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Wednesday, 24 November 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Food-and-Drink Borne Diseases

Professor Chris Whitty

Many major diseases are transmitted by food or drink. Cholera (water), brucellosis (milk), BSE/nvCJD, typhoid and many parasites are ingested as part of a normal diet. The more exotic the diet, the greater the range of possible infections. Water technology, sanitation, pasteurisation and animal husbandry can substantially reduce but not eliminate these 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. He is also Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and the UK Government's Chief Medical Adviser.

He still practices as an NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. He is involved in many day-to-day public health decisions for the UK.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and head of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 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). Before becoming CMO he was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and was previously Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health.

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

The major cancers and their prevention and treatment are the theme for his second series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic.

Professor Whitty's lectures series are as follows:

2021/22 Infections and Their Routes of Transmission

2020/21 Major Debates in Public Health

2019/20 Cancer: A Fight we are Steadily Winning (series continued into 2020/21)

2018/19 Infections Diseases: The Oldest Enemy

2017/18 Chronic Diseases (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2016/17 Bold Ideas in Medicine (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2014/15, 2015/16 Medicine at the Extremes of Life (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2013, 2014 and 2016 Imported Infections and Epidemics (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Physic can be accessed here.

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