Renowned researcher in women's health to give lecture

December 3, 2015  

A nationally recognized expert on women's health, especially in matters of nutrition and pregnancy, will speak Wednesday (Dec. 9) in a talk presented by Purdue's Women's Global Health Institute.

Michele Forman, the Bruton Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on "Through the Looking Glass at Early Life Exposures and Health" at 8:30 a.m. in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

For more than 30 years, Forman has focused her research on women's health throughout the life course with an emphasis on the effect of pregnancy, early childhood, puberty, and the reproductive years on risk of breast and other hormonal cancers. She seeks to understand how a woman's nutritional status in pregnancy influences the newborn's health and the mother's health after pregnancy and the effects of each on intermediate markers of and on cancer risk in the offspring and mother, respectively.

She has explored pre-pregnancy body mass index, diet, weight gain, and physical activity in pregnancy. Among her findings: Women who exercise in pregnancy have daughters who delay the age of menarche by three months on average; excessive weight gain in pregnancy leads to a higher risk for obesity in the offspring by age 18.

Forman, who has three master's degrees and a PhD in epidemiology, teaches in UT's Department of Nutritional Sciences. She has developed and conducted 10 longitudinal cohort studies in the U.S. and internationally. She has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and is active as a speaker, committee member, mentor and advisor. She has been chair of the Interagency Committee for Breast Cancer and the Environment for the National Institutes of Health.

Most recently she participated in the National Children’s Study as the study location principal investigator for Harris and Travis counties in Texas and as conductor of formative research in nutritional status.

Forman's talk is supported by the College of Health and Human Sciences and Discovery Park. 

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