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British geneticist to deliver local lecture


British geneticist to deliver local lecture

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THE BRITISH SCIENTIST who discovered the protein that causes neonatal diabetes will deliver the 39th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture at the Frank Collymore Hall on November 24 at 8 p.m.

The lecture is sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados.

Professor Frances Ashcroft, a research professor at Oxford University, has an international reputation for work in the area of insulin secretion, type two diabetes and neonatal diabetes. Her work has enabled children born with diabetes to switch from insulin injections to tablet therapy.

It was back in 1984 that she discovered the cause of neonatal diabetes. This discovery led to a medical breakthrough years later of a pill which people born with diabetes can take instead of being administered an insulin injection. Of this discovery, she said she felt so “over the moon” that she could not sleep.

Professor Ashcroft expends much of her time now trying to understand why people become overweight.

She is the recipient of the Walter B.Cannon Award, the highest honour bestowed by the American Physiological Society, and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.

“We are truly honoured to have Professor Ashcroft share her research with us on this non-communicable disease that is of immense concern to the health and prosperity of our nation,” Governor Dr. DeLisle Worrell commented.

“There are about 40 000 diabetics in Barbados, and in recent times several agencies have contributed to the public education about the causes and effective management of the illness. This lecture is another effort to sensitise Barbadians about the disease, and we encourage all Barbadians to make a special effort to attend,” the Bank said.

The Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture memorialises the life and work of Barbados’ first native Governor General Sir Arleigh Winston Scott and celebrates the country’s independence. (PR)