On Tuesday 11th June 2019, the Department hosted the inaugural Sir Hans Krebs Lecture to coincide with the recruitment of a new Krebs Chair in Physiological Metabolism. The lectureship is supported by the University's Astor Visiting Lectureship Scheme.
Sir Hans Adolf Krebs first gained international recognition for his discovery of the urea cycle in 1931, considered a milestone in biochemistry. In 1953, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his second major discovery, the critic acid cycle, later known as the ‘Krebs Cycle’. This discovery provided us with an explanation of one of the most fundamental processes of life: the conversion of food into energy within a cell.
Krebs came to Oxford University in 1954 as Whitley Professor of Biochemistry and a fellow of Trinity College. He brought with him the Medical Research Council Unit for Research in Cell Metabolism, to the Metabolic Research Laboratory in the Radcliffe Infirmary.
The Sir Hans Krebs Lecture was delivered by Jeffrey Friedman M.D., PhD FRS on Leptin and the Endocrine Control of Food Intake and Metabolism.
Sir Hans Krebs FRS Nobel Laureate 1953 in Physiology or Medicine, was one of Oxford's greatest scientists of the 20th Century. It is only fitting that a distinguished lectureship should be named after him, and it was a great pleasure for the inaugural lecture to be delivered by the world leading molecular geneticist, Jeffrey M. Friedman FRS from Rockefeller University. - Head of Department, Professor David Paterson
Jeffrey Friedman is Professor at Rockefeller University and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Notably, Dr Friedman discovered and isolated leptin, an adipocyte hormone that regulates food intake and body weight in animals and humans. His discovery has had a major role in the area of human obesity. Leptin mutations are now known to cause severe obesity, and treatment with leptin corrects the obesity in these patients. Leptin is also an approved treatment for lipodystrophy, a severe metabolic disorder.
Dr Friedman shared the 2010 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research with Douglas Coleman for the discovery of leptin. He was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2001 from which he received the Kovalenko Medal. He has has received the Gairdner International Award, Keio Medical Science Prize, Shaw Prize, BBVA Prize, and an honorary degree from Yale University, among others. He was recently elected as Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2018, and is the recipient of the 2019 Wolf Prize.
His current research laboratory is aimed at understanding the genetic basis of obesity in human and the neural mechanisms by which leptin regulates appetite and metabolism.
The lecture was followed by a drinks and canapes reception in the Sherrington reception foyer.
To view more pictures of the lecture, click here.
To find out more about Sir Krebs, click here.