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Inaugural Lecture: Professor Rohan Lewis

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Lecture Theatre 2, Southampton General Hospital, South Academic Block,

Tremona Road

Southampton

SO16 6YD

United Kingdom

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Inaugural Lecture: Professor Rohan Lewis, The Amazing Placenta

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Rohan Lewis is Professor in Placental and Integrative Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Professor Lewis completed his PhD in University of Auckland, New Zealand, before undertaking postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge and then the University of Southampton.

In 2005 he was appointed to a lectureship in physiology at Southampton, in 2012 Reader in Physiology and in 2016 Professor in Placental and Integrative Physiology. 
Prof Lewis leads the Placental Research Laboratory in Southampton which is focused on understanding how placenta supports the growth of a healthy fetus and how placental dysfunction may impact on the health throughout the life course.

The Amazing Placenta

The placenta only exists for nine months, but its function has health implications across the life-course.

This lecture highlights how work in the Southampton Placental Laboratory has made fundamental advances in our understanding of the placenta and the ways it supports fetal development. By combining experimental approaches and mathematical modelling, our approach treats the placenta as a system rather than a series of individual parts. This approach has underpinned a new understanding of how transporters work as a system to mediate the placental transfer of nutrients and wastes. It has also highlighted the role of metabolism in regulating nutrient and steroid transport. Three-dimensional imaging has described placental structure in unprecedented detail and revealed entirely novel structures within the placenta. Mathematical modelling of these three-dimensional structures is helping reveal their functions and predict optimal structures for placental function.

The placenta itself is part of a bigger system and working with population studies including the Southampton Women’s survey, and MAVIDOS has allowed us to explore how maternal body composition influence placental function. These fundamental advances in our understanding of the placenta open the way for targeted therapies to optimise the environment for the developing fetus and its health across the life course.”

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Lecture Theatre 2, Southampton General Hospital, South Academic Block,

Tremona Road

Southampton

SO16 6YD

United Kingdom

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