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Cambridge Immunology Network



Susan Ozanne is Professor of Developmental Endocrinology in the University of Cambridge Institute of Metabolic Science Metabolic Research Laboratories and the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit. She is also a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. She obtained a first class honours degree in Biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh, in 1990. She then went to Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge where she obtained her PhD in 1994. Prior to her current appointment she was a British Heart Foundation Senior Fellow. She has also previously held a Diabetes UK RD Lawrence Fellowship and a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship. Her research interests are focused on understanding the mechanistic basis of the relationship between suboptimal early nutrition and risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in later life. Professor Ozanne is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed full papers on the early origins of health and disease and is an elected member of the council of the Society for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease


Our research aim is to understand the mechanisms by which in utero exposures, such as suboptimal nutrition, influence risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and premature death. To achieve this, we take an integrative approach using rodent models and human biopsy material (including adipose tissue, muscle, liver and placenta). The inclusion of studies in humans and animal models enables us to define the molecular processes that underpin the concept that has been termed developmental programming and maximises translational potential. We study changes in the transcriptome, proteome and epigenome (including non-coding RNAs and higher order chromatin structure). Our long-term goal is to use this mechanistic insight to design rational intervention strategies to improve health of women and their children. An important aspect of our current work thus explores the short and long-term impact on mother and baby of different interventions during obese and/or diabetic pregnancy.

Prof Dino Giussani, Dept. Physiology, Development & Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Dr Miguel Constancia, Metabolic Research Laboratories & Dept Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Cambridge

Dr Sebastien Bouret, University of Lille, France

Professor Martin Bushell, Beatson Institute, Glasgow


Key publications: 

De Almeida-Faria J, Duque-Guimarães DE, Ong TP, Pantaleão LC, Carpenter AA, Loche E, Kusinski LC, Ashmore TJ, Antrobus R, Bushell M, Fernandez-Twinn DS & Ozanne SE (2021) Maternal obesity during pregnancy leads to adipose tissue ER stress via miR-126-mediated reduction in Lunapark. Diabetologia (in press).


Dearden L, Buller S, Furigo IC, Fernandez-Twinn DS & Ozanne SE (2020) Maternal obesity causes fetal hypothalamic insulin resistance and disrupts development of hypothalamic feed pathways. Mol Metab 42: 101079


Tarry-Adkins JL, Aiken CE & Ozanne SE (2020) Comparative impact of pharmacological treatments for gestational diabetes on neonatal anthropometry independent of maternal glycaemic control: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine 17(5): e1003126

De Barros Mucci D, Kusinski LC, Wilsmore P, Loche E, Pantaleao LC, Ashmore TJ, Blackmore HL, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Carmo MDGTD & Ozanne SE (2020) Impact of maternal obesity on placental transcriptome and morphology associated with fetal growth restriction in mice. Int J Obes. 44:1087-1096


Nicholas LM, Nagao M, Kusinski LC, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Eliasson L & Ozanne SE (2020) Exposure to maternal obesity programs sex differences in pancreatic islets of the offspring in mice. Diabetologia 63: 324-337


Tarry-Adkins JL, Aiken CE & Ozanne SE (2019) Neonatal, infant and childhood growth following metformin versus insulin treatment for gestational diabetes: A Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine 16 (8): e1002848


Tarry-Adkins JL, Aiken CL, Ashmore TJ, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Chen JH & Ozanne SE (2019) A suboptimal maternal diet combined with accelerated postnatal growth results in an altered aging profile in the thymus of male rats FASEB J 33: 239-253


Aiken CE, Tarry-Adkins JL, Spiroski AM, Nuzzo AM, Ashmore TJ, Rolfo A, Sutherland MJ, Camm EJ, Giussani DA & Ozanne SE (2019) Chronic fetal hypoxia disrupts the peri-conceptual environment in next generation adult female rats. J Physiol 597: 2391-2401


Beeson JH, Blackmore HL, Carr SK, Dearden L, Duque- Guimarães DE, Kusinski LC, Pantaleão LC, Pinnock AG, Aiken CE, Giussani DA, Fernandez-Twinn DS & Ozanne SE (2018) Maternal exercise intervention in obese pregnancy improves the cardiovascular health of the adult male offspring. Molecular Metabolism 16:35-44


Berends LM, Dearden L, Tung YCL, Voshol P, Fernandez-Twinn DS & Ozanne SE (2018) Postnatal catch-up growth programs central and peripheral insulin resistance in male mice. Diabetologia 10: 2225-34


Loche E, Blackmore HL, carpenter AAM, Beeson JH, Pinnock A, Ashmore TJ, Aiken CE, de Almeida-Faria J, Schoonejans J, Giussani DA, Fernandez-Twinn DS & Ozanne SE (2018) Maternal diet-induced obesity programmes cardiac dysfunction in male mice independently of post-weaning diet. Cardiovascular Res. 114: 1372-1374


Holland ML, Lowe R, Caton PW, Gemma C, Carbajosa G, Danson AF, Carpenter AA, Loche E, Ozanne SE & Rakyan VK (2016) Early life nutrition modulates the epigenetic state of specific rDNA genetic variants in mice. Science 353:495-8


Tarry-Adkins JL, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Hargreaves IP, Neergheen V, Aiken CE, Martin-Gronnert MS, McConnell JM & Ozanne SE (2016) Coenzyme Q10 prevents hepatic fibrosis, inflammation and oxidative stress in a male rat model of poor maternal nutrition and accelerated postnatal growth. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 103: 579-88


Fernandez-Twinn DS, Alfaradhi MZ, Martin-Gronnert MS, Duque-Guimaraes DE, Piekarz A, Ferland-McCollough D, Bushell M & Ozanne SE (2014) Down-regulation of IRS-1 in adipose tissue of offspring of obese mice is programmed cell-autonomously through post-transcriptional mechanisms. Molecular Metabolism 3: 325-33


Tarry-Adkins JL, Blackmore HL, Martin-Gronert MS, Fernandez-Twinn DS, McConnell JM, Hargreaves IP, Giussani DA & Ozanne SE (2013) Coenyme Q10 prevents accelerated cardiac aging in a rat model of poor maternal nutrition and accelerated postnatal growth Molecular Metabolism 2: 480-90

Teaching and Supervisions


University of Cambridge Part IA Molecules in Medical Sciences (First Year Medical and Veterinary students) (supervisor Churchill College)

University of Cambridge Part II Physiology Development and Neuroscience (Module P3, fetal and placental physiology) (lecturer)

University of Cambridge Part II Pathology (lecturer)

Research supervision: 

PhD Students supervised to completion: 18

Current PhD Students: 4

Other Professional Activities

Committee Membership:

Rank Prize Funds Advisory Committee on Nutrition (2018-)

Barts Charity Grants Committee (2020-)

Biochemical Society (Local Ambassador)

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Society (Member of Council)


Editorial Board Membership:

International Journal of Obesity (2007-)

Frontiers in Epigenomics (2009-)

Current research in Physiology (2020-)

Professor Susan  Ozanne
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy