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Janne Rozemarijn Smit

My research involves investigating the effects of adverse prenatal conditions (placental endocrine malfunction) on offspring behaviour and neurobiology.
Janne Rozemarijn Smit

Junior Academic Visitor

Research Interests

I wish to pursue an academic career in which I plan to combine development, physiology and neuroscience. I am mainly interested in studying the effects of early malfunction on behaviour and neurobiology. My current research focusses on the effects of placental endocrine function on offspring behaviour and neurobiology.


The placenta is crucial for a successful pregnancy. As it not only regulates the balance between the supply of nutrients to the fetus, but also secretes hormones. Impaired placental endocrine function results in pregnancy complications, with long-lasting impacts on offspring cardio-metabolic function. However, less is known about the importance of placental endocrine function and the long-term behavioural outcomes of the offspring.

My goal is therefore to determine the impact of disrupted placental endocrine regulation of materno-fetal resource allocation on cerebral structure and function in mouse offspring. Placental endocrine malfunction is achieved by conditionally manipulating the expression of the growth-regulatory imprinted gene, insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2), which controls the formation and function of placental endocrine cells. Since this is a new animal model, I plan to conduct different behavioural studies to investigate whether our animals exhibit a specific (abnormal) phenotype. I plan to examine the underlying neurobiology, to further increase our understanding of the effects of early programming on long term neurobiological health outcomes. 


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