Endocrine Abstracts (2004) 7

Clinical Endocrinology Trust Lecture

Ashley Grossman, Department of Endocrinology, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK Abstract

Ashley Grossman initially graduated with a BA in Psychology and Social Anthropology from the University of London, then entered University College Hospital Medical School in London where he graduated with an MBBS, and with a BSc in Neuroscience. He joined the Department of Endocrinology at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1978, where he is currently Professor of Neuroendocrinology and Consultant Physician. In 2000 he was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and in 2004 he becomes President of the European Neuroendocrine Association.

His laboratory is mainly concerned the pathogenesis of tumours, particularly of the pituitary, but including other neuroendocrine tumours, adrenal tumours and breast cancer. This work has focussed on the disruption of the cell cycle, as well as of the normal regulatory signalling pathways in these tumours. His research team also have an on-going interest in the pathophysiology of the novel hormone ghrelin, most recently in its role in appetite regulation (with Dr Marta Korbonits). Other interests include studies into the role of the opioid peptides in hypothalamic control, particularly as counter-regulators to the control of the stress axes, both pituitary--adrenal and the sympathetic nervous system: his group was one of the first to fully characterise the function of opioids in man. His research team also explored the means whereby cytokines modulate neuroendocrine function, and subsequently established the important direct control of the hypothalamus by interleukins-1 and -6. This led on to an extensive series of the studies, which clearly demonstrated the importance of nitric oxide and carbon monoxide as gaseous neurotransmitters. Clinically, he has always had an abiding interest in the optimal diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for the control of hypothalamic and pituitary tumours, especially Cushing's disease, and he was the in the first forefront in the use of the hypothalamic peptides CRH and GHRH diagnostically and therapeutically.

He has published nearly 500 research papers and reviews, and has particular interests in pituitary and hypothalamic tumours, endocrine oncology, and the molecular pathogenesis of neuroendocrine tumours.

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