Let's Talk About Health - Lectures

A collection of CVS videos from the Let's Talk About Health public lecture series.

Let's Talk About Health and Disease is a series of public lectures which run annually from October through to March.

It is aimed at senior school pupils interested in studying medicine, veterinary medicine or the life sciences at university as well as interested members of the general public and health professionals.

The series allows scientists pioneering new research at the University of Edinburgh to share their latest ideas and discoveries with the public and provides attendees with the opportunity to advance their knowledge of health and what happens in disease.

Watch the videos below to see the CVS researchers who took part  in the lecture series.

Past Lecture Videos


Podgy ponies and corpulent cobs; insights into the growing problem of equine obesity

Lecture held on 27 November 2019. 

John Keen and Ruth Morgan, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

The World Health Organisation estimates that the prevalence of obesity has trebled in the last 40 years. Obesity now contributes to 2.8 million human deaths per year, from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Obesity also affects domestic animals and, in the UK, almost 59% of dogs, 50% of cats and 40% of horses and ponies (0.5 million) are classified as overweight or obese. The main disease associated with obesity in horses is laminitis, a destructive condition of the horse’s hoof that causes severe pain and debilitation, often resulting in long-term disease and/or euthanasia. 

The lecture discusses what horses can teach us about the hormonal problems linked to obesity in humans. 



Poor air quality: polluting hearts and minds

Lecture held: 20 February 2019

Tom Russ, Clinical Brain Sciences, Mark Miller, University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Research

Air pollution is estimated to be responsible for several million premature deaths worldwide every year. The harmful effect of air pollution on the lungs is well known, but recent research suggests the damaging effects may be more widespread.




A fat lot of good! Appendicitis and the benefits of specialised fat tissue

Lecture held 24 January 2018

Damian Mole, Clinical Surgery & MRC Centre for Inflammation Research; and Cecile Benezech, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

 Appendicitis is the most common abdominal emergency needing surgery. One in 13 people will suffer from appendicitis at some point in their lives. During appendicitis, the appendix becomes inflamed and swells. The omentum, which is a large piece of abdominal fat tissue rich in immune system cells, detects this inflammation and wraps itself around the inflamed appendix. 

Hear about recent research on inflammation and the omentum, how the omentum can be used by surgeons during surgery, what we are doing to understand its function, and how we are planning to use this in the future, to help patients with peritonitis.


Let's Talk About Health: Pre-term birth, can we do better? (Media Hopper video)

Preterm birth: can we do better?

 Lecture held on Wednesday 6 December 2017

Sarah Murray, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health; and Karen Chapman, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science talk about current research in Edinburgh that is focussed on preventing preterm birth, and on improving our understanding of the benefits and risks of antenatal corticosteroid treatment.


Let's Talk About Health: The first 1000 days (Media Hopper video)

The first 1000 days. How stressful events before and shortly after birth can shape the rest of your life

Lecture held on Wednesday 18 January 2017

Rebecca Reynolds and Megan Holmes, UoE/ BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science, The University of Edinburgh discuss how stress causes this health risk to the developing baby, and our research into why these unwanted effects may occur. 


Let's Talk About Health: Delirium and dementia in old age (Media Hopper video)

Delirium and dementia in old age: do our stress hormones contribute?

Lecture held on Wednesday 16 March 2016

Alasdair MacLullich, Geriatric Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Joyce Yau, BHF/Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh discuss during normal ageing, the brain becomes vulnerable to high levels of stress hormones. This can manifest in two common disorders; delirium, an acute brain disorder that normally resolves in a few days or weeks, and dementia, a chronic, mostly incurable brain disorder, caused by brain shrinkage.


Let's Talk About Health: Obesity - how do our genes contribute? (Media Hopper video)

Obesity - how do our genes contribute?

Lecture held on Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Mandy Drake and Nik Morton from UoE/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science discuss how our genes and environment contribute to obesity.


Let's Talk About Health: New and future diabetes therapies (Media Hopper video)

New and future diabetes therapies

Lecture held on Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Shareen Forbes, BHF/UoE Centre for Cardiovascular Science and Kevin Docherty, from the University of Aberdeen, discuss Type 1 diabetes and the impact the discovery of insulin has had on quality of life for people with diabetes.  New therapies being developed for people for whom insulin injections do not work are also discussed in this lecture.