Welcome back to another glorious day in San Diego...which I will spend most of inside the convention center for the Experimental Biology 2008 meeting. I experimented a bit with semi-live blogging yesterday and will continue today.
The Obesity Epidemic - Pharmacological Challenges (Division for Systems & Integrative Pharmacology)
Chair: Ismail Laher
The current molecular model of body weight regulation
Matthias H. Tschoep, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Pharmacological therapy of obesity
D. Scott Weigle, University of Washington
Physiological regulators of appetite as a basis for pharmacotherapy of obesity
Stephen R. Bloom, Hammersmith Hosp., Imperial College London, UK
The endocannabinoid system as a new regulator of energy balance
Xavier Pi-Sunyer, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital
Fatty acid metabolism and energy regulation: New pharmacological strategies for obesity therapy
Gabriele Ronnett, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Why? Well, the drug abuse people are now starting to consider themselves as studying "addictive disorders" broadly writj. One of the reasons driving this subtle change is an appreciation that obesity is a
highly fundable growing public health concern which features some compulsive appetitive behavioral patterns with which we are familiar from drug abuse studies. Not to mention that food-reinforced behavioral paradigms are widespread in the drug abuse fields already so the fit is very natural. Did I mention that NIDA has been talking about obesity for over a year now?
11:30- Symposia in which you have and interest and a corner of the puzzle (e.g., endocannabinoid function, Rimanobant) but still come from a different perspective are the most interesting. Partially because when you are in your own domain all the background slides are absolutely snore-inducing. Obesity stats are not something I think about most of the time so it was a nice review. As I mentioned in a comment to bayman's snark, 5,000 excess deaths attributable to obesity in the US are nothing to sneeze at!
Weigle reviewed the dismal pharmacotherapy history from thyroid drugs in the '30s to the Fen-Phen (or is it Phen-Fen) debacle of the '90s that we all remember.
One takehome was yet another reminder of how tenaciously the body defends it's adiposity setpoint. Most "successful" clinical trials maybe get 10% bodyweight reductions as a mean effect. This puts treatment for drug abuse, which I generally deride, in some perspective.
[blogging note: finally found a decent wifi signal for EB2008 upstairs outside the low-number meeting rooms in case anyone is here and looking]
ASPET Centennial: Apparently ASPET turns 100 this year. I note a nifty review of the Women in ASPET.
1PM The PB Dews award in Behavioral Pharmacology went to Charles "Bob" Schuster. He's always good for a decent version of the geezer lecture. He was one of the major figures in creating and sustaining animal self-administration models of drug abuse, directed NIDA under the Reagan administration (which is an interesting story considering he's clearly on the more liberal side!) and trained a bajillion of our current drug-abuse scientists. More notes on this later.
2:15 NeuroPlasticity in Addiction symposium
hmm, the usual players. Koob group, Carlezon, Kalivas (who organized it)...
Update 4/8: Almost forgot, I snapped this photo walking around downtown SD yesterday