Lucilla Poston

Lucilla Poston

Professor

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Personal profile

Research interests

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
 

The nutritional ‘environment’ in utero is now recognised to influence the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease in the offspring. Lucilla Poston's focus of this area of research is the consequences of maternal obesity and calorie-rich diets on the developing fetus. Her laboratory was amongst the first to develop animal models which have shown that the offspring of obese rodents develop a predisposition to obesity, hypertension and insulin resistance at a young age. Recent work has suggested that endocrine influences on the developing hypothalamus may permanently affect hypothalamic function, including pathwyas affecting satiety and blood pressure control. In the clinic, Lucilla Poston's team have developed a complex intervention with the aim of improving pregnancy outcome and, potentially, reducing the risk of obesity in the child (the UPBEAT trial). This research is funded by the NIHR, the British Heart Foundation, the MRC, the BBSRC, Tommy’s Charity, the Earnest Programme (EU Framework 7) and commercial partners.

Pre-eclampsia. 

The Division of Women's Health at King's College London has a long standing interest in pre-eclampsia research. Pre-eclampsia remains a common disorder in pregnancy, affecting 3-5% of all pregnancies and threatening the health and indeed the lives of the mother and her baby. Characterised by hypertension and proteinuria, pre-eclampsia is a syndrome which can affect many organs including the brain, liver, lung and kidney. Lucilla Poston's early research in this field contributed to the knowledge that endothelial dysfunction in maternal blood vessels plays a focal role in the disease, and that oxidative stress is likely to have a mechanistic function. Her team showed that prophylaxis with antioxidants was not effective in preventionof pre-eclampsia. Much of her present research effort is directed towards early biomarker discovery which not only has benefit in terms of prediction of the disorder but also in identification of contributory causes. This is undertaken as part of the SCOPE international collaboration, PI Professor Robyn North, a part time Professor in the Division.  Funding for this research is provided by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Tommy’s Charity and commercial partners.

Research interests (short)

Pre-eclampsia, maternal endothelial function, role of oxidative stress

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1982

Bachelor of Science, University of London

Award Date: 1 Jan 1975

Keywords

  • QP Physiology
  • Pre-eclampsia, obesity in pregnancy
  • RG Gynecology and obstetrics
  • Developmental origins of disease

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