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Solvable Problems in Diabetes 2021


8th annual Solvable Problems in Diabetes

Translating Innovations in Weight Management into Meaningful Results

September 28, 2021

9:30am PDT / 12:30pm EDT / 17:30 BST / 18:30 CEST​


New obesity therapies are sparking a discussion about the nature of the disease and new avenues for highly effective treatments and approaches. This panel of obesity experts, co-moderated by Dr. Alan Moses and Kelly Close, will explore the current buzz surrounding innovations in weight management. 

We will discuss the latest science on the nature and causes of obesity, its connection to diabetes and cardiovascular health, the future of obesity care, and the  effectiveness of new treatments. The panel will also dive into the topic of stigma and discrimination, where it exists and how it impacts people both with obesity and diabetes. The panel will address questions such as:

  • How can highly effective medications supplement intensive lifestyle interventions and bariatric surgery? 

  • What is the role genetics plays in both the incidence and treatment of obesity? 

  • How can we better coordinate obesity and diabetes care? 

  • How can we address the obesity epidemic without increasing the blame and shame experienced by people living with obesity? 

This year's program will feature four illustrious panelists who will participate in a captivating discussion co-moderated by The diaTribe Foundation's Dr. Alan Moses and Kelly Close:

  • Professor Sadaf Farooqi of University of Cambridge, UK
  • Professor Lee Kaplan of Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Professor Carel le Roux of University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University, UK


Sadaf Farooqi
Professor of Metabolism and Medicine at the University of Cambridge
Sadaf Farooqi PhD, FRCP, FMedSci, FRS is a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Metabolism and Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is an internationally leading Clinician Scientist who has made seminal contributions to understanding the genetic and physiological mechanisms that underlie obesity and its complications. The work of Sadaf Farooqi and her colleagues has fundamentally altered the understanding of how body weight is regulated. With colleagues, she discovered and characterised the first genetic disorders that cause severe childhood obesity and established that the principal driver of obesity in these conditions was a failure of the control of appetite. Her work is often cited as an exemplar of how the translation of research into the mechanisms of disease can lead to patient benefit. She has received a number of awards including the ADA Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award 2019 and the Dale Medal 2021 (the highest honour awarded by the UK Society of Endocrinology). In 2021, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of her exceptional contribution to science. 
Lee Kaplan
Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute and Director of the Weight Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Lee M. Kaplan is Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute and founding director of the Weight Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital, leading centers for obesity research, education, and clinical care. A gastroenterologist and molecular biologist by training, he is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kaplan is a world-renowned obesity researcher, clinician and educator and a strong advocate for better understanding, prevention, and treatment of the many forms of obesity. Dr. Kaplan earned an MD/PhD from Yeshiva University and completed his residency and fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served in numerous governmental, non- governmental and corporate advisory roles and is currently the president of The Obesity Society.
Carel le Roux
Professor of Experimental Pathology, University College Dublin
Professor Carel le Roux graduated from medical school in Pretoria South Africa, completed his specialist training in metabolic medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and the Hammersmith Hospitals. He obtained his PhD from Imperial College London where he later took up a faculty position. He moved to University College Dublin for the Chair in Experimental Pathology and he is now a Director of the Metabolic Medicine Group. He also holds the position of Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Ulster University. He currently coordinates an Innovative Medicine Initiative project on obesity. He previously received a President of Ireland Young Researcher Award, Irish Research Council Laurate Award, Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute Health Research in the UK, and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship for his work on how the gut talks to the brain. 


Roy Taylor
Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University

Roy Taylor qualified in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and is Professor of Medicine and Metabolism at Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust. He founded the Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre in 2006 to develop innovative research techniques for all medical specialities. In 2011 he showed that type 2 diabetes was a simple, reversible condition of excess fat within liver and pancreas. His subsequent work has clarified the underlying abnormalities of lipid metabolism, all of which are potentially correctable by substantial weight loss. The elucidation of the pathophsyiology of type 2 diabetes has led to practical application with demonstration of durable remission achieved by primary care staff. Professor Taylor also developed the system now used throught the United Kingdom for screening for diabetic eye disease, with major reduction in blindness due to diabetes across the UK. 

Kelly Close
Founder at The diaTribe Foundation and President at Close Concerns
Kelly L. Close is the founder and Chair of the Board of The diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes, and advocating for action. Since 2006, she has been editor-in-chief at, our free website focused on making people with diabetes healthier, happier, and more hopeful. We send diaTribe mailers weekly to over 280,000 people with diabetes and their families. Since 2002, Kelly has been leading Close Concerns, a healthcare information firm focused on diabetes, obesity, digital health, and connected care. Each year Kelly and her colleagues attend over 40 scientific and regulatory gatherings in the US and around the world, focused in these areas; they read the key medical literature in the field and write regularly about dozens of private and public companies and nonprofit organizations in the field. Kelly graduated from Amherst College and Harvard Business School and lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children. Kelly's passion for diabetes comes from her extensive professional work as well as her personal experience living with diabetes for nearly 35 years.
Alan Moses
Independent Consultant and Board Member at The diaTribe Foundation
Dr. Alan Moses is an independent consultant for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. Trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, he spent the early part of his academic career at Harvard doing bench and clinical research and clinical care. Dr. Moses co-founded and directed the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Beth Israel Deaconess-Harvard Medical School-MIT. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Moses served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center with specific responsibility for the Joslin Clinic. He joined Novo Nordisk in 2004. During his 14 years at Novo Nordisk, Dr. Moses served in multiple roles beginning as Associate Vice President of Medical Affairs in the US and rising to the position of Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer working in Copenhagen. Dr. Moses earned his MD from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, worked for three years at the National Institutes of Health, completed his clinical endocrine/diabetes training at Tufts New England Medical Center, and studied Health Care Strategy at Harvard Business School. He retired from Novo Nordisk in June 2018.

Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible.


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