New Lecturer grant awarded for research into maternal obesity

Over half of pregnant women in the UK are overweight or living with obesity. In addition to the immediate health risks to the mother and the baby in pregnancies complicated by obesity, strong evidence suggests that babies born from a pregnancy where the mother has obesity are more likely to develop obesity themselves, and this is contributing to rising obesity rates around the world. Laura’s project will investigate how the high insulin levels in a pregnancy complicated by obesity impact on the offspring’s hypothalamus, an area of the brain critical for regulating food intake. Her experiments will help us develop better clinical advice so that women with obesity can make more informed decisions during pregnancy, and further our understanding of how to stop the inter-generational transmission of obesity risk.

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The funding available through the New Lecturer grant will allow me to generate pilot data for a project grant application to include a post-doc salary to work with me. As I work part-time due to caring responsibilities, an extra pair of helping hands will be essential to perform high quality research and I am extremely grateful that this award will help me achieve this. In addition to helping me secure more funding in the long-term to expand my research group, these experiments will also increase the quality and impact of resulting publications, thus improving my research reputation and international visibility. These experiments have also been designed such that they will generate data to form the basis of a project for a PhD student within my research group.”

Dr. Laura Dearden, University of Cambridge

New Lecturer grants are designed to help new lecturers, researchers and fellows establish their careers as independent investigators in human nutrition, animal nutrition or crop science.

The grant is currently closed but will open again in summer 2023.