College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Video collection

View the collection of videos from the Let's Talk About Health series.

Video: Healing the damaged gut: Let's Talk About Health lecture
"Healing the damaged gut in inflammatory bowel diseases - from the scientist, the patient and the doctor." Lecture by Gwo-Tzer Ho, Emily Thompson and Kris McGuire, Centre for Inflammation Research .

Healing the damaged gut in inflammatory bowel diseases - from the scientist, the patient and the doctor.

Gwo-Tzer Ho, Emily Thompson and Kris McGuire, Centre for Inflammation Research.

Lecture held on 19 February 2020.

Our gut is responsible for the digestion of food to provide energy and nutrients. Despite containing 100 trillion bacteria and exposure to a daily array of foreign particles, additives and toxins, it remains remarkably healthy. But in  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this fine balance breaks down and the gut becomes inflamed giving rise to many debilitating symptoms. 



Let's talk about dementia - what happens to the brain and how can we fix it?

Colin Smith and Tara Spires-Jones

Lecture held on 22 January 2020. 

Approximately 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia and the annual global cost of dementia is over £600 billion. This lecture discusses current cutting-edge research at the University of Edinburgh aiming to fully understand the condition to develop effective treatments.



The future of female fertility

Norah Spears and Evelyn Telfer, Biomedical Sciences

Lecture held on 11 December 2019. 

Female fertility declines with age yet more women are delaying having children until later in life. Women are born with all their eggs and their number and quality is reduced as they get older. This process can be accelerated by exposure to certain treatments; for example young girls and women under-going chemotherapy can become infertile at an earlier age. If young eggs could be stored and used later or if new eggs could be made from stem cells we could overcome these damaging effects, and indeed the ageing process itself.




Podgy ponies and corpulent cobs; insights into the growing problem of equine obesity

John Keen and Ruth Morgan, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Lecture held on 27 November 2019. 

 the World Health Organisation estimates that the prevalence of obesity has trebled in the last 40 years. Obesity now contributes to 2.8 million human deaths per year, from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Obesity also affects domestic animals and, in the UK, almost 59% of dogs, 50% of cats and 40% of horses and ponies (0.5 million) are classified as overweight or obese. The main disease associated with obesity in horses is laminitis, a destructive condition of the horse’s hoof that causes severe pain and debilitation, often resulting in long-term disease and/or euthanasia. 

The lecture discusses what horses can teach us about the hormonal problems linked to obesity in humans. 




Heads and Tales: Stories of Dogs and Their Breathing Disorders

Richard Mellanby and Jeff Schoenebeck, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Lecture held on 23 October 2019. 

Dogs with flattened faces (brachycephalics) are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Since Victorian times, selective breeding of dogs has been a popular hobby that has created a body shape prone to several diseases and one of the most problematic is a difficulty in breathing. This condition can cause suffering and is under-recognised by some vets and owners. These breeds have proportionally more soft tissue in the head, filling the airways with excess tissue. But is that the whole story?




Know your enemy: unlocking the secrets of the tumour genome

Charlie Gourley: Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research & Colin Semple: Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine

Lecture held 20 March 2019

It has long been known that as cancer cells grow and evolve they accumulate mutations, or changes in their DNA. We are now in the golden age of cancer genomics, where technological advances mean we can study these changes in detail across the entire human genome, that is, all the DNA in a human cell. 




Poor air quality: polluting hearts and minds

Lecture held: 20 February 2019

Tom Russ, Clinical Brain Sciences, Mark Miller, University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Research

Air pollution is estimated to be responsible for several million premature deaths worldwide every year. The harmful effect of air pollution on the lungs is well known, but recent research suggests the damaging effects may be more widespread.




New kidneys for old: a challenge for surgery and tissue engineering

Lecture held 23 January 2019

Lorna Marson, Transplant Surgery & MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Jamie Davies, Discovery Brain Sciences

5000 patients are currently waiting for a kidney transplant in the UK. Although we transplanted just over 3000 kidneys last year, a large number of patients are still waiting for this life-saving and life-changing operation. What else can be done to improve the lives of those people with kidney disease?



Inventing medical devices - the hypodermic needle that can see

Lecture held on 12 December 2018

Fiona Denison, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Marc Desmulliez, Heriot-Watt University

A major challenge in therapy is to ensure that drugs are precisely delivered to the right place in the body. This lecture explores research that is leading to the development of a needle which has ultrasound embedded into the device so that the operator can see in real-time exactly where the tip of the needle is. 



It’s a Dogslife – using the web to understand dogs’ health over their lifetime

Lecture held on 14 November 2018

Dylan Clements, Carys Pugh, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

A quarter of UK households own a dog, which makes them the UK’s most popular pet. However, beyond vaccination and parasitic treatments there are few preventative measures to keep dogs healthy. 

Since launching in 2010, the Dogslife project has recruited nearly 8000 labrador retrievers which are being followed over their lifetime, making it the largest cohort study of dog health in the world. The lecture explores how this dataset is helping to identify and understand genetic and lifestyle factors which are associated with the healthy aging of dogs and the illnesses dogs develop.  



Moving towards rabies elimination in Africa and Asia –a ‘One Health’ approach to help animals and humans

Lecture held on 10 October 2018

Richard Mellanby, Stella Mazeri, Clinical Veterinary Research

Rabies is a devastating disease of both dogs and humans. Globally, 60 000 people a year die from rabies, many of whom are children living in some of the poorest communities in the world. Pioneering work by The University of Edinburgh nearly 20 years ago established how rabies can be prevented in both humans and dogs through vaccination of dogs. However, despite knowing how to eliminate rabies, many animals and humans still die each year from this brutal disease.



Liver cancer: impending epidemic

Lecture held on 14 March 2018

Rachel Guest, Division of Clinical Health Sciecnes and Luke Boulter, MRC Human Genetics Unit.

The number of people diagnosed with liver cancer in the UK is ten times higher now than it was at the end of the 1970s.  It continues to be seen as a cancer caused by alcoholism and a high risk lifestyle.  Perhaps for this reason, research into these highly aggressive tumours has lagged behind the advances made in breast and bowel cancer.  With the rise in diabetes and fatty liver, liver cancer is set to become one of the UK's biggest killers in the coming decades. The lecture examines how stem cells behave and regenerate the damaged liver to better understand how these tumours grow and how we can develop new drugs to tackle this often untreatable and fatal disease.



The effect of being born early on children and young people

Lecture held on 21 February 2018

Speakers James Boardman, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health; and Sue Fletcher-Watson, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Being born too soon or too small affects around 15 million babies around the world each year. Some of these babies grow and develop well, while others experience difficulties with development and learning. The lecture examines research that is leading to discoveries of new ways to help children who were born premature reach their full potential in life.



A fat lot of good! Appendicitis and the benefits of specialised fat tissue

Lecture held 24 January 2018

Damian Mole, Clinical Surgery & MRC Centre for Inflammation Research; and Cecile Benezech, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

 Appendicitis is the most common abdominal emergency needing surgery. One in 13 people will suffer from appendicitis at some point in their lives. During appendicitis, the appendix becomes inflamed and swells. The omentum, which is a large piece of abdominal fat tissue rich in immune system cells, detects this inflammation and wraps itself around the inflamed appendix. 

Hear about recent research on inflammation and the omentum, how the omentum can be used by surgeons during surgery, what we are doing to understand its function, and how we are planning to use this in the future, to help patients with peritonitis.



Preterm birth: can we do better?

 Lecture held on Wednesday 6 December 2017

 Sarah Murray, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health; and Karen Chapman, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science talk about current research in Edinburgh that is focussed on preventing preterm birth, and on improving our understanding of the benefits and risks of antenatal corticosteroid treatment.



Vitamin D: hope or hype?
Lecture held on Wednesday 15 November 2017
Richard Mellanby, and Iris Mair, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at The University of Edinburgh discuss how studies on dogs were pivotal in the discovery of vitamin D and how research on man’s best friend continues to illuminate the ongoing debate of the importance of vitamin D on health beyond the skeleton.



Epilepsy: is the genetic revolution friend or foe?

Lecture held on Wednesday 15 March 2017

Richard FM Chin, Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre; and Cathy Abbott, Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine at The University of Edinburgh explore the advances, the dilemmas, and the hopes for the future as we hunt for a cure and or better treatments for epilepsy.



Breast cancer - the advent of personalised medicine

Lecture held on Wednesday 15 February 2017

Helen Creedon, and Val Brunton, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, The University of Edinburgh explore exciting research aimed at developing new treatment strategies, that are personalised to the individual patient’s cancer, to maximise treatment effectiveness and limit unpleasant side-effects.     



The first 1000 days. How stressful events before and shortly after birth can shape the rest of your life

Lecture held on Wednesday 18 January 2017

Rebecca Reynolds and Megan Holmes, UoE/ BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science, The University of Edinburgh discuss how stress causes this health risk to the developing baby, and our research into why these unwanted effects may occur.  



Losing our minds: Can we stop our brains from ageing?

Lecture held on Wednesday 7 December 2016

Susan Shenkin, and Iva Čukic, Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE), The University of Edinburgh discuss our recent research on the causes of cognitive ageing, its effects on people’s lives, and whether there’s anything that can be done to help people’s brains stay sharp in old age.



Inflammatory bowel disease: bench to bedside.

Lecture held on Wednesday 16 November 2016

Jack Satsangi, and Elaine Nimmo, Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, The University of Edinburgh discuss the latest research that is leading to new understanding of the ways in which our genes interact with our environment to cause these chronic diseases.   



Delirium and dementia in old age: do our stress hormones contribute?

Lecture held on Wednesday 16 March 2016

Alasdair MacLullich, Geriatric Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Joyce Yau, BHF/Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh discuss during normal ageing, the brain becomes vulnerable to high levels of stress hormones. This can manifest in two common disorders; delirium, an acute brain disorder that normally resolves in a few days or weeks, and dementia, a chronic, mostly incurable brain disorder, caused by brain shrinkage.



Multiple sclerosis: success, challenges and hope

Lecture held on Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Anna Williams, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh; and Dave Lyons, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Neuroregeneration at the University of Edinburgh discuss the neurological disorder multiple sclerosis, which has a particularly high prevalence in Scotland.



It’s time for ‘T’ – the importance of testosterone for lifelong male health

Lecture held on Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Rod Mitchell, Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at the University of Edinburgh; and Lee Smith, Chair of Genetic Endocrinology, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh discuss the hormone testosterone and its importance for male health and wellbeing.  



Lighting up lungs – the PROTEUS project: An interdisciplinary approach to visualising disease

Lecture held on Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Kevin Dhaliwal and Rob Thomson discuss an inter-disciplinary research project that brings together experts in astronomy, engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and medicine. The experts, from three universities, have united with a common goal to help us ‘see the light‘ in the lung.



Let sunshine into your heart

Lecture held on Wednesday, 11 March 2015  

Richard Weller from the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh and Darren Shaw, Royal (Dick) Vet School / The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, discuss new research that is shedding new (sun) light on the benefits and risks of sun exposure.



Treating injured lungs by extinguishing inflammation

Lecture held on Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Timothy Walsh and Adriano Rossi from the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh discuss new collaborative work by clinicians and scientists experimenting in clinical and laboratory settings to help us better understand the underlying inflammatory processes that lead to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) lung injury.   



Obesity - how do our genes contribute?

Lecture held on Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mandy Drake and Nik Morton from UoE/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science discuss how our genes and environment contribute to obesity.



Cervical cancer, vaccines and how to help the reproductive health of the developing world.

Lecture held on Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Sarah Howie from the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research and Heather Cubie, HPV Research Group, at the University of Edinburgh discuss the progress and challenges in research into HR-HPV and cervical disease and ongoing research involving local specialists and the community in Malawi.



New and future diabetes therapies

Lecture held on Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Shareen Forbes, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science and Kevin Docherty, from the University of Aberdeen, discuss Type 1 diabetes and the impact the discovery of insulin has had on quality of life for people with diabetes.  New therapies being developed for people for whom insulin injections do not work are also discussed in this lecture.  



Saving brains: developing effective treatments for stroke

Lecture held on Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Malcolm Macleod, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences; and Karen Horsburgh, Centre for Neuroregeneration discuss exciting new approaches to modelling stroke in the laboratory, some of the new treatments that are being developed in the laboratory, and how these are being brought forward for use with patients.