- Senior Fellow
Professor Tessa Roseboom is Director of Amsterdam Reproduction and Development at the Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam (UvA-AMC). As a scientist, teacher and advocate, she has spent the past 25 years investigating how the early environment in which humans grow and develop affects later development and health throughout life. Consequently, her research advocates – on national and international levels – for the fundamental importance of a good start in life, and strongly believes such investments will accelerate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development. Her ultimate goal her is to contribute to giving each child the best possible start in life to allow them to develop to their full potential in order to create a healthier more equal future for all.
Her study on the Dutch famine birth cohort provided the first direct evidence in humans that maternal nutrition during gestation affected offsprings’ and potentially grand-offsprings’ health (www.hongerwinter.nl). These results appear in the 2010 book Babies van de Hungerwinter: the unsuspected legacy of malnutrition was published. Upon her findings, she applied the lessons learned about developmental plasticity to observational and experimental studies in current pregnancies, in high- and low-resource settings.
For Tessa, ensuring her work has a societal impact is deeply important. She founded the Healthy WOMB Study Center that investigates how the environment of the developing child in the womb influences growth and development, and what consequences this has for health. In addition, she has been affiliated with the Moore Institute of Nutrition and Wellness at the University of Portland, Oregon in the US and has represented Europe on the board of the International Society of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. In 2016, she presented her TEDxAUCollege Talk “A Healthier Future by Investing in the best Start in Life”.