2018 Stevens lecture: Harnessing the gastrointestinal tract


Monday 21 May 2018


Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

Public Engagement Programme



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about this event

We are pleased to announce that Professor Rachel Batterham will be giving the 2018 Stevens lecture on 'harnessing the gastrointestinal tract'.


Harnessing the Gastrointestinal Tract to Treat Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

"Human survival is critically dependent on eating sufficient food to meet the body’s energy needs. Not surprisingly, powerful overlapping mechanisms ensure that eating is both a key priority and inherently rewarding. These body weight control systems evolved in an environment of food scarcity but now faced with a plentiful supply of highly rewarding energy-dense food, the biological adaptations that ensured survival of the human species are now driving the obesity epidemic.

People with obesity die at a younger age and are more likely to develop several diseases including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and certain types of cancer. With 28% of UK adults now affected by obesity there is an urgent need for effective preventative and treatment strategies. Over the last two decades my work has identified that gut hormones play a key role in regulating eating behaviour and blood sugar. In this lecture I will discuss how body weight is controlled, why most diets fail to produce long-term weight reduction and how weight-loss surgery can lead to immediate remission of type 2 diabetes. Finally, I will discuss how we can harness the biology of gastrointestinal tract to treat people with obesity and type 2 diabetes."


Professor Rachel Batterham

Professor Rachel Batterham is Professor of Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology at University College London (UCL). She holds a prestigious National Institute of Health (NIHR) Research Professorship (2016-2021). She established and leads the University College London Hospital (UCLH) Bariatric Centre for Weight Management & Metabolic Surgery. She leads the UCL Centre for Obesity Research within the Department of Medicine and is the Director for the UCLH/UCL NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Obesity Research Theme.

Professor Batterham laboratory’s research is focused on increasing our understanding of body weight regulation and developing new therapies for the treatment of patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. She has received several international awards including the Andre Mayer award from the World Obesity Federation (2016), the Diabetes UK Rank Fund Nutrition Prize (2015), the Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society (2014), and the Linacre Medical from the Royal College of Physicians (2010).

Professor Batterham has made significant clinical contributions to defining the management of obese patients through her membership of the NICE Obesity Guideline Development Group and Royal College of Physicians Advisory Group on Health and Weight. Professor Batterham is currently a NICE Clinical Expert (2016-2021), Scientific Chair for the International Federation for Surgery for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases (IFSO) European Chapter (since 2015), a Trustee for the Association for the Study of Obesity (since 2016) and Council Member for British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (since 2016). Professor Batterham is committed to giving people affected by obesity a public voice through empowerment and to increase awareness that obesity is a chronic serious medical condition.

Join the conversation: #RSMStevens18


6.00 pm


6.30 pm

Welcome address

6.35 pm

2018 Stevens lecture

Professor Rachel Batterham, Professor of Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology, University College Hospital

7.20 pm

Discussion time

7.35 pm

Vote of thanks

7.40 pm

Drinks reception

8.15 pm

Buffet supper

For those who have pre-booked

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organiser's details

For information on this event, contact Charlotte MannTel: 020 7290 3919 Email: public@rsm.ac.uk arrow