NameProfessor Caroline Fall
QualificationsMBChB, DM, FRCP, FRCPCH
RoleProfessor of International Paediatric Epidemiology and Consultant in Child Health
Caroline Fall studied medicine at the University of Bristol, qualifying in 1978, followed by clinical training in General Medicine, General Practice and Paediatrics. She joined the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (then the Environmental Epidemiology Unit) in 1989, to study the Hertfordshire birth cohort, and showed for the first time that low birthweight and infant weight were associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes in adult life. Since 1993, she has been working on the fetal and childhood origins of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mainly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), building up collaborations in several centres in India.
Caroline works with a team of epidemiologists, nutritionists and statisticians investigating the early life origins of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes and the maternal factors influencing fetal growth and later health. Her chief role is to lead a programme of research involving 7 centres in India. These studies include: 1) the follow-up of children and adults whose size at birth and childhood growth were recorded, 2) prospective cohort studies on the short and long-term effects on the offspring of maternal nutritional status and glucose/insulin metabolism during pregnancy, and more recently, 3) randomised studies of interventions to improve maternal nutrition and fetal development, starting pre-conceptionally. She has 230 original research papers and ~40 reviews/book chapters.
Caroline was the moving force and organising secretary for the First World Congress on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) held in Mumbai, India, February 2001, and has been a member of the scientific planning committees for subsequent DOHaD Congresses, held in Toronto (2005), Santiago, Chile (2009), Portland, Oregon (2011) and Capetown, S Africa (2013). She was secretary of the International DOHaD Society from 2003-2013, and continues to serve on its governing council and education sub-committee. She was awarded the David Barker Medal, the DOHaD society’s highest award for scientific achievement and leadership, in 2013.
Her clinical interests are in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, and she is a member of the UHS children’s diabetes team.
- Deputy director, Division of Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton.
- Member, Advisory Group, CLOSER International, University College London. 2018-2020.
- Member, Advisory group, NIHR Global Health Research Group (Improving outcomes in sub-Saharan African Diabetes through better diagnosis and treatment), PI Prof Andrew Hattersley, University of Exeter. 2018-2020.
- Member, Medical Research Council Nutrition Research Partnership – a panel of nutrition scientists convened by MRC to develop and advise upon future strategy for UK nutrition research (2017-present).
- Lead investigator, TALENT consortium (Transforming Adolescent Lives Through Nutrition) (2017-present).
- Lead investigator, EMPHASIS study group (Epigenetic mechanisms linking pre-conceptional nutrition and health in India and sub-Saharan Africa) (2015-present).
- Member NCD-Risc consortium for global secular trends in cardio-metabolic risk markers (2009-present).
- Member, COHORTS collaboration (Consortium for Health-Orientated Research in Transitioning Societies), comprising birth cohort studies in India, Guatemala, Brazil, The Philippines and South Africa (2006-present).
- Former Secretary (2003-2013) and member of Governing Council (2003-present), International DOHaD Society.
- Member, Sneha-India (Indian Society for Natal Effects on Health in Adults) (1995-present), and co-organiser of 1st to 21st annual Sneha-India workshops on developmental origins of health and disease (1995-present).
- Member, 3rd British Nutrition Foundation Task Force on Diet and Cardiovascular Disease (2014-2019).
- Member, HEFCE 2014 Research Excellence Framework sub-panel for Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care (2013-2014).
- Member, Public Health and Topical Medicine Committee (PHATIC), Wellcome Trust (2010-2015).
- Chair, Research Committee (2012-2016) and Member (2010-2017) of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) – UK consortium for capacity building for public health in India.
- Member, GIFTS consortium (Genomic and lifestyle predictors of fetal outcome, diabetes and obesity in S Asian populations; PI: Graham Hitman, QMUL) (2011-2017).
- Reviewer for international journals and reviewer/panel member for major granting bodies.