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Celebrating 100 years of insulin

People from around the world and the UK joined a Royal Society of Medicine celebration to mark the centenary of insulin on Thursday 2 December, when Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, one of the world’s most eminent endocrinologists, gave a lecture on the endocrine control of energy balance and metabolism and its disturbance in disease.

Professor O’Rahilly discussed with great fluency the hormonal factors influencing both obesity and diabetes, concluding that we were on the brink of a new era for both Type 2 diabetes, where drugs targeting processes much earlier in the disease pathway are likely to have enhanced efficacy and safety and for Type 1 diabetes where a deeper knowledge of its causative factors are leading to optimism that prevention is a real possibility longer term.

Professor Roger Kirby, President, Royal Society of Medicine (L) and Mr Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive, Diabetes UK

Following the lecture, Mr Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, gave a talk on current patient perspectives and the important work of Diabetes UK. He then joined Sir Stephen on the platform for a discussion chaired by Sir John Cunningham, Professor of Nephrology and former personal physician to Her Majesty The Queen.

(L-R) Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly, Mr Chris Askew and Professor Sir John Cunningham

Professor Roger Kirby, President of the Royal Society of Medicine, said: “This was a fascinating evening of insights and exploration and we were delighted that such distinguished experts were able to join us to mark the important landmark represented by the discovery of insulin 100 years ago.”

The lecture was made possible by generous support from The Howard Foundation, the charitable trust created by the late Dr Alan Howard, from Cambridge, a leading scientist in the fields of obesity, nutrition, atherosclerosis and latterly macular degeneration. 

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