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Diabetes UK's first Harry Keen fellow

Investigating gut hormones and bariatric surgery

29 February 2016

Dr Victoria Salem, at Imperial College London, is the first Diabetes UKHarry Keen Intermediate Clinical Fellow. We recently awarded Victoria nearly £900,000 to investigate the underlying biology of how gut hormones could effectively treat Type 2 diabetes and obesity in the future.

Recreating the effects of surgery 

Bariatric surgery (or a gastric bypass) can be an effective treatment of both obesity and Type 2 diabetes, resulting in dramatic weight loss and even remission of Type 2, but it’s not available to everyone.

Victoria has found that a rise in the levels of particular gut hormones is seen when the surgery is carried out, and she’s now exploring whether gut hormones could be used to recreate the effects of bariatric surgery in animals. 

Passion for the job

Victoria is in the final year of her specialist medical training in diabetes and endocrinology, and has always been interested in both medicine and research.

She’s also very passionate about helping people with diabetes, in her words: “You only have to meet a few people with diabetes – and members of my family have it, too – to understand what a massive impact this condition has.” 

Supporting future leaders

Anna Morris, Interim Director of Research at Diabetes UK says: “We’re really excited about the opportunity this new fellowship brings to support clinical researchers, who have the advantage of the experience treating people with diabetes and being scientists. We believe it’s crucial to support talented clinicians to follow a career in diabetes research as they can also contribute with their clinical experience and become leaders in the diabetes field”.  

You can read more about Dr Salem and what the Harry Keen fellowship means both to her and for people with diabetes in the upcoming March 2016 issue of Balance (become a member to receive our Balance magazine). 

Our first Harry Keen fellowship has been made possible through our partnership with Tesco.

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