We would like to keep our patients, families and professionals up to date with the latest developments in our research.
We may sometimes highlight particular “news reports” that may appear in the media, as there may be general points that are worth emphasising or challenging.
We recently described the role of a group of neural guidance molecules, the Semaphorins in the development of hypothalamic brain circuits that regulate body weight.
This year the focus is on raising awareness of weight stigma
We recently reported the first comprehensive analysis of hypothalamic gene expression in patients with a genetic obesity syndrome.
Professor Farooqi appeared on the BBC One documentary, The Truth About Obesity, on 26th April.
The OSTRICH study seeks to identify factors that drive obesity-related complications in some young people.
In January we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the nationwide launch of the Genetics of Obesity Study (GOOS).
We report a comprehensive summary of MC4R mutations and a clinical trial in MC4R deficiency
Autumn Newsletter Out Now
Our autumn newsletter is out now. You can read it online by visiting our Newsletters page, or subscribe by email to have it sent to you.
New paper on a metabolomic signature of acute caloric restriction
In our recent article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism we used metabolomics to characterise the response to acute caloric restriction in unprecedented detail.
New paper includes a comprehensive summary of all the known mutations in MC4R
In our recent paper published in Molecular Metabolism we include a comprehensive summary of all the known mutations in MC4R, the commonest genetic form of obesity. In this review of the field, we pulled together all the published papers, as well as unpublished data from our own team and from Karine Clement's team in Paris so that we could provide a list of all the mutations in one place.
BBC Tomorrow's World
On BBC Tomorrow's World, Professor Farooqi speaks about the impact that genes have on the regulation of our appetite and body weight.
Professor Farooqi awarded a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship.
Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowships (PRFs) are the most prestigious research fellowships supported by the Wellcome Trust, awarded to scientists of international standing with an established track record in research at the highest level. Congratulations to our Professor, this support will allow her to further develop our programme of clinical research with the aim of finding new therapeutic strategies for people with severe obesity.
New paper shows that oxytocin modulates how our brain responds to food pictures.
Often referred to as the "love hormone", oxytocin is a small neuropeptide made in the hypothalamus of our brains and released by the pituitary that is important for social bonding, feelings of empathy, and during childbirth and breastfeeding. We became interested in this hormone following recent studies in animals showing that oxytocin may also have effects on appetite and body weight. In our study, we wanted to know whether oxytocin affects appetite and whether the human brain response to food cues changes after administration of oxytocin.
New paper shows rare variants in multiple genes associated with severe obesity
To date, mutations in 15 genes are known to cause obesity which usually starts in childhood. In a study just published in the journal Scientific Reports, we worked with Ines Barroso's team at the Sanger Institute to look at a large number of genes in over 4000 children with severe obesity from the GOOS cohort. The methods we used allowed us to look at all the genes at the same time, so we could get a comprehensive picture of the frequency of each disorder.
New Translational Research Facilities (TRF)
The beginning of May saw the opening of our brand new state-of-the-art Translational Research Facility dedicated to research in Obesity and Metabolic diseases. Building on our clinical research in obesity and the work of other colleagues in the Institute on insulin resistance, lipodystrophy and thyroid disease, we were able to secure funding from the Wellcome Trust to establish new Translational Research Facilities (TRF). Our vision is that with the increased space dedicated to Metabolism and with highly skilled staff, the TRF will support delivery of a portfolio of world-leading experimental medicine research. We will work to pull through basic science research in genetics and neuroscience, so that we can ultimately translate our findings into therapeutic interventions. The TRF includes space for 8 people to stay for research studies at any time and provides access to state-of-the-art equipment, which will allow us to expand the scope and reach of our clinical research, bringing in new partners and collaborators. Our aim is to recruit the best people to work in this important area and train the next generation of researchers who will drive the field forward.
Over the last few years, the GOOS team have been running a study named STILTS (Study Into Lean and Thin Subjects). The aim is to study people who are healthy and thin to find the genes that might protect them from gaining weight, or that might allow them to burn extra calories easily. Understanding the genes for thinness could pave the way for new treatments for obesity.
A new website for the study has just gone live - you can find it at www.stilts.org.uk.