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CiMUS Lecture

Neuronal circuits underlying maternal dietary habits and the programming of offspring health

Roberta Haddad-Tovolli

Neuronal Control of Metabolism laboratory, Institut d´Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)

27 October 2023 10:00–11:00

Theatre room, CiMUS


Maternal physiological and behavioural adaptations during pregnancy and lactation are set to provide an adequate environment for the correct growth and nurture of the infant. Disturbances in this delicate balance during critical periods of embryonic and perinatal development may exert life-long influences on disease predisposition in early life and adulthood. In this talk, I will describe our latest findings on how maternal unbalanced dietary habits, including HFD exposure, food cravings and emulsifiers consumption directly influence the development of key neuronal centers that control feeding and metabolism, as well as its impact in neuropsychiatric health. I will conclude the talk with new data in which we show that iron deficiency during perinatal life directly influences POMC neuron maturation, highlighting a new fundamental period for iron in hypothalamic development.



Roberta has a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Heidelberg (Germany). She did a postdoc at the University of Campinas (Brazil) with Prof. Dr. Licio Velloso and later at the Neuronal Control of Metabolism in Barcelona with Dr. Marc Claret where she was a Marie Curie fellow. She is establishing her own group focusing on the neurobiology of the female brain, with particular interest in the neuronal mechanisms underlying changes in ingestive behaviors during distinctive female physiological states and its transgenerational neuropsychological and metabolic impact. Her last paper reported that the hedonic dopaminergic system suffers a dynamic functional modulation during pregnancy, underlying food craving episodes and has called attention from both the scientific community and the general public.


Host: Miguel López.

Attendance certificates will be provided upon request to cimus.xestion [at] (cimus[dot]xestion[at]usc[dot]es). Please bear in mind to register by writing clearly the name and surname on the printed sheet. We will not be responsible for amending the records of anyone who fails to do so.