The Biggest Little Name in Medicine


scrabble tiles spelling ozempic

No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about a drug called Ozempic but not only for its original use which was the treatment of diabetes. Ozempic and another similar drug called Mountjaro are taking off because of how effective they are as weight loss drugs. Some people have reported losing up to 35 pounds.  

Both contain a chemical called semaglutide which is related to one of our natural hormones called GLP-one.  GLP is short for glucagon-like peptide.  Glucagon raises the amount of glucose or sugar in our blood. But GLP-one works against glucagon by enhancing insulin secretion, and insulin lowers our blood sugar levels which controls Type two diabetes.  We don’t fully understand how these drugs end up causing weight loss. One thought is that it reduces hunger by slowing the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.     

Even though these drugs are new, researchers began studying GLP-one over fifty years ago. As the science breakthrough of the year, a Nobel prize for the discoverers may be in the offing.   

But a controversy is clouding their success. A key figure, Dr. Svetlana Mojsov, who’s among the early discoverers did not receive fair recognition and had to fight to be included in the patent. The scientific community has come to her defense and she’s finally receiving her due credit. Her story will be linked to these life-saving drugs and serve as a reminder to not slight women scientists.

We are Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog, at UTMB and Quinnipiac University, where biomedical discoveries shape the future of medicine.   For much more and our disclaimer go to or subscribe to our podcast. Sign up for expanded print episodes at or our podcasts at:  Medical Discovery News ( 

More Information

Her work paved the way for blockbuster obesity drugs. Now, she’s fighting for recognition
Svetlana Mojsov helped discover the hormone GLP-1. Why has she been excluded from its history?

Even as Wegovy rides high, interest surges in weight loss drugs that preserve muscle
Have you ever seen a mouse with a set of muscles more appropriate for a bodybuilder or comic book superhero? Well, 25 years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University made it happen. By silencing a gene responsible for producing a protein called myostatin, they directed tiny mouse bodies to grow double the amount of lean muscle they would normally, leading to mice with bulky arms, defined pectorals, and an overall more substantial body mass. They were dubbed “mighty mice.” Now, biotech startups are hoping to use those findings to create what they believe will be better weight loss medications. 

GLP-1 agonists: Diabetes drugs and weight loss

Are there any type 2 diabetes drugs that can help people lose weight and lower their blood sugar? Are there side effects?