Professor Graham Burdge
Professor Burdge is Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. He graduated in Cell and Immunobiology from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1985 and was awarded a PhD from the Department of Medical Oncology, University of Southampton in 1990. He joined the Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, in 1987 to study pulmonary surfactant biosynthesis and phospholipid metabolism. During this period he developed an interest in polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in pregnancy and in fetal development.This work included projects on the effect of ethanol exposure on the developing brain and the effect of fatty acids on neuroblastoma differentiation. He subsequently moved to the Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, where he carried out research on polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in humans. One of the main findings of this work was that women have higher docosahexaenoic acid status and synthesis than men. During this period he also showed for the first time, in collaboration with Dr Karen Lillycrop (Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton), that prenatal nutritional constraint induced impaired lipid and carbohydrate metabolism by altering specific epigenetic processes. He was awarded a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship in 2006, and was appointed Lecturer in Human Nutrition (2007) and Reader in Human Nutrition (2009).
Professor Burdge’s current research interest is the role of nutrition – epigenetic interactions in determining risk of non-communicable diseases. His main areas of research activity are the epigenetic regulation of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism and the development of epigenetic biomarkers of disease risk. His work is funded by the British Heart Foundation, the BBSRC, the European Commission, the Nutricia Foundation, the World Cancer Research Fund and by industrial partners. He is a founding member of an international research consortium on epigenetics and the developmental origins of disease, EpiGen, composed of the University of Southampton, the Medical Research Council, AgResearch New Zealand, the University of Auckland, and the Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences.
Professor Burdge is Editor-In-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition and of the Journal of Nutritional Science, and joint editor of a text book “Nutrition, Epigenetics and Health”.