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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

National award for Southampton biological scientist

Published: 6 August 2013

Tom Fleming, Professor of Developmental Biology, became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) at its World Congress in Liverpool this summer. It is rare for a non-clinical researcher to receive this honour. The award was given in recognition ‘of the major contributions he has made to the specialty and the wellbeing of women.’

A developing embryo

Tom's recent research concerns what happens immediately after conception. During the following four or five days, the fertilised egg is still floating in the womb and has yet to attach itself to the wall of the uterus. As it grows, the egg becomes an early-stage embryo called a blastocyst and its cells start to develop specialist functions. This is an important time in reproduction; his studies have shown that mice given poor diets during these crucial days can give birth to offspring with health problems such as cardiovascular disease. He is one of many scientists at the University of Southampton who are interested in the developmental origins of human disease.

Dr Tony Falconer, President of the RCOG, says the Congress was an opportunity for the College to formally acknowledge the work and dedication of members of the wider community who have contributed a great deal to the advancement of science and women's healthcare.

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