- Primary position:
- Reader in Human Nutrition
Dr Burdge graduated in Cell and Immunobiology from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1985 and was awarded a PhD from the Department of Medical Oncology, University of Southampton in 1990. He joined the Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, in 1987 to study pulmonary surfactant biosynthesis. During this period he developed an interest in polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in pregnancy and fetal development. This included projects on the effect of ethanol exposure on the developing brain and the effect of fatty acids on neuroblastoma differentiation. He subsequently moved to the Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, where he carried out research on human polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism. During this period he showed for the first time, in collaboration with Dr Karen Lillycrop (Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences), that prenatal nutritional constraint induced impaired lipid and carbohydrate metabolism by altering specific epigenetic processes. He was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship in 2006, and was appointed Lecturer in Human Nutrition (2007) and Reader in Human Nutrition (2009).
Dr Burdge and Dr Lillycrop run a research group investigating how maternal nutrition alters the phenotype and epigenotype of the offspring in order to understand the impact of the early life environment on future disease risk. His work is funded by the British Heart Foundation, the BBSRC, the European Commission and the Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust, and by industrial partners. He is a founding member of an international research consortium on epigenetics and the developmental origins of disease, EpiGen, composed of the University of Southampton, the Medical Research Council, AgResearch New Zealand, the University of Auckland, and the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences.
Dr Burdge is Editor-In-Chief of Nutrition Research Reviews, and a member of the editorial boards of the British Journal of Nutrition and Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.
BSc, Cell and Immunobiology, The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1985)
PhD, University of Southampton (1990)
13/11/1989 to 16/02/1995 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
17/02/1995 to 31/08/1997 Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
03/11/1997 to 09/10/1998 Scientific Officer, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Surrey.
12/10/1998 to 31/10/2003 Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
01/11/2003 to 31/12/2005 Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Southampton
01/01/2006 to 31/03/2007 British Heart Foundation Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Southampton
01/04/2007 to 30/03/2009 Lecturer in Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
01/04/2009 onwards Reader in Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Southampton.
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
Dr Burdge’s research is focussed on understanding the mechanisms by which variations in the quality of the early life environment induce differential future disease risk between individuals. His group is particularly focussed on the epigenetic regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism
His principal current research themes are:-
Transmission of induced phenotypes and epigenotypes between generations
There is growing evidence from human epidemiological studies that induced disease traits can be transmitted to subsequent generations. Dr Burdge showed previously that transmission of induced phenotypic changes between generations involves passage of altered epigenetic marks. His research group has shown recently that when challenged with an environmental challenge which is sustained over several generations, the offspring show adjustments in their phenotype and epigenotype which imply progressively better capacity to accommodate the environmental challenge. These changes appear to be driven by induction of epigenetic marks de novo in each generation as a result of interactions between the phenotype of the mother and the environment. Such processes may be important in the migration and persistence of species in novel environments. They may also have implications for future patterns of disease risk in human populations undergoing nutritional transition. The group is currently investigating these findings further using a graded environmental challenge.
The effect of maternal fat intake on cardiovascular function in the offspring
Pregnant and lactating women exhibit the same variation in fat intake as the rest of the population, but little is known about the impact of differences in maternal fat intake on cardiovascular function in the offspring. Previous studies have shown using an animal model that feeding mothers a high saturated fat diet impairs vascular function in their offspring. Dr Burdge’s group have shown that both the type and amount of fat in the mother’s diet affect vascular function in the adult offspring. These findings have implications for the development of dietary recommendations to pregnant and lactating women to improve the future health of the children.
Academic unit: Human Development and Health
Leonie Grenfell MPhil/PhD
Miss Danya Agha-Jaffar MPhil / PhD
Miss Nicola Irvine
Miss Annette West
National and International Responsibilities
Editor-in-Chief, Nutrition Research Reviews
Member of the Editorial Board, British Journal of Nutrition
Member of the Editorial Board, Nutrition Research Reviews
Member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Developmental Origins of Health
Member of the BBSRC Grant Awards Panel Pool of Experts
Member of the World Cancer Research Fund International Grants Committee
BIOL 3030. Module coordinator and lecturer.
BIOL 3029. Lecturer
Dr Graham Burdge
Institute of Developmental Sciences Building (MP 887)
Southampton General Hospital
Southampton SO16 6YD
Tel: +44 (0)23 8079 5259
Fax: +44 (0)23 8079 5255
Room Number: SGH/B06/MP887