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Research recognition

03 May 2011

Basic Science PrizeDr Wells received his prize from Professor Julia Buckingham, Society for Endocrinology Chair

A Senior Lecturer at the School of Biosciences has been awarded the Clinical Endocrinology Trust Basic Science Prize by the Society for Endocrinology.

Dr Tim Wells received his prize and delivered a prize lecture at the Society’s annual meeting which took place recently in Birmingham.

Dr Wells’ work focuses on the actions of ghrelin, a hormone produced mainly by cells in the stomach, and its role in the regulation of other metabolic hormones and the development of obesity. The lecture he delivered at the conference explored his research work in defining the endocrine and metabolic characteristics of a mouse model of Prader-Willi syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms that include learning difficulties, elevated ghrelin secretion, overeating and obesity.

This translational research project conducted by Dr Wells, has been a truly interdisciplinary collaboration, including staff from Cardiff’s Schools of Medicine; Psychology; and Optometry and Vision Sciences, as well as the Center for Mammalian Genetics at the University of Florida.

Dr Wells said: "I am delighted to have been awarded this prize by the Society for Endocrinology. This work has been the culmination of concerted research by my collaborators and supported by seed-corn funding received from the Schools of Biosciences and Medicine.

"I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to determine which of the symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome are dependent upon elevated circulating ghrelin, thereby establishing the potential therapeutic value of modifying ghrelin signalling in this complex condition.

The prize is awarded annually to the highest scoring basic science abstract submitted for the conference. Dr Wells’ work was chosen from almost 400 abstracts submitted this year.

The Society for Endocrinology was set up to promote the advance of endocrinology. Its annual meeting brings together the best of basic science, translational research, clinical investigation and clinical practice.

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