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Professor Abigail Fowden

College position(s)

Life Fellow


Natural Sciences (Physical and Biological)

Specialising in


Degrees, Awards and Prizes

BA, MA, PhD, ScD

Joan Mott Prize of the Physiological Society 2008

Research themes

My research interests remain in the general area of perinatal physiology with particular emphasis on the factors controlling growth and development of the fetus during late pregnancy.  The aims of my research are two fold: first, to determine how hormones prepare the fetus for birth and, secondly, to establish how our experiences during early life alter the risk of developing degenerative diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, in later life.  Most recently, my research has focused on the role of the glucocorticoid stress hormones in these processes.


I have taught natural science, medical and veterinary students during my time at Girton across a range of different biomedical courses at all years of the tripos and still supervise in those areas where I am needed.


I am currently a Deputy Head of the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. I have had several stints of acting Head of Department in the last 10 years. I also sit on a range of committees at the University, Departmental and College levels.

I arrived at Girton in 1972 as an undergraduate and have never left!

I have been a Bye-Fellow (1977), Research Fellow (1978-1980) and Official Fellow (1980-2002). I also acted as a Director of Studies for the Biological Sciences from 1986 to 2002.

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