Waljit S. Dhillo, MD
23 December 2019 (online)
This introduction to the guest editor tees off a remarkable series of issues devoted to kisspeptin, a hormone that continues to play new and important roles in reproduction and metabolism. We are honored to have as guest editor for this series Prof. Waljit Dhillo who has led multiple seminal studies illuminating not only the role of kisspeptin in human physiology but also its role as a potential therapy.
Waljit Dhillo is a Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Consultant Endocrinologist, and a U.K. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Professor. He is Head of the Section Endocrinology and Investigative Medicine and Head of Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Imperial College London. He is also Director of Research for the Division of Medicine and Integrated Care at Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) Trust.
He completed his medical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, University of London, in 1994. During this time, he also completed an intercalated BSc in biochemistry (awarded first class honors) funded by the Medical Research Council. He then completed his general medical training in London Hospitals. In 1997, he joined the North West Thames Rotation in Diabetes and Endocrinology as a specialist registrar. During this time, he completed a PhD on the area of novel neuropeptides regulating appetite as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow at Imperial College with Professor Sir Steve Bloom. In 2004, he was awarded a NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship and appointed Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Imperial College London. Following this, he was awarded an NIHR Career Development Fellowship and promoted to Reader in 2009. In 2011, he was promoted to Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism. In 2015, Prof. Dhillo was awarded the prestigious NIHR Research Professorship.
Prof. Dhillo's research investigates novel aspects of endocrine control of obesity and reproductive function. His research has focused on understanding the neuroendocrine mechanisms which are important in the regulation of food intake. The regulation of body weight is complex and requires control of both food intake and energy expenditure. Gut hormones can powerfully reduce appetite and increase energy expenditure. Prof. Dhillo's research investigates the mechanisms by which gut hormones mediate their effect. Recently, he has shown that administration of gut hormones to human volunteers can alter neuronal activity in brain reward areas which control food intake. He was awarded the Royal College of Physicians Linacre Medal for this work. These findings have identified central nervous system pathways which have potential as novel targets for the development of antiobesity drugs.
Prof. Dhillo's recent translational research has identified the novel hormone kisspeptin as a potential novel therapy for infertility. He has performed the “first time into human” studies of kisspeptin. He has shown that kisspeptin potently stimulates reproductive hormone release in human male and female volunteers. This work was awarded the American Endocrine Society Award for Excellence in Clinical Research and the British Society for Neuroscience Investigator Prize. He has also shown that kisspeptin administration potently increased reproductive hormone release in women with infertility due to hypothalamic amenorrhea. Recently, Prof. Dhillo has shown for the first time in women with infertility that kisspeptin can be used safely and effectively in in vitro fertilization treatment. He was been awarded the Royal College of Physicians Goulstonian Lectureship (2010) and the Society for Endocrinology Medal (2015) for this work.
We are honored to have Prof. Dhillo as our guest editor and he has truly assembled an all-star cast of scientists, basic and clinical to bring us up to date on kisspeptin, its past, current, and putative roles in physiology and medicine.