This project will build on work previously funded by us that has shown how the normal gut senses nutrients. The team will now use proven techniques developed at the National Bowel Research Centre over the last five years to investigate processes within the guts of obese patients.

Using tissue, obtained with consent from patients at the Royal London Hospital, the researchers will use techniques including PCR, immunohistochemistry, hormone release assays and calcium imaging.

The research team

The research will be led by Professor Ashley Blackshaw at the Wingate Institute for Neurogastroenterology at Queen Mary University.

Why study nutrient sensing in obese humans?

Obesity is fast becoming one of the major health issues of modern times. Carrying weight around the middle is a key risk factor for bowel cancer, and up to 50% of bowel cancer diagnoses are related to lifestyle. As well as bowel cancer, obese individuals are at higher risk of a number of other serious conditions, including heart disease and type II diabetes as well as mental health problems, such as depression.

This study aims to support other work funded by and through us which will lead to the development of a simple, acceptable and safe therapy for obese individuals that will avoid surgery. The outcome will be better for the individual and remove a significant burden from the healthcare system.