Mission: The MRC LEU aims to promote human health using lifecourse epidemiological methods

  • Programme 1: Musculoskeletal health in later life

    Programme Leaders:

    Programme 1 aims to understand:

    1. The changing descriptive epidemiology of musculoskeletal diseases; osteoporosis (low trauma fractures), sarcopenia (low muscle mass and strength) and osteoarthritis (joint disease) in adult populations.
    2. The underlying determinants of bone and muscle health across later adulthood.
    3. Identify and test novel strategies to optimize muscle and bone health in older age
  • Programme 2: Determinants of musculoskeletal health in the mid-lifecourse

    Programme Leads:

    • Professor Karen Walker-Bone
    • Professor Elaine Dennison
    • Dr Kate Ward
    • Professor Cyrus Cooper
    • Emeritus Professor David Coggon

    Our aims are to:

    1. reduce the disability for work caused by musculoskeletal disorders
    2. further explore the impacts of working to older ages on health and future healthy retirement
    3. prevent musculoskeletal disorders caused by work
  • Programme 3: Early development and risk of adult musculoskeletal disease

    • Professor Nicholas Harvey
    • Professor Elaine Dennison
    • Dr Kate Ward
    • Professor Cyrus Cooper

    Aim: To elucidate the risk factors for, and mechanisms which underlie, the developmental origins of osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal disorders; and to develop intervention studies aimed at modifying later disease risk through nutritional and other interventions targeted at critical periods of early development.

  • Programme 4: Development, Body Composition and Health

    Objectives:

    1. test in humans the concept that maternal nutrition and metabolism before and during pregnancy have important effects on the lifelong body composition, cardiometabolic health and neurocognitive ability of the next generation
    2. develop interventions in transitioning populations that improve maternal nutrition and health, and the fetal development and lifelong health and human capital of the children
    3. characterise aspects of childhood and adolescent growth, diet, physical activity and socio-economic circumstances that are associated with adverse health outcomes in later life, to identify additional windows and targets for intervention
    4. identify mechanisms by which early life exposures influence adult health and disease
    5. build capacity, in India, other LMICs and the UK, in epidemiology, statistics, nutrition, and cohort and interventional research
  • Programme 5: Cardiometabolic health and human capital: integrative biology approaches to lifecourse health

    • Professor Keith Godfrey
    • Professor Karen Lillycrop
    • Professor Nicholas Harvey
    • Professor Cyrus Cooper
    • Professor Janis Baird
    • Professor Hazel Inskip

    Aim

    To utilise integrative biology approaches to data from observational and intervention studies to develop biomarkers, therapeutics and nutrition/lifestyle interventions to improve reproductive health, child growth, adiposity and development, and promote healthy ageing and treat sarcopenia (linking with Programmes 1 and 3), thereby enhancing human capital and reducing cardiometabolic risks arising in early life and their impact on later disease.

  • Programme 6: Developmental determinants of cardiometabolic health: behavioural systems

    • Professor Janis Baird
    • Professor Mary Barker
    • Dr Wendy Lawrence
    • Professor Keith Godfrey
    • Professor Hazel Inskip

    Objective: The overall strategic objective for this programme is to improve cardiometabolic health across the lifecourse by addressing the developmental determinants of disease that arise before conception and during pregnancy. The programme takes a behavioural systems approach to improving health across the lifecourse with an emphasis on preconception and pregnancy.

Data Sharing

We are keen to maximise the use of data from our cohorts, trials and other studies, and welcome approaches from researchers to explore use of the data. We have a procedure for data sharing to ensure that we preserve the confidentiality of the data and we need to abide by the terms of participant consent for each study. Our model for data sharing is a collaborative one and we work with researchers using the data to support them in the interpretation of the various data variables and of their findings. If you are interested in using our data, please email the Unit on mrcleu@mrc.soton.ac.uk