The DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) is an initiative directly aligned with the global agenda to combat the devastation of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The integrated cross-disciplinary approach will build on the inextricable link between maternal, perinatal and early childhood factors and the risk of developing NCDs in later life.
Their mandate is for ‘disease prevention’ as the ultimate approach to reducing the burden of NCDs. Early life is a critical time of risk, but also a critical time of opportunity for promotion of health and prevention of future disease. The greatest potential for success lies in early intervention and there is already substantial evidence that initiatives to promote a ‘healthy start to life’ can reduce the risk of both early and later NCDs with wide social and economic benefits.
The theme of their 2018 meeting is Genes, Environment and Evolution which recognises the critical contribution of evolutionary medicine to the DOHaD field, by exploring why evolution has led to the adaptations across generations that have made individuals more susceptible to disease. The 2018 program will emphasise the essential role of multi-disciplinary partnerships in DOHaD research, and aims to encourage academics, clinicians, allied health workers and representatives from industry to engage in dialogue, based on their collective experience, to help improve the health outcomes of current and future generations. The meeting will also feature some of the most talented early and mid-career DOHaD researchers, many of whom have already made significant contributions to knowledge and translation in the field.