Photo of Kristin Connor

Kristin Connor

Assistant Professor

Degrees:PhD (Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4202
Office:3310 Health Sciences Building

Primary field of Specialization:

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

Research Interests:

Our research uses a systems approach to understand the pathways that lead to poor development and chronic disease risk. We investigate interactions between the environment, the host, and its resident microbes, using animal models and human cohorts. We aim to understand how suboptimal environments including poor nutrition, stress and metabolic diseases in mothers, shape her pregnancy and risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm birth. We also aim to understand how these environments impact development of the placenta and fetus (particularly the gut and brain) and the growth of the infant postnatally, resetting the metabolic, endocrine and immune mechanisms that contribute to chronic disease.

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

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 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

Begum G, Stevens A, Smith EB, Connor K, Challis JR, Bloomfield F, White A (2012) Epigenetic changes in fetal hypothalamic energy regulating pathways are associated with maternal undernutrition and twinning. FASEB Journal 26:1694-1703

Mark PJ, Sisala C, Connor KL, Patel R, Vickers MH, Waddell BJ, Sloboda DM (2011) A maternal high fat diet in the rat reduces fetal and placental junctional zone weights and increases placental expression of PPARγ and total VEGFa. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 2:63-70

Connor KL, Vickers MH, Cupido C, Sirimanne E, Sloboda DM (2010) Maternal high fat diet during critical windows of development alters adrenal cortical and medullary enzyme expression in adult male offspring. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 1:245-254

Connor KL, Challis JRG, van Zijl PL, Rumball CW, Alix S, Jaquiery AL, Oliver MH, Harding JE and Bloomfield FH (2009) Do alterations in placental 11b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11bHSD) activities explain differences in fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function following periconceptional undernutrition or twinning in sheep? Reproductive Sciences 16:1201-1212

Challis JRG, Connor KL, Matthews SG, Lye S, Caniggia I, Petraglia F, Imperatore A, Sloboda DM, Li S, Braun T, Li W, Newnham JP. (2009) Development of the Fetal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Placental Axis: Implications for Postnatal Health. In Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Newnham JP, Ross M (eds), pp 89-99, Karger, Basel