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The Croonian Medal and Lecture 2022 given by Sir Stephen O'Rahilly FMedSci FRS and Professor Sadaf Farooqi FMedSci FRS


The Croonian Medal and Lecture 2022 given by Sir Stephen O'Rahilly FMedSci FRS and Professor Sadaf Farooqi FMedSci FRS.


Globally, over 1 billion people are overweight or obese. Obesity and its complications are associated with significant morbidity and mortality due to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. While the widespread availability of high calorie, palatable food and physical inactivity are major environmental drivers of the rise in prevalence of obesity, heritable factors play a substantial role in influencing a person’s propensity to gain weight (or not), within an obesogenic environment. 

In this lecture, Professors O’Rahilly and Farooqi will discuss how the identification of genes and the pathways they regulate has highlighted the fundamental role of the brain in modulating eating behaviour and body weight. They will discuss how studies of the leptin-melanocortin pathway have provided a mechanistic framework for understanding how body weight is regulated in humans, how energy status is coupled to reproduction and growth and how disruption of these neural mechanisms causes obesity. They will also discuss the impact of this work on societal perceptions of obesity and how targeting these mechanisms has provided new treatments for people with severe obesity.

Attending the event

  • This lecture will take place at The Royal Society (this is an in-person event) on 14 April at 6.30pm BST. This event will be recorded (including the live Q&A) and the recording will be available on YouTube soon after the event. 
  • The event is free to join. Advance registration is essential due to seating availability.
  • Live subtitles will be available.
  • If after registering you are not able to attend, please cancel your ticket so others can attend.
  • The lecture will be livestreamed onto this webpage, this does not require any registration. If you wish to receive a reminder for the stream please book an online-only ticket and you will be sent a link to view the lecture. This page will update with a livestream on the day as well as a link to participate in the live Q&A.

The award

The Croonian Medal and Lecture is the premier lecture in the biological sciences. The lectureship was conceived by William Croone FRS (PDF), one of the original Fellows of the Society. Among the papers left on his death in 1684 were plans to endow two lectureships, one at the Royal Society and the other at the Royal College of Physicians. His widow later bequeathed the means to carry out the scheme. The lecture series began in 1738. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £10,000. 

Enquiries: contact the Events team.