Tom P. Fleming
- Primary position:
- Professor of Developmental Biology
- Other positions:
- Head of Developmental Biology Group
BSc Zoology, University of Wales (Swansea);
PhD in Cell Biology at University of London, CNAA (South Bank Polytechnic);
Demonstrator at University of Keele;
Senior Research Associate at University of Cambridge, Anatomy Department;
Professor of Developmental Biology, University of Southampton
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
Fleming TP (2006) Periconceptional events and the embryo. In Developmental Origins of Health and Disease – A Biomedical Perspective, eds PD Gluckman and MA Hanson, pp. 51-61, Cambridge Univ Press.
Fleming TP, Eckert JJ, Thomas FC and Sheth B (2005) Morphogenesis of the early mammalian embryo: cell lineage heterogeneity and developmental potential. In Implantation and Early Development, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Hanson M, Gluckman P, Bier D, Challis J, Fleming T, Forrester T, Godfrey K, Nestel P, Yajnik C. (2004). Report on the 2nd World Congress on Fetal Origins of Adult Disease, Brighton , U.K. , June 7-10, 2003 . Pediatr Res. 55: 894-7.
Fleming, T.P. (2002). Cell-Cell Interactions: A Practical Approach (editor). IRL Press at Oxford University Press.
Fleming, T.P., Eckert, J.J., Kwong, W.Y., Thomas, F.C., Miller, D., Fesenko, I., Mears, A. and Sheth, B. (2002). Cell-cell interactions in early mammalian development. In: Cell-cell interactions: a practical approach . T.P. Fleming (editor), pp. 203-228, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Fleming, T.P., Ghassemifar, M.R., Eckert, J., Destouni, A., Thomas, F., Collins, J.E., and Sheth, B. (2001). Cell junctions and cell interactions in animal and human blastocyst development. In: Art and the Human Blastocyst . D.K.Gardner and M.Lane (editors), pp.91-102, Proceedings of Serono Symposium, USA, Springer.
Fleming, T.P., Sheth, B., Thomas, F., Fesenko, I. and Eckert, J. (2001). Developmental assembly of the tight junction. In: Tight Junctions. M. Cereijido and J. Anderson (editors), pp.285-303, CRC Press.
Fleming, T.P., Ghassemifar, M.R. and Sheth, B. (2001). Junctional complexes in the early mammalian embryo. Sem. Reprod. Med. 18 : 185-193.
Embryo environment and developmental potential and health:
We are interested in how the environment of the oocyte and preimplantation embryo can influence its development and future long-term potential. We investigate how maternal diet (in vivo), maternal sickness (in vivo) or IVF-related culture conditions (in vitro) can affect blastocyst development including gene expression patterns, cell proliferation and cellular phenotype. We derive embryonic stem cell lines to further characterise environmental effects on developmental potential.
We also examine long-term consequences of rodent preimplantation environment on subsequent fetal growth and gene expression, maternal nutrient provision, postnatal growth, cardiovascular and metabolic physiology, behaviour, immune reactivity.
Our data indicate that programming of postnatal phenotype can derive from early embryonic environment which has important implications for embryo potential and fetal/postnatal health. Our studies comprise a range of molecular, epigenetic, cellular and physiological technologies on extra-embryonic and embryonic cell lineages and postnatal tissues.
Mechanisms of early mammalian development:
We are also interested in the basic mechanisms regulating early mammalian development. Following fertilization, the egg undergoes a series of cell divisions to form a blastocyst which implants into the uterus wall. The blastocyst initially contains two types of cells, one an outer epithelium (trophectoderm) which gives rise to most of the placental tissues of the conceptus, the other, (inner cell mass), which gives rise to the entire foetus after implantation. Blastocyst formation is therefore an essential first step in our development. We use the mouse embryo to tackle the fundamental questions: How do different cell types expressing different genes and proteins emerge during development? What role is played by cell-cell interactions in this process? How do cells mature and differentiate into an epithelium, the commonest tissue in our bodies?
We utilize mainly animal models for our research (principally the mouse) but also include human embryos where appropriate and under HFEA license.
We have strong links with the School of Medicine at Southampton, particularly staff within DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) and the early human development and stem cell consortium within the university.
1. How do preimplantation embryos sense and respond to maternal nutrition affecting fetal development and adult health? (BBSRC). An investigation into mechanisms contributing to induction of adverse programming of adult health during preimplantation development mediated through poor maternal diet and concerned mostly with effects on the extra-embryonic lineages.
2. Maternal mechanisms induced by diet regulating embryo developmental plasticity affecting life-long health. (BBSRC). An investigation of the role of specific maternal metabolites altered by diet and their effect on induction of adverse developmental programming of early embryos using in vitro and in vivo models.
3. Linking perturbed maternal environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageing (EpiHealth; EU FP7). An investigation of the short- and long-term effects on early embryos and their offspring of different environmental conditions associated with assisted conception treatment.
4. Maternal interactions with gametes and embryos (‘Gemini’; EU COST). Contributor to European consortium and different models – see http://www.cost-gemini.eu/
Affiliate research group: Developmental Biology
Primary research group: Biomedical Sciences
Affiliate research group: Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)
Maternal nutrient restriction exclusive to the preimplantation period has a pronounced influence on fetal and postnatal growth and organ development, as well as postnatal physiology.
Maternal mechanisms induced by diet regulating embryo developmental plasticity affecting life-long health
Discovering the maternal mechanisms induced by diet which act through embryo developmental plasticity to alter later health.
Module Coordinator: Biol 2003; Biol 3001; Biol 3006
Contribute also to: Biol 1005/6; Biol 1012/13
- 2008-13 Editor-in-Chief, Reproduction
- 2000- Editorial Board: Reproduction; Biology of Reproduction (reviews); J DOHaD; Cell Tissue Biol Res
- 2008 Member of Council: Society of Reproduction and Fertility
- Line Manager to 6 CfBS academic staff
Since 2008, completed:
Rose Panton (MRC, Main supervisor)
Charlotte Williams (BBSRC, Main SV)
Franchesca Lock (Co SV, Medicine)
Sarah Finn (Co SV, Medicine)
Andy Cox (Co SV, BBSRC)
Congshun Sun (Main SV, University + Private)
Ayat Bakheet (Co SV, Overseas)
Yi-Lung Chang (Co SV, Overseas)
Ili Raja Khalif (Main SV, Overseas)
Claire Smith (Main SV, EU)
Anan Aljahdali (Main SV, Overseas)
Professor Tom P. Fleming
Professor of Developmental Biology
Centre for Biological Sciences
University of Southampton
Mailpoint 840, Level D Lab & Path Block
Southampton General Hospital
Southampton, SO16 6YD
Tel: +44 (0)2380 794145
Room number: LD62
Room Number: SGH/62A/