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Wednesday, 27 March 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Infections of the Abdominal Organs

Professor Chris Whitty

Our gut is permanently full of large numbers of bacteria and other organisms but serious infections relatively rarely occur due to its extraordinary immune system. Infections of these organs can, however, occur in specific situations. Specialised bacteria and parasites can damage the gut or its functions including direct invasion or toxins. The liver can be damaged by hepatitis viruses, parasites and other infections. 

Common gut bacteria (Gram negative bacteria) which in their normal place inside the gut cause no serious problems occasionally bypass the body's defences and can set up serious infections including septicaemia. Public health including the sanitation movement reduced but has not eliminated transmission of these potentially dangerous infections. This lecture will consider infections that normally live inside our gut, how the body keeps them there and what happens when this fails.

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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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