Christians Lab

The prenatal environment determines health throughout life. The placenta plays a critical role in supplying the fetus with nutrients and oxygen, and responds to suboptimal prenatal environments to mitigate adverse effects. Furthermore, since the placenta is genetically identical to the fetus and so has a biological sex, its responses may be sex-dependent. I am interested in fetal and placental responses to suboptimal environments, how prenatal environment affects health in adulthood, and the ways in which responses and long-term effects differ between the sexes. My work examines both the mechanistic basis of responses, as well as the evolutionary forces that have shaped them.