Our goal is to find the mechanisms by which the environment during human development contributes to risk of chronic disease later in life. Relevant diseases include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, obstructive lung disease, allergy and some forms of cancer. These mechanisms are increasingly recognised to play an important role, in socio-economic as well as medical terms, in both developed and developing societies worldwide.
From basic science in our Institute of Developmental Science Building to population and public health research in our MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, we aim to establish early markers of those people at risk and to develop interventions to prevent disease developing in them.
The DOHaD Centre currently comprises a community of over 100 research scientists which includes 27 academic staff (9 of whom are early career researchers), 38 research assistants and 67 postgraduate research students (13 on nominal registration). Over the last 6 years it has trained 57 postdoctoral scientists of whom 23 have won career development fellowships (21 AMRC, 1 DH and 1 German Research Council). The Centre has attracted 185 outside grants totalling over £20.5m including £3.3m in programme funding. In addition, the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre has received over £15m in core funding. International collaborations have generated £1.3m. The Centre has a success rate of 40% for competitive funding. It has trained 77 PhD and 42 DM students of whom 26 have pursued a career in research. Over the last 6 years, the Centre has produced almost 1250 peer-reviewed research papers, 500 scholarly reviews, 44 policy papers and 8 patents.
Research in this Centre is directed at discovering how interactions between the genome and the environment, in utero and during infancy, influence susceptibility to common diseases in adult life.
It is conducted by 5 major research groups and includes research being conducted in several departments.