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Your Environment. Your Health.

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)

Global Environmental Health

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Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)

December 23, 2016

Experts: Jerry Heindel, Ph.D., Mark Hanson, D.Phil

Environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals, diet, lifestyle, and stress, during early development or other important windows of susceptibility can lead to negative health effects throughout life and even be passed on to future generations. Research in this area is helping to explain the global increase in non-communicable diseases, and also identify opportunities for interventions to improve public health.


Environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals, diet, lifestyle, and stress, during early development or other important windows of susceptibility can lead to negative health effects throughout life and even be passed on to future generations. Research in this area is helping to explain the global increase in non-communicable diseases, and also identify opportunities for interventions to improve public health.

Jerry Heindel, Ph.D., (retired), is a Program Administrator who has worked to develop DOHaD at NIEHS. He received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Michigan and worked in the area of reproductive biology and toxicology while on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and the University of Mississippi before coming to NIEHS to head its reproductive and developmental toxicology group. In 1993, he moved to the Division of Extramural Research and Training at NIEHS where he is a scientific program administrator and responsible developing and administering the NIEHS grants program in endocrine disruptors, developmental basis of diseases, reproductive toxicology, and obesity.

Mark Hanson

Mark Hanson, D.Phil, is a founder member and current President of the International Society for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Hanson is the Director of the Institute of Developmental Sciences and British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Science at the University of Southampton, UK, where his research is focused on aspects of development and health. He is particularly interested in how the environment during development, including nutrition and toxic chemicals, can affect the risk of non-communicable diseases and identifying early markers of risk to inform intervention strategies. His work explores the underlying biological mechanisms, including epigenetic processes, which relate to such risks in both developed and developing countries.


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