Honorary Doctorate Seminar /by Professor Laurie J. Goodyear

Laurie Goodyear

Honorary Doctorate Seminar

Is exercise the cure for transmission of metabolic disease to offspring? Epigenetic mechanisms and beyond

Laurie J. Goodyear

PhD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Section Head and Senior Investigator, Joslin Diabetes Center, USA.


The rates of obesity in women of child bearing age have increased dramatically during the last decades, escalating to as much as 35% of the population in some countries. 

This is an enormous public health problem since emerging data show that obesity during pregnancy can increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the obese mother’s children, not only when the offspring are young, but when they reach adulthood. This vicious cycle of obesity will continue to fuel the world-wide obesity crisis unless measures are taken to attenuate the transmission of metabolic disease. 

Our recent studies using animal models demonstrate that physical exercise can prevent this transmission of metabolic disease. 

In this presentation, the molecular and epigenetic mechanism underlying the benefits of maternal exercise on metabolic health of the offspring will be discussed. 

This includes the identification of a novel placental-derived protein in mice and human subjects that we find has profound effect on the health of the offspring liver and systemic metabolism.  Data will also be presented to show that Vitamin D is necessary for the effects of maternal exercise on offspring health, as well as describing how maternal adipose tissue may play a role in improving offspring health. 

The long-term goal of the work is to define new treatment strategies, using both exercise and pharmacologic approaches, to end the transmission of metabolic disease in human populations. 








9 November 2023 14:00 - 15:30.


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13, DK-2100 Copenhagen


Participation is free, but please register here.


Kate Aiko Wickham, kawi@nexs.ku.dk