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Dr Kerri Smith

BHF Post-doctoral associate

My research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that programme cardiovascular disease. Specifically, I am interested in the role of the mitochondria in programming cardiac dysfunction in offspring that experienced hypoxia during fetal development.

Special Interest: Mitochondria

Research Summary
An unborn baby requires a constant supply of oxygen to survive. Complications during pregnancy, such as maternal smoking or placental infection, can limit the amount of oxygen the baby receives. This condition, known as prenatal hypoxia, can seriously harm fetal heart development and increase the likelihood that the child will develop heart disease later in life. Understanding the cellular mechanisms that underpin this phenomenon is fundamental to developing preventative strategies for heart disease. Therefore, the overall aim of my research is to investigate the long term effects of prenatal hypoxia on heart cell function. In the long term, we hope to develop maternal therapeutic treatments that will protect the unborn heart from oxygen deprivation and heart disease.

Dr Kerri Smith
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