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Dr Lucy Green BSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Developmental Physiology, Faculty Head of Engagement

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My work explores the cardiovascular, metabolic and organ growth adaptations made by the unborn baby in response to changes in the mothers nutrition, from before conception and throughout pregnancy.

It seems that it isn’t just about adult diet and lifestyle – your health may have been determined when you were just a twinkle in your mother’s eye

The adaptations by the fetus to mothers’ diet (e.g. deficiency in vitamin D, low calorific intake or an excess of dietary fat) set up the body's response to later life challenges, like unhealthy diet or stress. This can increase the risk of later ill-health, especially non-communicable disease (NCD), for example cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease, and is a field known as Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

I am part of The Institute of Developmental Sciences which works closely with partners from across the University and Hospital, particularly the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, to discover mechanisms, develop interventions and translate work for the benefit of patients.

Key to counteracting the effects of a poor developmental start on NCD risk is raising awareness about the concepts of DOHaD with the public (especially parents-to-be), health professionals and policy makers.  This is the focus of my work on the ‘Advocacy’ and ‘Communications’ subcommittees of the International Society for DOHaD Council (European Representative on Council, since 2015), as 2018 British Science Association Media Fellow (BBC Radio Science) and in science engagement and communication at the University of Southampton.

Appointments held

BSc. Hons. (Physiology) King’s College London (1991)
Research Assistant, Cornell University, USA (1991-1992)
Ph.D., University College London (1996)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Western Ontario, Canada (1996-1998).
Lecturer, University College London, U.K. (1998-2000)
Lecturer – Associate Professor, University of Southampton, UK (from 2008)

Research interests


Fetal cardiovascular adaptive responses to altered maternal diet
Models determining the nature of fetal adaptations (and the underlying mechanisms) to changes in nutrients during pregnancy, such as restriction of calorific intake or depletion of vitamin D. With colleagues from the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit I compare and translate these findings to fetal cardiovascular measurements from ongoing human clinical trials in Southampton (e.g. Southampton Women’s Survey, SPRING).

Postnatal consequences for skeletal muscle of a prenatal and postnatal obesity
Models of obesity from conception and throughout the life course to study the impact on offspring skeletal muscle structure and contractile function. Cross-faculty collaboration with researchers from The Institute for Developmental Sciences (Faculty of Medicine), Biological Sciences (Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences) and The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences).

Reduced pregnancy vitamin D and offspring skeletal muscle
We have established models for vitamin D depletion in pregnancy to examine the mechanistic link between reduced vitamin D in early development and skeletal muscle development and adult function. Cross-faculty collaboration with researchers from The Institute for Developmental Sciences, Biological Sciences and The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research.

Costello et al
Maternal undernutrition reduces fetal skeletal muscle


Human Development and Health

Affiliate Department(s)

Institute of Developmental Sciences

Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
National and International
  • Chair of Education, Public Engagement and Policy Committee of The Physiological Society (from Nov 2020)
  • Member of The Physiological Society, Society for Gynecologic Investigation, International DOHaD Society
  • External Examiner, Undergraduate Biosciences, Royal Veterinary College (from 2018)
  • Invited expert, Elicitation on ‘Fetal pain in slaughter of pregnant animals’, European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy. (2016)
  • European Representative, Council for the International DOHaD Society (from 2015)
  • ‘Advocacy’ and ‘Communications’ Subcommittees, Council for the International DOHaD Society (from 2018)
  • International Union of Physiological Sciences 2013 (Birmingham, UK) International and Local Organizing Committees member (2010-2013
  • Editorial Board member, Physiological Reports, Wiley (2013 – 2018)

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Book Chapters


Undergraduate teaching
  • Head of Field for Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Physiology (BMedSc student projects)
  • Steering Group, MMedSc programme
  • Personal Tutor, BMedSc
  • For MMedSc / BM5 programmes I have supervised research projects since 2000 and deliver various small group teaching / tutorials / journal club training.
  • I am the module lead and lecturer on a year 3 (level 6) or Masters (level 7) for BIOL3044/6040 ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’.
  • Lecturer, Pregnancy and Childbirth Module of MSc Reproductive Science and Women’s Health, University College London (2017 –  date).
Postgraduate Supervision

2004 Christopher Torrens Ph.D.
2005 Jane Cleal Ph.D.
2006 Deborah Burrage Ph.D.
2007 Lucinda Braddick Ph.D.
2008 Paula Costello Ph.D.
2014 Lisa Hollis Ph.D.
2018 Lisa Jones Ph.D.
2019 Aisha Rasool Ph.D.

Many non-communicable diseases may have a developmental origin
TheDOHaD hypothesis:
  • A Level student Institute of Developmental Sciences open day (with Schools Outreach Team) – devised programme, introductory talk, lab experience on ‘What makes you strong?’ (since 2017)
  • LifeLab Meet The Scientist sessions for school aged children (Since 2015)
  • The Physiological society, Mentoring students ('Science of Life') and judging competitions ('Women in Physiology')
  • Primary schools - talks to infants on my job as scientist (2010/2013)
  • I’m a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here’ Heart Zone Scientist -2018
Giant Kerplunk
Giant Kerplunk
  • My work with Institute of Developmental Sciences Communications committee has involved rebranding the Institute (see Hands Logo), running the 10 year Anniversary celebrations, setting up Institute web pages and social media (Twitter / Facebook @uosIDS) and a ‘Developing Healthy lives’ blog (including a couple by me).
Developing Healthy Lives
Developing Healthy Lives
  • Appearances on BBC Radio Solent (Sasha Twining Show, 2017, 2018 x2) - communicating to a broader audience about aspects of the early developmental science behind our adult health.
  • Producing (with Digital Learning) and editing short films and animations videos to convey aspects of our health-related science messages. 


  • 2019 Winner of The Established Researcher Outreach and Engagement Award, from The Royal Society of Biology.
  • My 2018 British Science Association Media Fellowship placed me in the BBC Radio Science Unit and Science Online News team for several weeks. This got me researching (e.g. Tour de Flanders and trees), writing (e.g. song birds) and broadcasting on a wide array of science stories.  With this new insight, I am working with Southampton’s doctoral college and Corporate Communications to develop some doctoral training in media.
  • Work on the ‘Communications’ and ‘Advocacy’ committees of the International DOHaD Society centres on conveying big science messages to beneficiaries.
  • Mid-Career Workshop Facilitator on ‘Science Communication’, Society for Reproductive Investigation Annual meeting, Paris (2019)
  • Talk on ‘Communicating DOHaD to the Public’ at ‘Taking DOHaD to the People’ symposium, DOHaD World Congress (2019)
Robotic Trousers
Lucy recording at BBC Radio Solent for Science in Action
Dr Lucy Green
Faculty of Medicine University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital Mailpoint 887 Institute of Developmental Sciences Building Tremona Road Southampton SO16 6YD

Room Number: SGH/IDS B07/MP887

Telephone:(023) 8120 6373
Facsimile:(023) 8120 5255

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