Chronic diseases start in the womb, guest lecturer will discuss

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D.
Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

SAN ANTONIO (April 24, 2014) — Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), will visit the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio on Monday to discuss evidence that chronic disease begins in the womb. His lecture starts at noon Monday, April 28, in lecture hall 3.104A at the Health Science Center’s Long Campus, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive (78229). The public is invited. Light refreshments will be provided.

Dr. Thornburg directs the Center for Developmental Health and the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at OHSU in Portland. His lecture is the first in a series sponsored by the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at the UT Health Science Center.

Dr. Thornburg is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in the area of developmental origins of health and disease. His studies describe how life in utero during the nine months of pregnancy determines the risk of developing disease in childhood and adult life. Exposure to an adverse intrauterine environment resulting from, for example, life stresses, pollutants, poor nutrition and maternal medical conditions including diabetes and obesity, can program the offspring for disease.

This has special public health relevance to San Antonio and South Texas given the region’s high rates of diabetes and obesity and the desire to break the cycle of transmission of these diseases to successive generations.

The goal of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is to promote all aspects of women’s health in the community and be a leader in the promotion of women’s health clinical and research programs and translation of research findings into clinical practice to improve the health of the local community. The activities of the center of excellence include research, education, career development, community engagement, interaction with clinical services and philanthropy.

This lecture will be held in conjunction with a weeklong course, “Translational Science in Perinatal Biology,” presented by the Center for Pregnancy and Newborn Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center. The course is drawing 25 young investigators from around the world and will focus on pregnancy and developmental programming of health and disease. The course is intended to enhance translational research in obstetrics and neonatology.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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