Early-life origins of obesity: developmental programming of hypothalamic development and function


  • Dr Laura Dearden

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Laura will investigate how developing in an environment of maternal obesity alters development of the hypothalamus in offspring, and how disrupted hypothalamic development underpins the changes in feeding behaviour that ultimately lead to offspring becoming obese. Laura will be primarily based at the Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS), University of Cambridge, in the lab of Professor Susan Ozanne. She will also work with Dr Clemence Blouet (IMS), using viral tracing techniques to precisely define hypothalamic connections, and with Dr Sebastien Bouret (University of California, Santa Cruz), using pioneering techniques to explore the role of metabolic hormones in early hypothalamic development. This multi-disciplinary project will define the metabolic parameters and hypothalamic targets that mediate the effects of maternal obesity on offspring obesity risk, with the aim of developing translatable intervention strategies.