Jonathan Seckl - Biography#


Seckl's research, funded by a prestigious Wellcome Trust Clinical Senior Research Fellowship (and the first ever renewal), four successive Wellcome Programme Grants over 21 years and major programme awards from MRC, HFSP, EU and BHF (career income >£110 million), has discovered and elucidated the importance of enzymes which metabolise glucocorticoid hormones. He has illuminated their importance in the obesity-diabetes-heart disease continuum and in the ageing brain. Seckl also proposed the glucocorticoid hypothesis of ‘fetal programming’ and advanced and evidenced transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms for this.

Seckl's papers have been cited over 37,000 times (h=96; 94 papers>100 citations) and include outputs in Science, Nature Neurosci, Nature Medicine, PNAS, Lancet, NEJM, JAMA and BMJ. He has given over 200 invited lectures at international meetings, and has talked to lay audiences and the media (including BBC2’s Horizon) on stress, obesity, developmental programming and brain ageing. Over 45 of his students have gained PhDs, several are professors or other leadership positions across the globe. He has been awarded prestigious fellowships, prizes and honorary degrees from leading European and global bodies.

Seckl has championed translation and commercialisation in academia. He holds patents in the fields of cognitive ageing and diabetes/obesity. He has led drug discovery in an academic setting. His selective brain-accessing drugs targeting steroid metabolism are in phase II clinical trails to treat cognitive decline with ageing. He chairs major UK grant funding panels, including those advancing biomedical translation.

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