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Nutrition, Lifestyle and Metabolism

Lead: Prof Keith Godfrey

Co-lead: Prof Jonathan Swann

You can find out more about our team here.






A healthy diet, lifestyle and metabolism give people greater resilience to illness and injury, meaning they are less likely to get diseases related to an unhealthy lifestyle and tend to recover faster when injured.


We are looking at how intervening at key stages in people’s life – such as when they are considering becoming parents, pregnancy and early childhood, and adulthood – could help them change their habits so they and their children can live a healthier life. 


What we are tackling – research questions

Led by
Prof Sandy Jack

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Improving nutrition, lifestyle and metabolism in pregnancy and childhood

Led by Professors
Janis Baird &
Mark Johnson

How can we promote healthy development by improving nutrition, lifestyle and metabolism before and after birth, and during childhood?


Improving nutrition, lifestyle and metabolism in adulthood

Led by Professors Christopher Byrne & 
Philip Calder

How can we sustain and promote resilience by improving nutrition, lifestyle and metabolism in adulthood?

Our impact

We have transformed understanding of early life influences on non-transmissible diseases like diabetes and targeted them to improve health in later life. Our research has driven better care, new guidelines, training and advocacy for Metabolic (dysfunction) Associated Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD). We have also led new approaches to preventing weakening of bones (osteoporosis) and muscles (sarcopenia), changing UK and global health policy.

  • Our online learning tools are used by healthcare professionals in over 17 countries to drive healthier early life nutrition.

  • We are equipping the next generation of parents to understand the health impacts of their choices for them and their future children. Our LifeLab teaching laboratory and online resources have engaged over 11,500 students from 66 schools.

  • Our research directly informed the 2017 World Health Organisation Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity and 2018 Nurturing Care Framework.

  • We have developed new breath-test diagnostics of liver function that measure a type of carbon (13C). Studies detected reduced handling of nutrients in MAFLD with results providing the basis for developing rapid, non-invasive diagnostics, published in 2021.

  • We supported the development of a second-generation global standard for fracture risk assessment (FRAX). We have also championed the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS). This global standard of care has led to over 400 registered FLS across 46 countries.

  • We were first to show a link between pregnant mothers’ vitamin D status and their babies’ bone mass. Our results informed recommendations that are now reflected in Public Health England maternal vitamin D guidance. Read more


Lifelong prevention of fractures and loss of muscle strength in later life

We have led new approaches to preventing weakening of bones (osteoporosis) and muscles (sarcopenia), changing UK and global health policy. Read more

Our people

Our people

Meet key individuals leading and enabling Nutrition, lifestyle and metabolism research in Southampton.


Prof Keith Godfrey

Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development


Prof Jon Dorling

Consultant Neonatologist


Prof Nicholas Harvey

Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology


Dr Cornelia Blume

Lecturer in Functional Genomics


Prof Janis Baird

Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology


Prof Nick Curzen

Consultant Cardiologist


Prof Jonathan Swann

Professor of Biomolecular Medicine


Dr Mark Johnson

Consultant Neonatologist / Trainining Lead Nutrition


Prof Rohan Lewis

Professor of Placental and Integrative Physiology


Prof Philip Calder

Professor of Nutritional Immuniology


Prof R Mark Beattie

Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist


Prof Ying Cheong

Professor of Reproductive Medicine


Prof Cyrus Cooper

Professor of Rheumatology


Prof Karen Lillycrop

Professor of Epigenetics


Prof Julia Sinclair

Professor of Addiction Psychiatry


Dr Luise Marino

Clinical Academic Paediatric Dietitian


Prof Mark Hanson

Emeritus Professor of Human Development and Health


Prof Shane Norris

Professor in Global Health


Prof Elaine Dennison

Professor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology


Dr Harnish Patel

Consultant Physician, Medicine for Older People


Prof Richard Oreffo

Professor of Musculoskeletal Science


Prof Helen Roberts

Professor of Medicine for Older People


Dr Kathryn Woods- Townsend

LifeLab Programme Manager


Prof Kate Ward

Professor of Global Musculoskeletal Health


Prof Jacek Brodzki

Professor of Pure Mathematics


Prof Peter Smith

Director, Institute for Life Sciences


Prof Richard Holt

Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology


Prof Christopher Byrne

Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism


Dr Nisreen Alwan

Professor of Public Health


Prof Paul Skipp

Professor of Proteomics


Dr Sunhea Choi

Associate Professor in eLearning


Mr James Byrne

Consultant Surgeon

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