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Obesity, metabolic and liver disease, and cancer

We are tackling major health issues caused by unhealthy lifestyles and poor nutrition that typically affect the middle agedfocussing on obesity, metabolic and liver disease, and cancer 


Key investigator: Prof Philip Calder

Professor Philip Calder leads the  Centre’s research into nutrition and disease during adulthood. He has a personal focus on the influence of dietary fatty acids on the immune system, inflammation and cardiometabolic risk.

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Treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common metabolic disease that typically affects adults who are overweight or obese. It increases the likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes and heart disease. We are now expanding our early-phase trials of omega-3 fatty acids and of pre and probiotic supplements to develop new interventions to help tackle the disease. 

Preventing cancer complications

Working with the Behavioural Science cross-cutting theme, we are looking into improving breast cancer patients’ wellbeing and preventing obesity-associated recurrent and second cancers through new nutritional and lifestyle approaches.

Predicting surgical and cancer outocmes

With the Microbial Science cross-cutting theme, we are investigating predicting outcome after bariatric surgery based on the make up of the gut microbiome (the natural population of bacteria and microorganisms in our gut). We are also working to understand the role of the gut microbiome response to cancer immunotherapy.

Personalising nutritional care

Using our NIHR STEPWISE trial platform and Behavioural Science cross-cutting  theme insights, we’re identifying new ways to help patients with poor mental health better manage their weight.

We’re continuing our work on personalised treatment of alcohol harm, using routine NHS data to identify markers of alcohol harms and the “data warehouse” developed by the Data Science cross-cutting theme to pilot new ways to prevent alcohol-related liver disease and breast cancer.

In Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease we are expanding our early-phase trials of pre/probiotic supplements in tackling the disease.

Participatory research for  bone and joint health

Through our BRC Centre for Participatory Medicine we are performing  participatory research to achieve lifestyle/nutrition change in NHS staff/other workplace locations, supporting Southampton’s wider work in musculoskeletal health and work.