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Workshop on Developmental Programming and Disease: Environmental Risk Factors, Mechanisms, and Strategies

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On September 27, 2018, the department of Environmental Medicine and the UR Environmental Health Science Center held a workshop on Developmental Programming of Disease, an increasingly recognized basis for diseases and disorders that occur throughout life. The workshop focused on current understanding of mechanisms that underlie early life programming, ranging from glucocorticoids, germ cell imprinting, immune cell programming, the gut microbiome and nutrition. The morning session included presentations of cutting edge research, and the afternoon session included a breakout group discussions addressing interrelated issues, including limitations of our current understanding, cumulative exposure/stressors, intervention/prevention approaches and future research directions. These discussions will be shared back to the group at large, and the workshop ended with a wine and cheese reception. 

Workshop Flyer

Event Photos


8:30 - 8:45 am       Early Life programming in the Rochester Environmental Health Science Center and purpose of the workshop

8:45 - 9:30  am      Jerry Heindel: Introduction to Early Life Programming by Exogenous Factors

9:30 - 10:00  am    Rebecca Fry: The placenta: A driver of early and later life disease

10:00 - 10:20 am   Coffee Break

10:20 - 10:50 am   Derrick MacFabe: The role of the gut microbiome in fetal programming

11:00 - 11:30 am   Edwin van Wijngaarden: Mercury exposure from life-long fish consumption and developmental outcomes: Thirty years of data from the Seychelles Child Development Study

11:30 - 12:00 pm   Martha Susiarjo: Fetal imprinting as a mechanism of programming

12:00 - 12:30 pm   Kristen Scheible: Immune cell programming in respiratory outcomes

12:30 - 1:30 pm     Lunch

1:30 - 2:00 pm       Margot Mayer Proschel: Early nutrition and fetal programming

2:00 - 3:00 pm       Breakout Groups to discuss the following questions or other topics that arise

  1. What are the strongest data to date of developmental programming?
  2. What is happening in that critical window in relation to the target organ?
  3. What innovative approaches can be used to integrate model systems and human population studies?
  4. What strategies could be used to understand the impacts of cumulative exposures and mixtures of environmental stressors?

3:00 - 4:00  pm     Share Back from breakout groups

4:00 - 5:30 pm      Reception