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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Southampton Professor honoured for pioneering embryo research

Published: 21 August 2013Origin: Biological Sciences
Embryo research

Many years of research into early stage embryo development have been recognised by the award of a prestigious medal to Professor Tom Fleming from the University of Southampton’s Centre for Biological Sciences.

Professor Tom Fleming after receiving the Marshall Medal
Award winning

The Society of Reproduction and Fertility presented him with the Marshall Medal at its annual meeting in Cambridge to mark his outstanding contribution to knowledge in this area. It has been awarded each year since 1964.

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.

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