About CFP

Fetal programming links environmental conditions during embryonic and fetal development with risk of diseases later in life.


Centre Leader Sjurdur F Olsen

Vice-Centre Leader Mette Olaf Nielsen


Centre for Fetal Programming is based on a grant no. 09-067124 from the Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Total budget 66.646.614 DKK. Contribution from DCSR 33.994.655 DKK

Start: 1 January 2010

Duration: 108 months (9 years)

A Multidisciplinary Research Centre

The Centre for Fetal Programming is a multidisciplinary research centre with the overall purpose to unravel the impact of factors operating prenatally on offspring health and development. Even in the most affluent societies the nutrition of pregnant women may be insufficient or inappropriate to optimize health and development of the next generation. Strong indications of the concept that improving mother’s diet will prevent maldevelopment and disease in the offspring, appearing at any stage of an individual’s life-course, have emerged during the last one or two decades. 

The Centre for Fetal Programming represents a unique constellation in an international scientific context as it tightly couples epidemiological research with animal experimental and human clinical research in an area, where controlled experiments for ethical and logistic reasons cannot be conducted in humans. The strength of the design of this research centre is that the hypotheses generated in one line of research upon evaluation can result in design of new studies under controlled conditions in another research setting to adequately prove the biological foundations and intervention options, and assess the impact this may have for promotion of public health.

The Centre for Fetal Programming will exploit the available unique registries and cohorts and closely integrate epidemiological studies, human clinical studies, animal experimental studies, and basic studies with isolated organs and cells. The goal is to define nutritional and other lifestyle recommendations for pregnant women and define dietary or pharmacological interventions in early postnatal life that may prevent the adverse health outcome as a result of programming induced in fetal life.