The Intrauterine Environment Program supports both basic and clinical research investigating the mechanisms by which the intrauterine environment alters metabolic responses in the offspring. A particular focus will be the role of maternal diet on the development of obesity and the pathophysiological consequences of obesity, particularly Type 2 diabetes, on the offspring. Investigations will be aimed at elucidating the signals that mediate the long term effects of prenatal environment on the offspring including, but not limited to:
- intracellular signaling pathways,
- inflammatory cytokines,
- nutrient sensing pathways, and
- epigenetic imprinting.
These pathways will be studied in a number of target tissues including liver, adipose, skeletal muscle, pancreas and brain. Clinical studies which expand on basic research findings and/or explore basic mechanisms involved in human obesity are encouraged. The long term goal of this program is to identify molecular targets that could be therapeutically altered in order to prevent or alleviate the increasing incidence of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
For additional information, contact Dr. Corinne Silva, Director, Intrauterine Environment Program.