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Paul A. Fowler

Director of the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • University of Aberdeen
  • United Kingdom

About Paul A. Fowler

I graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1982 with a First Class Honours degree in Zoology and then went on to do my PhD (Aspects of Reproduction & Heterothermy in Seasonally Breeding Mammals) with Professor Paul Racey, Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, ending in 1986. I spent the next 3 years as a post-doctoral researcher with Professor Margaret Foster (Department of BioMedical Physics, University of Aberdeen), during which time we produced some of the seminal work on the use of MRI for the analysis of body composition and mammary gland function with collaborators at the Rowett Research and Hannah Institutes. In 1989 I moved to the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Aberdeen, to work with Professor Allan Templeton on ovarian hormones and anti-progesterones. In the new century, I joined the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen as a Professor of Translational Medical Sciences. In my 30-year academic career I have established an international reputation as a reproductive endocrinologist and become an international leader in the field of human fetal development and effects of maternal lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, drugs) and endocrine disruption. In an era of worldwide concern about the potential effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the developing fetus, but with little conclusive supporting human evidence, my research stands out because it is focussed on a highly prevalent human fetal exposure (smoking) known to result in fetal endocrine changes and widespread adverse health consequences post-natally. My research has characterised the fetal effects, identified potential new mechanistic pathways and generated the first gene expression fingerprint of effects of maternal smoking on the human fetus. This is matched by my internationally recognised work using animal models to explore consequences of fetal exposure to a “real-life” complex cocktail of EDCs. I am Director of the flagship Institute of Medical Sciences at Aberdeen, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and have roles in a number of international/European editorial and advisory groups. I have played an active role in promoting science by organising conferences, committee activity in learned societies and especially as Chair of the Society for Reproduction & Fertility. I have contributed increasingly to policy by my roles with the European Food Standards Authority (focussed on EDCs), and by active public engagement. I have demonstrated a long-term commitment to Scotland and Scottish science, exemplified by my numerous collaborations with Scottish colleagues that I have initiated and led.

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