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. 

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Applications welcome

We welcome applications for doctoral studentships. Please get in touch. Visit our for researchers section for more opportunities to engage with NIHR Southampton BRC.

What we are tackling – research questions

Saving lives: Resuscitation & acute care

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?

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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

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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

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

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Prof Keith Godfrey

Professor of Epidemiology and Human Development

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Prof Nicholas Harvey

Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology

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Prof Philip Calder

Professor of Nutritional Immuniology

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Prof Janis Baird

Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology

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Prof Ying Cheong

Professor of Reproductive Medicine

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Prof Julia Sinclair

Professor of Addiction Psychiatry

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Prof Jonathan Swann

Professor of Metabolism

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Prof Jon Dorling

Professor of Paediatrics

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Dr Kathryn Woods- Townsend

LifeLab Programme Manager

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Prof Christopher Byrne

Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism

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Dr Sunhea Choi


Associate Professor in eLearning

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Prof Cyrus Cooper

Professor of Rheumatology

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Prof Michael Boniface

Professor of Information Systems

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Prof Elaine Dennison

Professor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology

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Prof Kate Ward

Professor of Global Musculoskeletal Health

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Prof Nick Curzen

Consultant Cardiologist

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Prof Helen Roberts

Professor of Medicine for Older People

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Prof Peter Smith

Professor of Life Sciences

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Prof Richard Holt

Professor in Diabetes and Endocrinology

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Prof Paul Skipp

Professor of Proteomics

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Prof Rohan Lewis

Professor of placental and integrative physiology

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Prof Mark Hanson

Professor of Cardiovascular Science

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Prof Shane Norris

Professor in Global Health

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Dr Nisreen Alwan

Associate Professor in Public Health

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Dr Mark Beattie

Consultant paediatric gastroenterologist

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Prof Richard Oreffo

Professor of Musculoskeletal Science

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Dr Mark Johnson

Consultant Neonatologist

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Prof Karen Lillycrop

Professor of Epigenetics

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Dr Harnish Patel

Consultant Physician, Medicine for Older People

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Professor Graham C Burdge

Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry

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Prof Jacek Brodzki

Professor of Pure Mathematics