The page cannot be displayed because you are using Internet Explorer version 8 or lower.

Please consider upgrading your browser here

We use cookies on this website. By using the website you accept our use of cookies. Accept


Early growth genetics and metabolic diseases

The symposium will be held at the Novo Nordisk Foundation on April 20, 2016.


Early growth genetics and metabolic diseases – Integrated mechanisms and translational perspectives

The symposium has been designed by the researchers of the Early Growth Genetic consortium aiming to

  1. inform, promote and advance the research on integrating the pathways leading to common metabolic diseases (CMD) and psychosocial morbidities, beyond the fetal programming paradigm
  2. elicit interaction between research professionals in populations genetics, life-course and system epidemiology, public health and pediatrics


  • Christopher Bell
  • Janine Felix
  • Rachel Freathy
  • Keith Godfrey
  • Struan Grant
  • Marjo-Riitta Järvelin
  • Debbie Lawlor
  • Mark McCarthy
  • Ken Ong
  • George Davey Smith
  • Allan Vaag
  • Elisabeth Widen


  • Genetics of Early Growth and its importance in the development of CMD
  • The cross-talk between genetic and epigenetic factors
  • The interplay between multiple lifestyle, social and biological factors as well as developmental trajectories in health and disease. Including the development of cognitive functions
  • From cross-sectional analysis to dynamic longitudinal modeling
  • Translational aspects

Who can attend

The symposium is open to participants of all career levels from student to professor.

Posters and travel grants

Up to 50 participants will be able to bring a poster to be exhibited during the symposium and discussed during a poster session. The selection will be made based on abstracts, submitted in the application.

Apart from the selection of posters, the abstracts will be used to award travel grants for younger researchers outside of Denmark.

Apply to participate

Applications must be submitted using the Foundation’s online application system, which can be accessed here.
The application deadline has been extended to March 17, 2016 16:00.

If you already have a user for fund or conference application, you can login to the system using this user account.

When completing the application, you must agree to the Foundation’s standards for use of personal information. When clicking yes, you agree that the Novo Nordisk Foundation can store your personal information in the application system.

In order to send in an application, you will be asked to provide the following:

Motivated application
Everyone who applies must provide a short motivated application on why they wish to attend. This should be max 2000 characters

If you wish to bring a poster to the symposium, you must submit an abstract of max 1700 characters as part of the application form.
You will have to choose an abstract topic from a predefined list. If more than one topic applies, please select the most relevant one.

*You will only have to fill out an abstract if you wish to bring a poster.



Registration and breakfast                                    


Thorkild IA Sørensen, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Keith Godfrey, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Maternal influences, pre- and postnatal growth and the risk of metabolic diseases in adulthood


Mark McCarthy, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Joining the dots: using human genetics to define the mechanistic links between early growth and metabolic disease


Rachel Freathy, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Maternal and fetal genetics of birth weight


Janine Felix, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Genetics of childhood body weight


Coffee break


Struan F.A. Grant, Childhood Hospital of Philadelphia, United States
Genetics of childhood obesity


Elisabeth Widén, Finnish Institute of Molecular Medicine, Helsinki, Finland
Genetics of puberty


Ken Ong, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Parent-of-origin effects




Lunch break


Guided poster session


Debbie Lawlor, MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Using maternal genes to determine causal intrauterine effects


Allan Vaag, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Effects of gestational diabetes


Christopher G. Bell, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Epigenetics – dissecting apart the genetic influence on the epigenome


George Davey Smith, MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Multi-omic mediation




Coffee break


Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, and University of Oulu, Finland
Life-course approach


Panel debate about the future research
Janine Felix, Rachel Freathy, Struan F.A. Grant, Elisabeth Widén


Panel debate about translational potentials
Christopher G. Bell, Ken Ong, Allan Vaag


Thorkild IA Sørensen, Denmark
Concluding remarks and farewell