The annual University of Cambridge Disability Lecture will be given this afternoon by a highly respected commentator on depression.

Professor Lewis Wolpert is a distinguished developmental biologist and an accomplished broadcaster.

He is Emeritus Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London, and has taken part in numerous radio programmes, particularly interviews with other scientists.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980 and awarded the CBE in 1990. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. For four years he was Chairperson of the Committee for the Public Understanding of Science.

Several years ago, Lewis Wolpert had a severe depressive episode. Despite a happy marriage and successful scientific career, he could think only of suicide.

When eventually he did recover, he became aware of the stigma attached to depression - and just how difficult it was to get reliable information.

With characteristic candour and determination he set about writing his book, Malignant Sadness, an acclaimed investigation into the causes and treatments of this devastating disease, which formed the basis for a BBC TV series.

Anthony Clare called it 'erudite, scholarly, sober and stylish,' while for Anthony Storr it is 'an excellent book, the most objective short account I know of all the various approaches to depression.'

The lecture, entitled "Depression is Indescribable", is free and open to all. It will take place in the Fisher Room at St John's College this afternoon at 5pm, with refreshments served from 4pm.

During the day today the University's Disability Resource Centre is running a conference and workshops looking at supporting people with depression or other mental health difficulties in a Higher Education Institution setting.

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