“Seeking and using the evidence in clinical practice”

Oxford–Thessaloniki Diabetes Forum is a 3-day course for young diabetologists, organised by the Oxford Centre for Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and the Second Medical Department of the Aristotle University Thessaloniki. Faculty comprises of experts in the field from OCDEM, McMaster University Canada and universities across Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki and Alexandrupoli).

The content focuses on the practice of evidence accumulation, retrieval and establishing appraisal techniques for research and clinical practice in diabetes. This course aims to provide an opportunity for young enthusiastic diabetologists to get a taste of research and clinical practice in Centres of Excellence. Working together, participants will learn how simple evidence-based medicine and research techniques can be applied to improve diabetes care. Research experience is not required.

The course is under the auspices of the Medical School, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Harris Manchester Medical Academy, Hellenic Diabetes Association and European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The course is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Novo Nordisk.



DAY 1: Wednesday, 22nd April 2009
09:00 - 10:00 Registration & welcome

What is evidence-based medicine / practice?

Speaker: A. Tsapas
10:00 – 10:45

Asking well formulated questions – PICO

Speaker: Athanasios Raptis
10:45 – 11:15
11:15 - 11:45 Coffee / Tea

Searching basics – Finding the evidence – Pubmed

Speaker: Apostolos Tsapas
11:45 – 12:15

Finding the evidence

12:15 – 13:00
13:0 - 14:00 Lunch break

Rapid critical appraisal

Speaker: Nikolaos Papanas
14:00 – 14:30

Metaanalysis – Cochrane

Speaker: Grigoris Leontiadis
14:30 – 15:00

Taking action – Applying the evidence

Speaker: Nikolaos Papanas
15:00 – 15:30
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee / Tea

Hands on – What can you find?

16:00 – 18:00
20:00 - 21:00 Dinner
DAY 2: Thursday, 23rd April 2009

Setting up studies in diabetes

Speaker: Anne Clark & David Matthews
08:15 – 09:15

Numbers, numbers, numbers

Speaker: D. Matthews, J.Levy
09:15 – 10:15
10:15 - 10:45 Coffee / Tea

Stats in small doses

Speaker: J. Levy
10:45 – 11:45

Literature: “The good, the bad and the ugly”

Speaker: A. Clark
11:45 – 12:30
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch break
Research project (in silico) - Workshop

Hypothesis formulation & project design

13:30 – 14:30

Data analysis

14:30 – 15:30
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee / Tea

Preparation of abstract & slides

16:00 – 17:00


17:00 – 19:00
20:00 - 21:00 Dinner
DAY 3: Friday, 24th April 2009

ADA/EASD Treatment guidelines

Speaker: Athanasios Raptis
09:00 – 09:30

Choosing among different insulin regimens: what’s the evidence?

Speaker: J. Levy
09:30 – 10:15

GLP-1 analogues: a glimpse into future

Speaker: D. Matthews
10:15 – 11:00
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee / Tea

Criteria when choosing treatment

Speaker: Nikolaos Papanas
11:30 – 12:15

Applying the evidence & Evidence-based practice in diabetes

Speaker: A. Tsapas
12:15 – 13:00


Anne Clark

Anne Clark is a Principal Investigator in Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) with a specialty in the structure and function of pancreatic islets in Type 2 diabetes.

In 1987, with the late Professor Robert Turner, her team identified the peptide component of amyloid deposits (islet amyloid polypeptide, amylin) that form in the pancreatic islets in Type 2 diabetes. Her current interests include protein folding and amyloid formation, lipid handling in islets and structure and function of pancreatic islets in health and disease using light and electron microscopy; collaborators include colleagues in UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.

She participates in graduate teaching programmes in UK and Europe, reviews grant applications and manuscripts for scientific journals.

Grigorios Leontiadis

Qualified from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1992 and trained in Gastroenterology in Greece and in the UK. He worked in the UK as a Consultant Gastroenterologist, and in Greece in private practice (Thessaloniki) and as a Lecturer (Democritus University of Thrace). In 2008 he moved to McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada as Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine.

His research interests include non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding, H. pylori infection and methodology of systematic reviews. He has 29 Medline-indexed publications, Impact Factor 113, Citation Index 660, h-index 11. In 2005 he was selected by the Emerging Leaders Programme as one of the 40 best young GI researchers worldwide. In 2008 he was involved in the development of the Hellenic and the international guidelines on the management of non-variceal upper GI bleeding.

He is the Deputy Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Upper GI & Pancreatic Diseases Group, Associate Editor of American Journal of Gastroenterology (starting July 2009), Editorial Board member of Annals of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Chair of the American Gastroenterological Association review committee for non-variceal Upper GI bleeding.

Jonathan Levy

Dr Jonathan Levy is Clinical Director of the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and is responsible for the delivery of specialist National Health Service diabetes care for Oxfordshire where he is also actively involved in teaching.

He is based in the University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and his research interests focus on the pathophysiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes. He is a member of the steering committee of the 4-T (Treat to Target in Type 2 diabetes) trial and a co-author on publications arising from the study. He has published papers on the assessment of β-cell function, insulin resistance in diabetes and on potential treatments for diabetes.

David R. Matthews

David Matthews is Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Oxford, Medical Tutor, at Harris Manchester College, consultant physician and the Chairman of the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), one of the largest combined academic and clinical centres for diabetes and endocrinology in the UK.

His academic research interests include mathematical modelling of insulin resistance. There is a research focus on physiological research into diabetes agents, in particular at the level of the beta-cell involving incretins and sulphonylureas. An ongoing concern about the world pandemic of diabetes resulted in the founding of the Oxford Health Alliance which published its ‘Grand challenges’ in Nature in 2007 (www.3four50.com) and is working towards combating the scourge of the diabetes epidemic in the world. We are establishing an observational link to the Andover Vision project – a UK civic renewal programme.

He is the author of more than 200 publications and is on the editorial boards of several professional journals.

Nikolaos Papanas

Dr. Nikolaos Papanas was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and studied Medicine at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2002, he defended his dissertation on the co-existence of peripheral arterial and coronary artery disease in patients with diabetes. Between 2003 and 2008, he worked as Senior Lecturer in Internal Medicine at Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece. Since 2008, his current position is Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine at the same university.

He was trained in diabetes and its complications in the Diabetes Centre and the Diabetic Foot Clinic at King’s College Hospital, London, UK. He has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also participated with numerous presentations in Greek and European medical congresses and repeatedly been invited reviewer in medical journals.

Athanasios Raptis

Athanasios Raptis is Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine in the 2nd Dept. of Internal Medicine Propaedeutic, Research Institute and Diabetes Center of Athens University Medical School at Attikon Univ. Hospital. He gained his PhD from Athens Univ. Medical School in 1988.

He worked as Research Associate for two years in the Dept of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Internal Medicine in United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, UK, in the field of Diabetic Nephropathy and Hypertension. Dr. Raptis’ special fields of study, except Internal Medicine, include Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetic Nephropathy and Hypertension.

Apostolos Tsapas

Dr. Apostolos Tsapas was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and studied Medicine at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine and Principal Investigator in the Diabetes Clinic at the Second Medical Department of the Aristotle University Thessaloniki in Ippokratio Hospital. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Medical Academy within Harris Manchester College, Oxford UK. He was trained in diabetes in the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) with Prof. Dr Matthews, with a fellowship from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (Albert Renold Fellowship – EFSD). This was the starting point for the setup of Oxford Thessaloniki Diabetes Forum.

His main research interests focus on research methodology, evidence-based medicine/diabetology, translational research/knowledge translation and physiological studies in diabetes. He is currently studying for an MSc in Evidence-Βased Health Care in the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford UK.


The cooperation between Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) and the Metabolic Diseases Unit, Second Medical Department, Aristotle University Thessaloniki (Assoc Prof Konstantinos Paletas) began in 2007. Starting point was Dr Tsapas’ sabbatical with Prof DR Matthews in OCDEM, supported by an EFSD (European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes – Albert Renold) fellowship. This cooperation was supported both by Prof Maria Raptopoulou – Gigi (Head, Second Medical Department) and Prof Nikolaos Dombros (Dean, Medical School).

Aim is the setup of educational and research links between centres of excellence, to support postgraduate education, and career development of academic personnel.

Oxford – Thessaloniki Forum is the realisation of this link. We do hope that this course, which focuses on the interaction of young diabetologists with experienced researchers, will be successful, and will lead to further common educational and research links.


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Oxford-Thessaloniki Diabetes Forum. Sponsored by Novo_Nordisk2

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