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Professor Graham C Burdge BSc, PhD, Registered Nutritionist

Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry

Professor Graham C Burdge's photo

Professor Graham Burdge is Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

The aim of my work is to identify novel targets for nutritional and pharmaceutical interventions to improve health and ameliorate disease. My work also aims to identify novel sustainable, scalable and ecologically sound sources of key nutrients.

Professor Burdge graduated in Cell and Immunobiology from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1985 and was awarded a PhD from the Department of Medical Oncology, University of Southampton in 1990. His postdoctoral work focused on phospholipid and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) metabolism. He was the first to show that men and women, and males and females of other species, differ in the ability to synthesise PUFA, and that this contributes to a difference in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status between sexes. Together with his long-term collaborator Prof Karen Lillycrop (Professor of Epigenetics, University of Southampton), he showed for the first time that maternal diet during gestation can alter the phenotype of the offspring by changing the epigenetic regulation of specific genes thus providing a plausible mechanism to explain the early life origin of disease paradigm. 

Prof Burdge’s work is focussed on how PUFA biosynthesis regulates T lymphocyte function and on evaluating a novel seed oil from a transgenic strain of Camelia sativa that contains the omega-3 PUFA found in oily fish and fish oil as a potential alternative source of these fatty acids in the human diet. His work is funded by UK Research Councils, the European Commission, the Research Council of Norway and by industrial partners. 

Prof Burdge is co-author of a book “Nutrition, epigenetics and Health” and author of “Polyunsaturated Fatty acid metabolism”. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition (2013 – 2018, the Journal of Nutritional Science (2013 – 2017), and of Nutrition Research Reviews (2010 -2013).  He currently Editor-in-Chief of Lipids. He has been a member of the BBSRC grant Panel A and is an ad hoc member of other BBSRC grant panels. He reviews widely for academic journals and for grant awarding organisations. 


Appointments held 

logo highly cited

Research interests

1.  Understanding the regulation, particularly through epigenetic processes, of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in health and disease.

2.  The use of novel food ingredients to improve omena-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes.

3.  Understanding how fatty acids modify epigenetic processes.

PhD supervision

Applications are welcomed from well-qualified graduates seeking to study for a PhD in nutritional biochemistry who are in possession of a scholarship or other means of financial support. Please apply by email in the first instance.

Research Projects


1.  Evaluation of an oil from a transgenic plant as a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the human diet (funded by BBSRC award BB/N014081/1); in collaboration with Prof Johnathan Napier, Rothamsted Research.

2.  Understanding the role of polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in regulating T lymphocyte function (funded by BBSRC award BB/S00548X/1); in collaboration with the University of Surrey.

Research group

Human Development and Health

Research project(s)

Effect of folic acid supplementation during the life course on cancer susceptibility

Identification of perinatal epigenetic markers of later phenotype

  • Editor-in-Chief of Lipids
  • BASF Nutrition Asia Research Grant Panel Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Institute of Food, Brain and Behaviour.
  • Joint Lead of the Nutrition and Metabolism Research Theme
  • Member of the University of Southampton BBSRC Community of Practice Group
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Book Chapters



  • Lecturer
  • Fitness to Practice Investigator
  • Personal Academic Tutor
  • PhD Examiner
  • External lecturer, MSc in Nutritional Medicine, University of Surrey
Professor Graham C Burdge
Institute of Developmental Sciences Building (MP 887), Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD,

Tel: +44 (0)23 8120 5259
Fax: +44 (0)23 8120 5255

Room Number : SGH/B06/MP887

Facsimile: (023) 8120 5255

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