Top experts in reproductive health meet in Tartu
On 23 and 24 April, the UT Centre of Gene and Biotechnology hosts ten European top specialists in reproductive health of men and women. They will speak about intrauterine and early childhood determinants of the child’s health, the link between pregnancy disorders and the mother’s health later in life and how the environment and hormones affect the fertility of the baby, to name only some topics.
According to Kristiina Rull, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Tartu and gynaecologist of Tartu University Hospital, the international experts participating in the course have very high impact in their field across Europe. “The experts who come to Tartu are highly recognised and valued in their field. The fact that they have agreed to speak at the University of Tartu and discuss the global developments in reproductive medicine in small Estonia shows that Estonia and the University of Tartu are considered worthy partners competent to have a say in the field of reproductive health on the world level,” said Rull.
The opening session of the course deals with intrauterine and early childhood determinants of individual’s health. Professor Johan Gunnar Eriksson from Helsinki University Central Hospital introduces the findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study which was conducted on the basis of health data of 20,000 children born in the period 1924–1944.
“These children grew up long ago and thanks well-operating registers of Finland, it has been possible to analyse their morbidity in cancers, cardiovascular, cerebral circulation and metabolism diseases,” explained Rull the content of Eriksson’s presentation.
In the past few years, also allergies and their determinants have received increased attention. Professor Maria Christina Jenmalm from Linköping University, Sweden, will speak about intrauterine and early infancy determinants of allergy development.
Another intriguing topic that always leads to a lot of discussion – pregnancy and vitamins – will be also dealt with. Professor Régine P. M. Steegers-Theunissen from Erasmus University Medical Center, the Netherlands, and Dr Nicholas Harvey from the University of Southampton, UK, will discuss whether and how much vitamin supplements should be taken during pregnancy and to which extent this is linked to pregnancy course and offspring health.
A separate session is devoted to the link of pregnancy disorders to mother’s health later in life. Professor Christopher Redman from the University of Oxford, Professor Anne Cathrine Staff from the University of Oslo and Professor Peter Damm from Copenhagen University Hospital will speak about long-term consequences of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
The listeners will definitely be interested in the interactions of genes, environment and hormones and how this complex will affect the foetal metabolism and the fertility of the baby through the organism of the mother. This field will be discussed by Dr Rachel Freathy from the University of Exeter and Professor Rebecca Reynolds and Professor Richard Sharpe from the University of Edinburgh.
The intensive course “Pre- and perinatal determinants of health in child- and adulthood” is organised by the UT Doctoral School of Clinical Medicine together with the UT Graduate School in Biomedicine and Biotechnology and the project Happy Pregnancy. The doctoral schools are financed by the European Social Fund and the project Happy Pregnancy is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Everybody is welcome to attend the English-language course taking place on 23 and 24 April in Omicum, Riia 23b-105. On 22 April, also an Estonian-language workshop takes place, where Estonian experts discuss the latest topics in the field of reproductive health in Estonia. The lectures will be broadcast on ERR Novaator and www.uttv.ee.
For more information on the course and the speakers, see the home page of Happy Pregnancy http://www.happypregnancy.ut.ee/tootoad/2015kursus.
Additional information: Kristiina Rull, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Tartu, Research Fellow in Human Molecular Genetics, Gynaecologist of Tartu University Hospital, tel: +372 737 5006, email: kristiina.rull [ät] kliinikum.ee.