New insights into ending chronic disease.


David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., FRS is a Physician and Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Southampton, UK and Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University, US. Twenty years ago, he showed for the first time that people who had low birth weight are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. In 1995, the British Medical Journal named this the “Barker Hypothesis.” It is now widely accepted. In 2010 Time Magazine called it the “New Science.” In 2003 he joined Professor Kent Thornburg at the faculty at the Heart Research Center, OHSU, to study how nutrition and growth before birth and during early childhood alter the development of the heart.

Dr. Barker’s work is relevant to both Western countries and the Developing World. In the Western world, many babies remain poorly nourished because their mothers eat diets that are unbalanced in macronutrients and deficient in micronutrients, or because their mothers are excessively thin or overweight. In the Developing World, many girls and young women are chronically malnourished.