Metabolism…the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life…the interconnected sequences of mostly enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions by which a cell, tissue, organ, etc., sustains energy production, and synthesizes and breaks down complex molecules Oxford English Dictionary
The chemical reactions of the body that generate energy and are used for the synthesis of molecules are clearly central to life itself. Disordered metabolism plays a crucial role in a broad range diseases from rare disorders of single genes to conditions as common as obesity and cancer .
Obesity is the major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and is associated with many different cancers. Disorders related to over-nutrition have reached epidemic proportions world-wide, and represent a serious threat to global health, well-being and economic development. These diseases are complex disorders, the solutions to which are likely to involve integration of fundamental knowledge regarding the control of metabolic and hormonal systems with nutritional, behavioural, population health and social science disciplines.
Cambridge is fortunate in having many leading investigators examining all aspects of these disorders, encompassing disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, psychology, physiology, health economics and policy, mathematics, pathology, epidemiology, systems approaches and others. The Cambridge Metabolic Network has been established by the University to foster and facilitate cross-disciplinary communication and interaction in the general area of metabolism in health and disease.
Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly, Chair of the Cambridge Metabolic Network Steering Committee