The aim of our laboratory is to understand how prenatal perturbations contribute to an increased risk of developing adult-onset disease in offspring. This research area provides evidence for a now well-known hypothesis known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). By identifying organs and systems that are affected by prenatal insults, this provides us with a chance to intervene and prevent the burden of many chronic diseases in the Australian population. Our lab uses preclinical models that mimic common prenatal insults, such as stress and alcohol exposure, and conducts detailed analyses of offspring development and adult offspring metabolic, cardiovascular, renal, reproductive and neurological/behavioural function. Specific organs of interest include the kidney, placenta, heart, brain and ovary. We also have clinical projects available with collaborators at the Mater Research Institute/Translational Research Institute and the Child Health Research Centre that specifically look at the implications of maternal insults during pregnancy on placental morphology/function and kidney development.

Long-term intergenerational implications of prenatal perturbations
Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Long-term intergenerational implications of prenatal perturbations. (From: Cheong et al, 2016 ).