Dr Giles Yeo

Principal Research Associate, Cambridge University

Dr Giles Yeo is a geneticist with nearly 20 years’ experience studying obesity and the brain control of food intake. Giles is from San Francisco, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge in genetics in 1998 and has been there ever since. Giles is now a Principal Research Associate and group leader at the University Metabolic Research Labs, studying brain control of food intake and bodyweight. He is also Scientific Director of the Genomics and Transcriptomics core facility and President of the British Society of Neuroendocrinology.

He was in the initial vanguard that described a number of genes that when mutated, resulted in rare forms of severe obesity, thus uncovering key pathways in the brain that control food intake. His current research focuses on understanding how these pathways differ between lean and obese people, and the influence of genes in our feeding behaviour. Two main aims of his current research are 1) to determine a role for FTO in energy balance, and 2) identifying new players in the hypothalamic control of food intake.

Giles is also a presenter for BBC Horizon. His first programme was ‘Why are we getting so fat?’, which aired June 2016. Most recently, his investigative piece ‘Clean eating – The dirty truth’ for BBC Horizon was screened on January 2017. The film has been critically acclaimed and has prompted an important national debate about dieting advice and evidence-based science.

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