Center for Developmental Health

The Center for Developmental Health is a major research center within the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute. It consists of more than sixty scientists who study the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease here at OHSU. 

Director Leslie Myatt, Ph.D., FRCOG, is internationally known for his expertise in applications of basic science approaches to clinical problems in perinatology, including preeclampsia, preterm birth and gestational diabetes. He studies the prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes, the role of obesity, gestational diabetes and sexual dimorphism in placental metabolism and function and fetal programming.

Associate Director Terry Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., focuses his research on determining how uteroplacental vascular remodeling during pregnancy affects blood flow to the placenta and leads to common maternal pregnancy complications and fetal programming of adult-onset disease in their progeny

Faculty members in the KCVI Center for Developmental Health


The Center for Developmental Health conducts cutting-edge research and explores ways to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The scientific foundation of the center is the 1989 Barker finding that birth weight is a crude marker for risk of death from ischemic heart disease. An 8-9 pound baby is less likely to acquire heart disease than babies born smaller or larger. An examination of other chronic diseases shows that adult onset type 2 diabetes and obesity are also highly correlated with birth weight, as well as markers of maternal nutrition and body composition. Research has also shown that nutritional and social stresses before birth are related to dramatically increased risks for hypertension, type 2 diabetes and stroke, in addition to heart disease, later in life.

Specialties Word Cloud

Research Areas

Scientists within CDH have a wide variety of research interests and cross-disciplinary collaborations across the university. The Word Cloud demonstrates the depth and breadth of current research interests. View a full list of our members. 

Research Positions:
Postdoctoral and other research positions are available within CDH. Please review our center scientists' faculty profiles for more information about their areas of focus and reach out to them directly to inquire about available positions associated with their laboratory.

Support our research

Donate to the Center for Developmental Health

DOHaD Summer Course

Each August the Center for Developmental Health hosts a two day course on the science of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease with lectures from OHSU scientists, networking opportunities and hands-on lab tours.

The course is designed for graduate students, post-docs and early-career scientists interested in the long-term implications of fetal development. Click here for more information.

The Heart Beat

Our annual newsletter, Heart Beat, is where you can find center updates, articles about center scientists and their work, recipes, upcoming events and more. Read the latest Heart Beat (2021-22)

Past Heart Beats
Heart Beat 2020-21
Heart Beat 2019-20
Heart Beat 2018-19

For more information

Email to:

  • Partner on our research
  • Inquire about postdoctoral positions