Professor Lewis's research focuses on the placenta and how the placenta functions to ensure that the baby is born healthy. The placenta is a fetal organ which feeds the fetus in the womb and cleans toxins and waste products from its blood. If the placenta works well the baby is born healthy and is more likely to remain healthy for longer across its life. Professor Lewis takes an interdisciplinary approach combining functional studies with multiscale 3D imaging and mathematical modelling to develop an integrated understanding of placental function.
Using 3D imaging and single-cell gene expression to identify molecular markers of a uterus that is receptive to implantation
This Wellbeing of Women funded project led by Dr Jane Cleal is combining 3D imaging and transcriptomic approaches to study the endometrium in women with infertility and recurrent miscarriage.
Placental lipid flux in gestational diabetes and the effects of myoinositol
This studentship funded by A*STAR in Singapore and the Southampton BRC is investigating how diabetes affects the placenta and whether nutritional supplements can alter placental function.
Computational modelling to evaluate, understand and predict the placental transfer of xenobiotics as an integrated system
This project led by Dr Bram Sengers in Engineering combines physiological studies of drug transport with mathematical modelling to better understand placental Drug transport. A key finding of this work is that diffusive processes are more important than had previously been recognised.
Using machine learning to enhance our ability to label large 3D image data sets
Working with Dr Ben Mills in Physics to apply machine learning approaches to 3D image data sets to develop new ways of analysing anatomical information.
Working with Researchers from the Rosalind franklin institute to apply machine learning approaches to placental and endometrial imaging data to develop improved approaches for segmentation and 3D visualisation.
I teach physiology to medical students, primarily for the graduate entry BM4 course but also for the BM5 and BM6 courses.
I also contribute to teaching placental biology for BIOL 3044 and for the MRes Evolution.
I have previously undertaken roles as semester lead and assessment lead on the BM4 program and have an interest in medical assessment.
External roles and responsibilities
Rohan Lewis is Professor in Placental and Integrative Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.
Professor Lewis leads the Placental Research Laboratory in Southampton. His team are focused on understanding how the placenta supports the growth of a healthy fetus and how placental dysfunction may impact health across the life course.
The placental research group takes an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding placental function. This involves integrating laboratory studies of transport and metabolism with 3D imaging and computational modelling. This work involves interdisciplinary collaborations with Engineering, Maths and Physics. This seeks to both understand the mechanisms underlying specific placental functions and how these mechanisms interact to form a functioning placenta and produce a healthy baby.
We are also involved with population studies including the Southampton Women’s Survey and the Mavidos study to understand how the environment affects the placental and how placental function affects health in postnatal life.
- Fellow of The Physiological Society (2017)