Photo of Kristin Connor

Kristin Connor

Degrees:PhD (Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4202

Primary field of Specialization:

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

Research Interests:

Our translational research is foundational to ensuring healthy human development and chronic disease prevention.

We seek to understand developmental trajectories in early life, and how these trajectories are established and modified to influence an individual’s lifelong health resilience or disease risk.

Our research uses an interdisciplinary and systems approach to understand

  • how suboptimal nutrition and maternal disease states (metabolic and pro-inflammatory) impact development of the placenta, fetus and child
  • how we can use information from the placenta, gut microbes, developing offspring, and other factors in our early environments, to predict future health
  • how we can optimise maternal health and early developmental trajectories to reduce the incidence of suboptimal pregnancy outcomes, poor fetal/infant growth, and chronic diseases and disorders in later life

Our research integrates multiple methodologies including molecular biology, histology, and immunology techniques; microbiome analyses; data sciences. Our group leads and participates in multiple pan-Canadian and international research efforts on maternal, pregnancy, and child health.

Visit the Connor Lab website to learn more and get involved!

Selected Publications:

Below are some publications that highlight the methods and models we use, and the populations we study

White M, Feucht UD, Duffley E, Molokoane F, Durandt C, Cassol E, Rossouw T, Connor KL. (2020) Does in utero HIV-exposure and the early nutritional environment influence infant development and immune outcomes? Findings from a pilot study in Pretoria, South Africa. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 6:192

White M, Connor KL. (2020) in utero HIV exposure and the early nutritional environment influence neurodevelopment in infants before age three: findings from an evidenced review and meta-analysis. Nutrients 12:3375 doi: 10.3390/nu12113375

Palladino E, Van Mieghem T, Connor KL (2020) Diet alters micronutrient pathways regulating fetal growth and development in pregnant mice. Reproductive Sciences 28:447-461 doi: 10.1007/s43032-020-00297-1

Abdul-Hussein A^, Kareem A^, Tewari S^, Bergeron J, Briollais L, Challis JRG, Davidge ST, Delrieux C, Fortier I, Goldowitz D, Nepomnaschy P, Wazana A, Connor KL. (2020) Early life risk and resiliency factors and their influences on developmental outcomes and disease pathways: a rapid evidence review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 4:1-16 doi: 10.1017/S2040174420000689

Connor KL, Kibschull M, Matysiak E, Nuygen T, Matthews SG, Lye SJ, Bloise E. (2020) Maternal malnutrition impacts placental morphology and transport. An origin for poor offspring growth. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 78:108329 doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.108329

Srugo SA, Bloise E, Nguyen T, Connor KL (2019) Impact of maternal malnutrition on gut barrier defence. Implications for pregnancy health and fetal development? Nutrients 11:1375

Connor KL, Bourque SL, Weaver ICG (2019) A Canadian perspective on the developmental origins of health and disease: understanding the past as a way forward. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 10:1-4 DOI:

Al Refai A, Drake J, Kulkarni A, Connor KL, Shannon P, Toi A, Chitayat D, Blaser S, Abbasi N, Ryan G, Van Mieghem T (2019) Fetal myelomeningocele surgery: only treating the tip of the iceberg. Prenatal Diagnosis 39:10-15

Connor KL, Chehoud C, Altrichter A, Chan L, DeSantis TZ, Lye SJ (2018) Maternal metabolic, immune, and microbial systems in late pregnancy vary with malnutrition in mice. Biology of Reproduction

Bansal A, Bloomfield FH, Connor KL, Dragunow M, Thorstensen EB, Oliver MH, Sloboda DM, Harding JE, Alsweiler JM (2015) Glucocorticoid-induced preterm birth and neonatal hyperglycemia alter ovine beta cell development. Endocrinology 156:3763-3776 doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1095

Anderson LN, Briollais L, Atkinson HC, Marsh JA, Xu J, Connor KL, Matthews SG, Pennell CE, Lye SJ (2014) Investigation of genetic variants, birthweight and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function suggests a genetic variant in the SERPINA6 gene is associated with corticosteroid binding globulin in the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. PLOS One 9(4):e92957

Adams LA, White SW, Marsh JA, Lye SJ, Connor KL, Maganga R, Ayonrinde OT, Olynyk JK, Mori TA, Beilin LJ, Palmer LJ, Hamdorf JM, Pennell CE (2013) Association between liver-specific gene polymorphisms and their expression levels with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Hepatology 57:590-600

Connor KL, Vickers MH, Beltrand J, Meaney MJ, Sloboda DM (2012) Nature, nurture or nutrition? Impact of maternal nutrition on maternal care, offspring development and reproductive function. The Journal of Physiology 590:2167-2180