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Autumn meeting, Royal Society of Medicine, 29th November 2001

This meeting included the first Curosurf Lecture given by Professor David Leon, Professor of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He talked on 'Fetal programming: how real, how relevant' and gave an interesting review of an expanding topic with critical appraisal of current work and hypotheses. He showed that there is a very real and relevant relationship between early programming and subsequent blood pressure and this was probably also the case for Type 2 diabetes. Any relationship with coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular accident still awaits confirmation.

Spring meeting, Royal Society of Medicine, 7th March 2002

There were 3 invited speakers whose theme was adolescent pregnancy.

Professor Andrew Prentice of the International Nutrition Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, gave the McCance lecture. He had known Professor McCance while working in Cambridge and gave us some insight into one of the founders of the Society. It was agreed at the end that Professor McCance would have appreciated the presentation. Professor Prentice talked eloquently on his nutritional work among pregnant mothers in Gambia. All mothers start their pregnancies in the adolescent years and in the developing world this is the evolutionary norm. He went on to describe the role of nutritional factors in regulating fetal growth but showed that this, although important, was only part of a more complex interaction between genetic, metabolic and infectious factors mediating growth.

It was interesting to compare and contrast this with the data from Jacqueline Wallace, Head of Ovine Pregnancy Group, Rowett Institute, Aberdeen. She gave an excellent review of the work on the ovine adolescent paradigm and the partitioning of nutrition between the needs of the growing adolescent mother and the fetus. The importance of the placenta in determining fetal growth trajectory was stressed and the role of inadequate fetal growth in the aetiology of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Alex Mellanby, Public Health Consultant, East London and The City Health Authority, also gave a keynote lecture on the problem of teenage pregnancy. He described fascinating work being done to try and change adolescent behaviour. This was done in a very amusing way which incorporated a first for the neonatal society - role playing involving the audience !

Future meetings

The summer meeting will be in Tours on 28-29th June. Details are available on this website. This meeting promises to be an enjoyable mix of good science and French hospitality. The closing date for abstracts is 1st May and details are on the web site. Petra Huppi will give the Tizard lecture. This lecture is supported by a fund set up after Peter Tizard's death in 1993. If you would like to make a contribution to the Peter Tizard Lecture Fund, please make this payable to Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Trust Fund or contact Professor Andrew Wilkinson

There is also the second Young Investigators prize and nominations are invited from individuals studying for a PhD or MD, post-doctoral workers and clinicians in training. Details are on the web site and closing date for applications is 19th April. The winner's expenses will be met by the Society for their attendance at the summer meeting and they will be invited to give a 30 minute lecture on their research.

The autumn meeting, including the AGM, is at the RSM on 7th November. However extensive renovation work is about to start at the RSM and there is uncertainty at present about the effect any noise will have on meetings. If there is a need to change venue we will aim to stay in London and I will let you know in plenty of time before the meeting.

Election for president

Nominations are invited for the next president of the society. A ballot will be held at the AGM this November for the president elect who will take up post in autumn 2003. Nominations, with proposers and seconders, should be sent to the secretary, Terence Stephenson

Abstract publications

The abstracts from papers presented at the spring and summer meetings in 2001 have been published in the January edition of Early Human Development 2002;66:41-62

New members

The following have been elected to the Society : E Adams, K Beardsall, C Doherty, D Harding, M Meeks, L de Rooy, J Litten, G Rafferty

Other matters


Anne Greenough, Treasurer, took the opportunity at the Spring Meeting to remind members to pay their subscriptions. Apparently a third of the membership have not paid. Please contact Anne if you need forms for bankers orders.

Web site and e-mail

The e-mail database of members is being updated. This will be used to inform members of meetings and other news which on the web site. The programme, abstracts and newsletters will continue to be sent by mail as well as appearing on the web site. If anyone who is on e-mail has not been receiving any messages then please let me know your address.

Andrew Lyon
Meetings Secretary

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