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Professor Martin O. Savage MA, MD, FRCP, FRCPCH


Presentation title "The growth hormone-IGF-1 axis in the diagnosis and treatment of growth disorders"


M. O. Savage, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London

The growth hormone (GH) – IGF-1 axis is the key endocrine mechanism which regulates linear growth in children. IGF-1 is important for fetal growth and the GH-IGF-1 axis is essential for the growth of children throughout childhood and adolescence. Understanding of this axis helps to understand normal growth and is relevant to the investigation of children with short stature. Measurement of GH, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 is helpful in the diagnosis of growth disorders such as GH deficiency and GH resistance. Measurement of IGF-1 is important to optimise the GH dose during therapy and is therefore relevant to adherence to GH therapy and to safety, as theoretically high IGF-1 levels may increase the risk of malignancy during adult life.




Martin Savage is Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology at William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry in London. He was head of the Paediatric Endocrine Unit at Barts and the London School of Medicine from 1982 to 2007. He is a clinician with clinical and research interests in growth disorders, specifically those with abnormalities in the growth hormone-IGF-1 axis. His main research field has been the phenotype:genotype relationships of GH-IGF-1 axis defects. He published the first human case of an IGF-1 gene defect in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1996.  His other clinical interests are Cushing’s syndrome and growth in chronic inflammatory diseases. He was General Secretary of the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) from 1997 to 2004. Professor Savage has lectured in 59 countries world-wide and has published over 440 original articles, reviews, textbook chapters and books. In 2007, he was awarded the ESPE Andrea Prader Prize for contributions to paediatric endocrinology and in 2018 he received a Visionary Award from the American Human Growth Foundation. He continues to lecture nationally and internationally.