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Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Infections and the Nerves

Professor Chris Whitty


Certain infections have a particular impact on the peripheral nerves as part of their normal disease process. Some infectious effects are predominately on the motor nerves such as polio (currently heading for eradication); these can cause weakness or paralysis. Other infections affect or invade the sensory nerves including leprosy and the common viral infection herpes zoster which initially presents as chickenpox. Some bacteria produce toxins which have powerful effects on the nerves including tetanus, diphtheria and botulinum. 

This lecture will cover how infections can interfere with peripheral nerves and recent progress made against these debilitating diseases.

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Christopher Whitty CB FRCP FMedSci is Gresham Professor of Physic (the term for medicine when the post was created in 1597) at Gresham College, Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Professor Whitty is also Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and head of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIHR). He is involved in many day-to-day public health decisions for the UK, especially for infectious diseases and emergencies.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession and was previously Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Professor Whitty has worked as a clinician and in public health research in the UK, Africa and Asia. He undertook his postgraduate training in epidemiology, economics and medical law.

A multidisciplinary research scientist, he is current in many areas of science and has an international reputation. Professor Whitty’s work spans the breadth of medicine, while his research has mainly focused on infectious disease and diseases of poverty in the UK, Africa and Asia. Infectious diseases are the theme for his first series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic.

Current Gresham Professor of Medical science

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