Diabetes – from the 1920s to new advances: 90th Anniversary symposium for the Postgraduate Medical Journal

Personalised medicine has evolved from the ethics of the Hammurabi Code and Hippocrates, judgements of the apothecary and uromancer, and good bedside manner, to modern application of genetics to guiding development, selection and monitoring of medicines. The Postgraduate Medical Journal was launched in 1925 in the era of the discovery of insulin and penicillin, pioneering examples of development and introduction of life-saving and life-changing medicines during the latter three-quarters of the 20th Century [image – Creative Commons by Computix].

A Symposium was organised in London on 1st October 2015 by the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine to mark the 90th Anniversary of its first official journal, the Postgraduate Medical Journal, with speakers including Professor Melanie Davies (Leicester) on progress in managing diabetes.

Professor Davies is Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Honorary Consultant Diabetologist in the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. She is Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre which has 140 research staff and is hosted by the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester. She trained in Sheffield, Cambridge, Ipswich and Leicester. Her research work concerns cause of Type 2 diabetes, screening and prevention of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and self management, structured education and new therapies including the incretin-based therapies.

She is an NIHR Senior Investigator, one of only a handful in diabetes in the UK, Director of a Clinical Trial Unit, Director of the Diabetes Research Network in the South East Midlands and Principal Investigator I on a number of large global studies in the field of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.  She has been an expert for NICE on a number of its guidelines groups and has published over 300 original articles including in the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and the BMJ. She has over 350 published abstracts and 10 book chapters and co-edited the diabetes section in the ‘Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes’ in 2011.

Speakers on the day will commented on what medicine was like in the 1920s, current progress in their field, and what is in prospect over the next 90 years.

Other speakers included FPM Fellow Professor Peter Barnes FRS, London, who will speak on evolution of asthma and COPD over 90 years, Professor Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge and Past-President of the Royal College of Physicians who discussed opportunities to improve public health through a focus on health in the workplace, vascular surgeon Professor Alison Halliday (Oxford) on carotid surgery to prevent stroke,  FPM Fellow cardiac surgeon Wade Dimitri (Coventry) who will discuss early development of heart surgery, FPM Fellow Andrew Marsh, who will discuss new approaches drug discovery, Dr Paul Nunn (London), former Director of the WHO Tuberculosis Programme, on advances in managing tuberculosis, Professor Dudley Pennell (London) on advances in imaging the heart, FPM Fellow Professor Munir Pirmohamed (Liverpool) who discussed Progress in Personalised Medicine, Dr June Raine (MHRA, London) on vigilance and risk management of medicines, Emeritus Professor Terence Ryan (Oxford) on Sir William OslerProfessor Karol Sikora (London) on cancer – a disease of our time, and Dr David Wilkinson, President of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (London) on development of anaesthesia over the past 90 years.

More on the Symposium, the Postgraduate Medical Journal and the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine.

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