I was very pleased to be invited to give the AWT Edwards Memorial Oration at this year’s ASMR National Scientific Conference (NSC) – Bugs, Bowels and Beyond. The AWT Edwards Memorial Oration is named after the 1966 ASMR President, Tony Edwards, who passed away during his Presidency. I am honoured to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous Edwards Orators including Professors Fiona Wood and Peter Doherty, and Sir Gustav Nossal.
As a clinician, I became interested in the role that the nervous system may play in unexplained gut disorders – a research field referred to as neurogastroenterology. This interest has translated into a programme of research into difficult to study gut diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia (severe indigestion) and gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying). For many years these diseases were considered psychosomatic, but work carried out within my lab suggests that there may be a genetic basis. My group has identified a new genetic form of irritable bowel syndrome and the first ever gene for functional dyspepsia. We have identified a new disease in adults, duodenal eosinophilia, that likely explains a large group of patients with previously unexplained dyspepsia. We have also pioneered research into the role of H. pylori in dyspepsia, which has led to transformations in clinical practice.
I look forward to sharing more about my journey into this exciting field of research work when I present at NSC2015.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Laureate Professor Nick Talley