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Southampton's medical pioneers share experiences in Toronto

Published: 
15 November 2005

Thirty leading-edge researchers from the University of Southampton, investigating the theory that coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer could originate in fetal and childhood development, will be sharing their experiences this week at a major conference in Toronto.

Professor David Barker of the University pioneered the concept in 1989. Since then, many respected academics have published papers developing these ideas and inspiring thousands of young researchers to join them.

Southampton's Dr Caroline Fall is one of the organisers of the conference. She says this third Congress marks a significant milestone in the history of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD).

"The emphasis this year will be on implications of DOHaD for people in the developing world. There will be presentations from researchers in countries including China, India and Thailand who work with us in Southampton," said Dr Fall. "Themes we will be covering in the conference will include disease outcomes, mechanisms and possible interventions such as improving maternal nutrition."

Work began at the University of Southampton last month on a new building to house the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease on the Southampton General Hospital site.

Professor Mark Hanson, Director of the DOHaD Centre and British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Science, added: "The University of Southampton is leading the way in research into the early life processes which can lead to chronic diseases. We are recognised world-wide as leaders in this field."

Notes for editors

  1. The third International Congress on Developmental Origins of Health & Disease takes place at the The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Canada, November 16 - 20 2005.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and 5,000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £274 million.

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