Kent Thornburg, PhD (Vice Chair)


Director, Center for Developmental Health, Oregon Health & Science University
Director, Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness, Oregon Health & Science University

Kent L. Thornburg, PhD, was trained in developmental physiology, medical science, cardiovascular physiology and molecular biology.

He is known internationally as an expert in cardiopulmonary physiology, placentology, and the developmental programming of the heart and the roots of adult-onset coronary artery disease.

In 1994 he was chosen as the first director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Heart Research Center (now the Center for Developmental Health).  In 2001 he became the M. Lowell Edwards Chair in the Department of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. He continues to serve as director of both organizations.

He holds joint professorial appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Anesthesiology & Peri-Operative Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology.

Dr. Thornburg is a fellow of the American Physiological Society. He has received some 25 teaching awards at OHSU, was elected Outstanding Scientist of the Year in 2000 by the Oregon Academy of Science and has given a number of endowed lectures including the Archibold Byron Macallum Lecture at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Thornburg has served on numerous study sections and advisory boards at the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and other international bodies and served as the Section Head for the Commission on Development for the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

He serves as an honorary member of the Society for the Natal Effects on Health in Adults in India. He has served as editor of the journal, Placenta, consulting editor for Pediatric Research and the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology.

The Thornburg laboratory studies embryonic and fetal heart development and the role of maternal obesity on health of the offspring. Dr. Thornburg is the Principal Investigator of an NIH Program Project Grant recently funded through year 15, Maternofetal Signaling and Lifelong Consequences. He also is the PI on clinical studies to determine the role of the pre-conception diet in regulating fetal growth in rural women of Oregon.

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