The Langley-Evans lab was first established at the University of Southampton in 1994 when I received grant funding from the MRC and a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship in collaboration with Professor Alan Jackson. This work was the initial characterization of a rat model of maternal protein restriction, which became established as the first significant experimental model of intrauterine programming of cardiovascular disease. My first PhD students, David Gardner, Rachel Sherman and Simon Welham did important experiments that provided early indications of the mechanisms that may link maternal nutrition to offspring blood pressure.
In 1998 I left Southampton to take up a predominantly teaching post in Northampton, but the research ticked over with continuing studies focused on nutrition in pregnancy (the Northampton Diet and Pregnancy study), antioxidants and periodontal disease and the association between childhood growth and atopy.
A move to Nottingham in 2001 reestablished work with the low protein in pregnancy model. Dr Sarah McMullen joined the group in 2002, establishing a long-lasting association. Since then we have carried out studies demonstrating programming of feeding behaviour, renal injury and hepatic steatosis. Using animal models we have demonstrated intergenerational programming and explored potential mechanisms of programming using whole genome arrays. These have identified the pathways regulating the cell cycle as being of significance in determining tissue development, aging and function. Continuing work is examining the potential for epigenetic modifications induced by maternal dietary restriction as a driving force in programming.