Collaboration with industry

Members of LORN work extensively with the Food, Ingredients and Pharmaceutical industries (details can be found on individual laboratories pages). The LORN network offers industrial collaborators an unrivalled knowledge and range of expertise in investigational methods within the one institution. This allows potential collaborators to optimise research programs with bespoke projects designed to meet their specific needs through the help of experts recognised in their respective fields. LORN has also run a numer of industry related events since 2001.  LORN collaborative obesity research activity breaks down into four key areas, targets and mechanism, pre-clinical assessment, clinical studies in humans and clinical studies in companion animals.

For more information on our techniques and facilities, visit our techniques, assays and protocols page.

Targets and Mechanism

Members of the LORN network have worked extensively on central and peripheral mechanisms critical in energy balance and appetite regulation and offer a unique range of expertise and validated techniques for those interested in novel mechanisms for weight control. 

Such expertise is invaluable when investigating new anti-obesity drug targets in the gastro-intestinal tract, in adipose tissue and specifically within the fat cell, or in the various centres of the brain involved in satiety or the motivation to eat.

Pre-clinical assessment

In addition, LORN members have extensive experience in the modelling of drug and dietary induced obesity.  We are able to offer analysis of treatment effects on key behavioural physiological and metabolic factors as well body composition.  In additional, detailed bio-behavioural assays to determine the nature of drug or product effects on the expression of feeding behaviour are available.

Clinical studies in humans

LORN is also able to offer expertise in clinical studies of foods, ingredients and drugs.  The Clinical Research Group has participated in many major phase 2 and 3 studies of drugs for both diabetes and obesity and the Human Ingestive Behaviour (Kissileff) Laboratory has extensively studied the satiety enhancing effects of various ingredients (protein, fibre and novel oils).  These two groups have worked closely together to investigate the physiological mechanisms (such as GLP-1, PYY and Ghrelin) underpinning human appetite expression.

More recently two laboratories have collaborated to produce a novel experimental medicine paradigm to investigate the efficacy of appetite suppressing drugs in the obese early in clinical development (phase 1 / 2).  These Universal Eating Monitor (UEM) protocols have recently been validated in a clinical study of the effects of sibutramine on eating behaviour and appetite within a meal. 

In 2007, Professor John Blundell joined the Kissileff Laboratory in the School of Psychology as an honorary Chair in Biological Psychology adding to expertise available in LORN.  Laboratories in Liverpool, Leeds, Cambridge and Aberdeen have recently collaborated in a mulitsite study of the effects on an anti-obesity on weight control, food intake, food choice and appetite.

Clinical studies in companion animals

Obesity is not only a clinical issue in humans, but also in their companion animals such as pet cats and dogs.  The Veterinary School is home to the UKs first companion animal obesity clinic and as such is in a unique position to advise on potential diet, drug or behavioural weight control programs.

Futher Details

For a list specific techniques and protocols offered within the LORN network please visit our Techniques, assays and protocols page.  Other techniques may be avialable so please contact us with any specific questions.