Prof. Gernot Desoye, PhD

Prof. Gernot Desoye, PhD

Gernot Desoye is a Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical University of Graz. For almost 30 years his main interest has been to understand the role of the placenta in mediating or protecting the fetus from the adverse maternal environment associated with diabetes and obesity. After several years of studying the regulation of placental glucose transporters, his group moved to explore placental metabolism and transport of lipids in recent years, and has been working on characterizing the effects of insulin and IGF-2 on trophoblasts and endothelial cells. The maternal-to-fetal shift of insulin regulation in the placenta over gestation has prompted us to focus on endothelial cells from the placenta proper, the primary target tissue for insulin late in gestation. He studies their alterations in gestational diabetes, how they respond to fetal signals and have very recently established their response to signals derived from the trophoblast. This has opened new avenues of endothelial regulation by the maternal environment through altering the trophoblast secretome, which is modified by maternal diabetes mellitus.

In the past 8 years, his research approach broadened, on one hand through coordinating the DALI project (Vitamin D and lifestyle intervention for GDM prevention), a pan-European, multicenter project with an RCT to prevent GDM as its core activity. On the other hand, his group is working on the effects of maternal lifeytsle, especially physical activity, on the placenta and fetal development. This has helped to learn more about maternal and fetal metabolism in obese women. Prof. Desoye is trying to integrate the generated knowledge from both the clinical studies and basic science investigations into a larger framework of maternal-placental-fetal interaction in situations of maternal overnutrition. With this in mind, they have now re-established a research line with emphasis on the early pregnancy period, which, in his opinion, has a strong influence on subsequent growth and development of both placenta and fetus.

Congress starts in:








Invited speakers

Main topics

  • Early feeding and growth
  • First 1000 days
  • Growth disorders
  • Birth cohorts
  • Croatian Islands' Birth Cohort Study (CRIBS)
  • Obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Nutrition and body composition
  • Epigenetics of growth and development
  • Environmental effects on growth
  • Recent advances in data analysis
  • Clinical considerations in fetal growth and neonatology
  • Kinesiology, maturity and athletic performance
  • Economics of obesity (local producers, sponsors, pharma, insurance) – sponsored session
  • Complex and genetic disorders
  • The exposome and allergic diseases


Important dates

February 10, 2019
Congress registration opens
December 20, 2019
Early bird registration deadline
February 28, 2020
Abstract submission deadline