Director of the Clinical Sciences Research Institute of Warwick Medical School and was appointed Professor of Experimental Diabetes in 2005. He trained initially at the University of Malta and in 1970 was elected as a Rhodes Scholar. He went up to Oxford to do research in metabolic biochemistry, obtaining his DPhil in 1974.

After a post-doctoral period of further training at Oxford, he joined the Hannah Research Institute where he spent the next 27 years leading a team working on the enzymology of processes, particularly in the liver, involved in the development and treatment of diabetes. In 1989, he was awarded a special merit award by the Research Councils, and in 1995 a Doctor of Science degree by the University of Oxford for his contributions to metabolic biochemistry.

Maturity onset or Type-2 Diabetes is a disease in which the balance between glucose and lipid metabolism is altered, resulting in many associated morbidities including cardiovascular disease. Victor’s work has ranged from the molecular to the cellular and whole-body approaches, to address questions about the regulation of cholesterol and triglyceride synthesis, and fatty acid oxidation.

In his lecture, he will illustrate how physiologically relevant concepts that originated from molecular studies were validated at the whole-body level thus providing the basis for the development of pharmacological strategies aimed at preventing the development of conditions associated with diabetes. Mechanisms described primarily for the liver have proved to be universally applicable to many other tissues, including those parts of the brain involved in the control of appetite and its dysregulation in obesity.