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Academic Unit: Human Development and Health Academic Units

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Through our internationally recognised Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Centre we incorporate the work of the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, the NIHR Nutrition Biomedical Research Centre and the University's Institute of Developmental Sciences.

Academic Unit Overview


HDH - Human Development and the impact across the life-course

The HDH Academic Unit focuses on world leading research into human development and the mechanisms that underlie its impact on health and disease. HDH scientists, clinicians and students work in the laboratory, office, lecture theatre and clinic to understand the science, deliver excellence in teaching, and develop new treatments to make a difference. Many of our projects work on early onset life events including genetic and environmental influences affecting chronic lifelong disorders.

Through our internationally recognised Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Centre we incorporate the work of the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, the NIHR Nutrition Biomedical Research Centre and the University's Institute of Developmental Sciences. Our acclaimed researchers are working with the World Health Organization, the United Nations and other international government and non-government organisations to reduce the burden of non-communicable disease in both developed and developing countries.

Extensive links

We have extensive links with industry, the private sector and University Hospital Southampton in joint initiatives such as the development of the Wessex Genome Medicine Centre to understand the impact of genome testing for patients with rare developmental disorders.

Associated research themes

Bone and joint

Using stem cells and biomaterials to treat chronic and acute bone fracture repair; researching the impact of vitamin D supplements in the mother and reduction of risk later on of osteoporosis as the child journeys through life.

Mother pregnancy, child and cardiovascular

Understanding embryo and placental health and the impact in child and adulthood.


The study of cardiovascular responses across the life course – to identify what influences healthy vasculature in later life.

Human genetics and genomic medicine

Using new sequencing technologies for genomic stratification of disease and diagnosis to develop tailor-made drug targeting and medical management to progress personalised medicine.

Dissecting molecular mechanisms involved in gene function such as ... ion channels, RNA/splicing.

Nutrition and metabolism

Optimisation of nutrition to prevent and understand the metabolism underpinning disease such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a major problem in obesity.


Development of epigenetic biomarkers to provide early warning of at risk groups for lifelong disorders.

Determining the role of epigenomics in clinical diagnosis and understanding the genomic influences of gene expression using genetic imprinting as a model.

We encourage active public participation and our innovative LifeLab educational and Southampton Initiative for Health programmes aim to promote healthy lifestyles and health literacy in school students and young mothers.


Staff MemberPrimary Position
Avan Aihie SayerProfessor of Geriatric Medicine
Nigel ArdenProfessor in Rheumatic Diseases
Janis BairdAssociate Professor of Public Health Medicine
Diana BaralleAssociate Professor and Consultant in Clinical Genetics
Mary BarkerAssociate Professor in Psychology
Sheila BartonSenior Statistician
Graham BurdgeProfessor of Nutritional Biochemistry
Christopher ByrneProfessor of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Felino CagampangAssociate Professor in Integrative Physiology
Philip CalderProfessor of Nutritional Immunology
Ying CheongAssociate Professor Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Nicholas ClarkeConsultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Jane ClealLecturer in Epigenetics
Geraldine CloughProfessor of Vascular Physiology
David CoggonProfessor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Andrew CollinsProfessor of Genetic Epidemiology and Bioinformatics
Cyrus CooperDirector of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Nick CrossProfessor of Human Genetics
Sarah CrozierSenior Medical Statistician
Nick CurzenHonorary Chair in Cardiac Electrophysiology
Justin DaviesHonorary Senior Clinical Lecturer
Jonathan DawsonEPSRC Research Fellow
Elaine DennisonProfessor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology and Honorary Consultant in Rheumatology
Judith EckertAssociate Professor in Early Development
Christopher EdwardsConsultant Rheumatologist, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Marinos EliaProfessor of Clinical Nutrition & Metabolism
Nicola EnglystAssociate Professor
Sarah EnnisProfessor of Genomics
Nicholas EvansLecturer in Bioengineering
Caroline FallProfessor of International Paediatric Epidemiology
Catharine GaleProfessor of Cognitive Epidemiology
Keith GodfreyProfessor of Epidemiology and Human Development
Lucy GreenAssociate Professor in Developmental Physiology
Mike GrocottProfessor of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine
Mark HansonDirector, Academic Unit of Human Development and Health
Nicholas HarveyProfessor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology
John HollowayProfessor of Allergy and Respiratory Genetics
Richard HoltProfessor in Diabetes and Endocrinology
Franchesca HoughtonAssociate Professor in Stem Cells & Developmental Biology
Hazel InskipDeputy Director, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Alan JacksonProfessor of Human Nutrition
Patricia JacobsHonorary Professor of Human Genetics
Ngianga II KandalaMedical Statistician
Kalyanaraman KumaranClinical Scientist/Senior Lecturer
Wendy LawrenceAssociate Professor of Health Psychology
Rohan LewisReader in Physiology
Karen A LillycropProfessor of Epigenetics
Ben MacArthurAssociate Professor in mathematics in the life sciences
Deborah MackayProfessor of Medical Epigenetics
Nicholas Stephen MacklonProfessor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
John MorganHonorary Professor of Cardiac Rhythm Management, Cardiology
Penelope NestelPrincipal Teaching Fellow
Marie-Louise NewellProfessor of Global Health (both in Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences)
Richard OreffoProfessor of Musculoskeletal Science
Clive OsmondMedical Research Council Senior Scientist
Keith T PalmerProfessor of Occupational Medicine
Kirsten PooreLecturer in Physiology
Dieter Riethmacher Associate Professor in Human Genetics
Graham RobertsProfessor and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician in Paediatric Allergy and Respiratory Medicine
Helen RobertsAssociate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Geriatric Medicine
Siân RobinsonProfessor of Nutritional Epidemiology
Cliff ShearmanProfessor of Vascular Surgery
William J TapperSenior Research Fellow in Genomic Informatics
Rahul TareLecturer - Musculoskeletal Science and Bioengineering
Karen TempleProfessor of Medical Genetics
Christopher TorrensAssociate Professor in Physiology
Bas Van Rijn Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Igor VorechovskyPrincipal Research Fellow
Karen Walker-BoneAssociate Professor in Occupational Rheumatology
David WilsonProfessor of Human Developmental Genetics
Stephen WoottonSenior Lecturer in Human Nutrition
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