Wiebke Arlt awarded the Keith L Parker Memorial Lectureship

MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences (LMS) Director Professor Wiebke Arlt becomes the first woman to deliver the prestigious lecture, at the XIXth International Adrenal Meeting in Boston.

 20 June 2024   uncategorised
Wiebke Arlt awarded the Keith L Parker Memorial Lectureship

With endocrinologists from around the world gathered in Boston for the XIXth International Adrenal Meeting, Professor Wiebke Arlt was awarded one of the field’s highest honours: the Keith L Parker Memorial Lectureship. In doing so she became the first woman, and the first European, to deliver the annual lecture, joining an exclusive list of some of the most accomplished endocrinology researchers.

The lecture was introduced by Professor Walter Miller from UCSF, Wiebke’s former postdoc advisor, who took the audience on a rapid tour of Wiebke’s life and many accomplishments, from childhood in Cologne being inspired by her father’s expertise in organic chemistry, through her medical training and work on African sleeping sickness in the midst of a civil war in Uganda, to the University of Würzburg, UCSF, University of Birmingham, and now the LMS.

The Keith L Parker Memorial Lectures honour the legacy of the renowned endocrinology researcher who died in 2008 at just 54 years of age. This commemoration holds particular significance for Wiebke, who over a decade ago dedicated her Ernst Oppenheimer Award to “Keith’s memory, and his most favourite subject, steroid biology.” On receiving this honour now, she said:

Professor Wiebke Arlt with two organisers of the International Adrenal Meeting, David Breault and Katie Basham.“It is an immense honour, in particular as the first woman and the first European ever awarded the Keith L. Parker Memorial Lecture. I was very surprised that the jury decided on me. I knew Keith Parker, he was very supportive and encouraging to me when I was at the point of just starting my own research group and establishing myself in the field and I was very saddened by his untimely death in 2008. He was one of the giants of adrenal research and his impact lives on.”

Wiebke’s lecture was titled Sugar and sex: Female androgen excess and metabolic dysfunction. She detailed how polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a lifelong metabolic disorder, not just a reproductive issue, and one with no approved treatments or risk stratification. Her work has interrogated the molecular mechanisms underpinning the condition, examining how androgen excess and metabolic dysfunction arise and interact in PCOS. The lecture concluded on a hopeful point: progress in the DAISy-PCOS study and the promise of AKR1C3 inhibitors that could provide specific and holistic treatments for patients.

The award is recognition of Wiebke’s ongoing contribution to the field of endocrinology and biomedical science. As attendees reflected on the meeting, tributes and congratulations flowed in:

Learn more about Wiebke’s research:







Wiebke Arlt awarded the Keith L Parker Memorial Lectureship