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Kent Thornburg, Ph.D. Share This OHSU Content

Dr. Thornburg

Kent L. Thornburg received his Ph.D. in developmental physiology and studied cardiovascular physiology as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Oregon Health & Science University. He is M. Lowell Edwards Chair, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for Developmental Health at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, and Director of the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness.

Dr. Thornburg has expertise in cardiopulmonary physiology, placentology, and developmental programming.  He studies the roles of the placenta and the intrauterine environment as programming agents for adult-onset chronic disease and he leads studies on maternal diet and body in regulating fetal growth in women of Oregon. He is the principal investigator on NIH funded studies including maternal-fetal signaling, training in translational cardiovascular research, thyroid hormone and heart development and placental function. He collaborates with scientists in England, New Zealand, France, Finland and Australia.

He served as editor of the journal, Placenta, as consulting editor for Pediatric Research and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology. Additionally, Dr. Thornburg serves on advisory panels at the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the Children's Heart Foundation and recently served as co-chair of the task force to determine the 10-year vision of the developmental origins of health and disease for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He also served as a Distinguished Editor for the NIH Center for Scientific Review.

In addition to being an internationally known and widely published researcher, he loves teaching and mentoring students and junior faculty. He is committed to community service within OHSU and beyond including K-12 education programs, undergraduate research training programs and ethnic health programs. 

Recent Publications:

Eriksson JG, Gelow J, Thornburg KL, Osmond C, Laakso M, Uusitupa M, Lindi V, Kajantie E, Barker DJ.Long-term effects of placental growth on overweight and body composition. Int J Pediatr. 2012;2012:324185. Epub 2012 Apr 18

O'Tierney PF, Lewis RM, McWeeney SK, Hanson MA, Inskip HM, Morgan TK, Barker DJ, Bagby G, Cooper C, Godfrey KM, Thornburg KL.Immune Response Gene Profiles in the Term Placenta Depend Upon Maternal Muscle Mass. Reprod Sci. 2012 Apr 24. PMID: 22534332

Cherala G, Thornburg K, Edelman A. Birth weight and cytochrome P4503A4/5 activity in obese women.Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012 Apr 26. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04309.x. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.PMID: 22534035

Barker DJ, Osmond C, Thornburg KL, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and prostate cancer in their sons. Am J Hum Biol. 2012. PMID 22287160. Doi: 10.1002/ajhb.2222

Winder NR, Krishnaveni GV, Veena SR, Hill JC, Karat CL, Thornburg KL, Fall CH, Barker DJ. Mother's lifetime nutrition and the size, shape and efficiency of the placenta. Placenta. 2011. 14:783-7. PMID: 21924491

Eriksson JG, Kajantie E, Thornburg KL, Osmond C, Barker DJ.Mother's body size and placental size predict coronary heart disease in men.Eur Heart J. 2011. PMID:21632601

Alwasel SH, Abotalib Z, Aljarallah JS, Osmond C, Alkharaz SM, Alhazza IM, Harrath A, Thornburg K, Barker DJ. Sex Differences in birth size and intergenerational effects of intrauterine exposure to Ramadan in Saudi Arabia.Am J Hum Biol. 2011;23(5):651-4.PMID:21630372

Alwasel SH, Abotalib Z, Aljarallah JS, Osmond C, Alkharaz SM, Alhazza IM, Harrath A, Thornburg K, Barker DJ.Secular increase in placental weight in Saudi Arabia.Placenta. 201;32(5):391-4. Placenta. 2011.PMID:21429577

Barker DJP, Kajantie E, Osmond C, Thornburg KL, Eriksson JG.How boys grow determines how long they live.Am J Hum Biol 23(3):412-6. 2011. PMID: 21448906

Thornburg KL. Kicking the mystery novel habit. Reprod Sci. 2011;18(6):510.PMID: 21566245

Barker DJ, Osmond C, Thornburg KL, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG.The lifespan of men and the shape of their placental surface at birth.Placenta. 2011 PMID: 21831424

Barker DJ, Gelow J, Thornburg K, Osmond C, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG.The early origins of chronic heart failure: impaired placental growth and initiation of insulin resistance in childhood.Eur J Heart Fail.2010. PMID: 20504866

Barker DJ, Thornburg KL, Osmond C, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. The prenatal origins of lung cancer. II. The placenta. Am J Hum Biol. 2010l;22(4):512-6. PMID: 20309992

Thornburg KL, O'Tierney PF, Louey S. The placenta is a programming agent for cardiovascular disease.Placenta.2010 Suppl:S54-9. Epub 2010. PMID: 20149453

Eriksson JG, Kajantie E, Osmond C, Thornburg K, Barker DJ. Boys live dangerously in the womb. Am J Hum Biol. 2010;22(3):330-5. PMID: 19844898

Kajantie E, Thornburg KL, Barker DJP, Osmond C, Eriksson J.In preeclampsia, the placenta grows slowly along its minor axis. Int J Dev Biol. 2010 54:469-473.PMID: 19876819

Barker DJ, Thornburg KL, Osmond C, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG.The surface area of the placenta and hypertension in the offspring in later life.Int J Dev Biol. 2010 54:525-530. PMID: 19876839.

Eriksson JG, Thornburg KL, Osmond C, Kajantie E, Barker DJ. The prenatal origins of lung cancer. I. The fetus. Am J Hum Biol. 2010;22(4):508-11. PMID: 20309990

Barker DJ, Osmond C, Thornburg KL, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG.A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and ovarian cancer in their daughters.Am J Hum Biol. 2008 6;20: 659-662 PMID: 18461601

Barker DJ, Osmond C, Thornburg KL, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG.A possible link between the pubertal growth of girls and breast cancer in their daughters.Am J Hum Biol. 2008; 20(2):127-31; PMID: 17922483

Gluckman PD, Hanson MA, Cooper C, Thornburg KL..Effect of in utero and early-life conditions on adult health and disease.N Engl J Med. 2008;359(1):61-73. PMID: 18596274