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Lecture "Obesity cannot be cured, but increasingly better treated"

Prof. Matthias BlüherDirector of the Helmholtz Institute for Metabolism, Obesity and Vasculature research at the Helmholtz Center Munich and the University of Leipzig, Germany

17.6. 2024, start: 16:30

There are multiple challenges and open questions related to the effective treatment of obesity. We do not understand the mechanisms causing obesity well enough to offer an etiology-based individualized treatment and effective prevention. At the individual level, we still recommend calorie restricted diets and increasing physical activity, although these strategies have only very little long-term effects. An effective treatment of obesity requires a systematic assessment of factors potentially affecting energy intake, metabolism, and expenditure. Current weight loss strategies may not address the underlying causes of energy imbalance. Surgical treatments of obesity, although highly effective, are unavailable for many individuals with obesity. Accordingly, no effective and safe treatment options are available to most individuals with obesity. In the past, the use of anti-obesity drugs, the logical choice to fill this therapeutic gap, has been limited because of a lack of efficacy, poor long-term adherence rates or serious adverse effects. It is therefore imperative that we develop new approaches for effective and safe obesity pharmacotherapies. Novel treatment approaches include pharmacotherapies such as several co-agonists based on incretin molecules (e.g. glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1)/gastric inhibitory polypeptide, GLP-1/glucagon), individual modifications of the microbiome, activating human brown adipose tissue by cold exposure and others.



Matthias Blüher is Professor of Obesity Medicine, Director of the Helmholtz Institute for Metabolism, Obesity and Vasculature research at the Helmholtz Center Munich and the University of Leipzig, Germany. He is Speaker of the Collaborative Research Center “Obesity mechanisms” at the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany. Matthias Blüher´s research is focused on the role of adipose tissue function and distribution in insulin resistance, the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.

Professor Blüher completed his medical studies at the University of Leipzig and his postdoctoral fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Centre, Boston, USA. Matthias´ work has been recognized both nationally and internationally, as he is a recipient of the Obesity Research Award of the German Obesity Society 2003, the Ferdinand-Bertram-Prize of the German Diabetes Association 2008, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Rising Star Award (2010), and the Minkowski Prize of the EASD 2015.  


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