Learn more about the Physiological Society and their work in obesity

Learn more about the Physiological Society and their work in obesity

We welcome original and review articles for the special issue of the Journal of Physiology https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/14697793/resources/call-for-papers"

We are pleased to meet with Dr Peter Aldiss and Dr Jo Edward Lewis. Over the summer, Danish Diabetes Academy Fellow Dr. Peter Aldiss (Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen) and Dr. Jo Edward Lewis (Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge) organised and ran the ‘Physiology of Obesity: From Mechanisms to Medicine’ a 12-week early-career webinar series which was sponsored, and hosted by the Physiological Society, UK.

Drs Aldiss and Lewis, can you tell us a bit about the summer webinar series hosted by the Physiological Society?

Over 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight or living with obesity with an estimated annual cost of 1.2 trillion USD. Many individuals experiencing obesity also have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (metS), type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD), with these co-morbidities driving mortality. Once an individual develops obesity, physiological changes to the body’s metabolism make long-term weight loss challenging and therefore biologically driven strategies to intervene and reduce body weight are vital in addressing  obesity.

The physiology of obesity: from mechanisms to medicine webinar series:

See webinars here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlqI96GMwNGHBi3vx5On-aS5HeZvTupuy and future sessions: https://www.physoc.org/events/) was academically multi-disciplinary covering basic science  and clinical arenas, disseminating novel insights relevant to human obesity and its co-morbidities. In addition, the series explored the molecular, cellular and neural mechanisms underlying obesity, as well as behavioural aspects, integrating existing knowledge to drive future discovery.

Both EASO and the Physiological Society have been hugely supportive of our early career researcher themed symposia in previous years and our mantra throughout has been ‘for ECRs by ECRs’. This 12 week series followed on successfully from ECR led symposia at the European Congress on Obesity (2018 and 2019), Experimental Biology (2019) and Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes at Physiology 2019.

For this webinar series our rationale was that ECR’s will be disproportionally affected by COVID19. Despite intense pressure to publish findings, efforts have been hampered by lockdowns and further compounded by short term contracts. In addition, conference organisers and societies have postponed meetings on an unprecedented scale; while we support these decisions, the conference is a major opportunity to gain recognition and feedback on data, as well as establishing a network of collaborators. This series looked to negate some of these aspects and minimise the impact of the pandemic of those of us at a critical juncture in our career by connecting the next generation of leaders in the field.

Physiology can be a neglected area in obesity. It’s great that the series forms a special issue in the Journal of Physiology. We note that you and Dr Lewis are seeking submissions of original manuscripts for a special issue on obesity. Can you provide more information to EASO community members interested in submitting?

Whilst physiology is certainly an oft neglected area we are staunch advocates of the discipline. We believe that the interest in this series and quality of both science, and speakers, and level of engagement emphasises not only the importance of physiology in obesity but that the field has an extremely bright future.

As the series progressed we worked with the Journal of Physiology managing editor, Sally Howells, to transform this series into a special issue. In doing so, we have created further opportunity for all ECR’s involved in the series. Each speaker will be invited to submit a Symposium review’ article along with their respective PI and we are now seeking original research (and innovative reviews) to complement these areas.

We welcome original and review articles for the special issue of the Journal of Physiology (https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/hub/journal/14697793/resources/call-for-papers). The special issue will retain the successful format and basic structure of other special issues published by the Journal. Speakers from our webinar series have been invited to submit and therefore the issue will champion early career researchers, as well as being multi-disciplinary. The ‘Call for Papers’ is intended to widen participation and add excellent, original research to the compilation of symposia reviews already solicited. The deadline for submissions is the 30th January 2021 and we welcome individuals to contact us with proposals for manuscripts (jl2033@medschl.cam.ac.uk and peter.aldiss@sund.ku.dk). 

Dr Peter Aldiss (@Peter_Aldiss) is a Danish Diabetes Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Basic Metabolic Research, Copenhagen (PI Prof. Matt Gillum). His research background includes the physiological regulation of thermogenic brown adipose tissue to combat obesity and the role of NAD+ precursors in regulating skeletal muscle and islet biology. Now, following award of his 3-year postdoctoral fellowship he will be investigating the neurobiology, and genetics, of FGF21 to uncover the neural circuits, and mechanisms through which this hepatoprotective hormone supresses alcohol and sugar addiction. He has published 12 papers in peer reviewed journals, with 193 citations and a H index of 6.

Dr Jo Edward Lewis (@joedwardlewis) is a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge (PIs Professor Frank Reimann and Professor Fiona Gribble). He has extensive research experience, having completed his PhD in 2015. His research is focussed on the interaction between the periphery and the homeostatic and hedonic centres of the brain that will allow us to determine the physiological and behavioural mechanisms, in addition to the molecular pathways behind hunger and satiety, and on how we can use this information to develop new insights for the treatment of obesity. He has published 23 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, with 255 citations and a current H-factor of 8 and has been an Academic Editor at PLOS ONE since April 2019.