Exchanges at the Frontier with Frances Ashcroft
Thursday 6 December 2012, 19.00-20.30
Frances Ashcroft is Royal Society Research
Professor at the University of Oxford, and has devoted her career
as a geneticist and physiologist to studying the link between blood
sugar and insulin.
In 1984, Professor Ashcroft discovered the
missing link connecting an increase in the blood sugar level, as
happens after you eat a chocolate bar, to secretion of the hormone
insulin. If this process fails, it leads to diabetes. In subsequent
studies, she unravelled how genetic mutations in this protein cause
a rare inherited condition, known as neonatal diabetes, in which
patients develop diabetes soon after birth. This has helped
transform the lives of hundreds of children who are born with
diabetes, enabling them to come off insulin injections and instead
take a daily pill.
And yet, 30 years on, it's still not
clear precisely what goes wrong with the mechanism in the much more
common type 2 diabetes, now affecting hundreds of millions.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity, and it seems that the
growing obesity crisis in high-income countries, caused by poor
diet and lack of exercise, may be reversing the advances of medical
science. She speaks to AC Grayling about diabetes, obesity and the
future of health in high-income countries.
An edited recording of this event will be
broadcast in early 2013 on the BBC World Service to a global
audience of 40 million people.
Frances Ashcroft, Royal Society Research Professor,
University of Oxford
This event is FREE.
Book now to receive an e-ticket.
Bookings are limited to two per person.
Any additional bookings will be cancelled.