press release


WOU hosts lecture on nutrition before birth and chronic disease in adults

for release: April 20 , 2010

MONMOUTH – Dr. Kent L. Thornburg, a professor and Associate Chief for Research of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), will speak at Western Oregon University on Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. in room 103 of the Natural Science Building. His talk, as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series: Navigating Health in the 21st Century, is called “The Failing Health of Oregonians: It Began in the Womb.” This free event is open to the public and is sponsored by WOU’s Division of Health & Physical Education.

Thornburg will discuss new insights on the role of the early life environment in causing chronic disease in adults and how nutrition before birth is linked to the developmental programming of the heart and the roots of adult-onset coronary artery disease. Recent research has shown that chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes occur in people who are vulnerable because they were poorly nourished in the womb.

Thornburg holds the M. Lowell Edwards Chair and professorial appointments in five departments at OHSU. He serves on advisory panels at the National Institutes of Health, the National American Heart Association and the National Children’s Heart Foundation. The Thornburg laboratory studies how poor nutrition before birth leads to adult-onset heart disease. He directs an NIH funded program that studies mother-baby signals before birth and how those signals lead to disease in the offspring and he runs an NIH program that trains student-cardiologists in research. He also directs studies on maternal nutrition and fetal growth in women who live in rural Oregon. He collaborates with scientists in Southampton, UK; Auckland, New Zealand; Marseille, France; Helsinki, Finland and Adelaide, Australia. He has published over 100 papers in medical journals and serves as consulting editor for the international journal, “Pediatric Research” and has served on the editorial board of the “American Journal of Physiology” for the past 12 years.

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