Queen's University
BMED 473 Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

BMED 473, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, will cover how the early-life environment contributes to later-life health.  Specifically, students will learn about how prenatal, neonatal, and early childhood exposures and environments contribute to health and disease later in life, including the development of numerous non-communicable diseases affecting numerous organ systems. Mechanisms of how these exposures are thought to contribute to the development of these diseases will also be discussed.

Minimum 4th year (Level 4) standing and PHAR 100/3.0 and BMED 372/3.0, or equivalent courses with permission from the instructor.

After completing BMED 473, students will be able to:

  1. Define the hypothesis and mechanisms of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHAD) to explain the connection between the in utero environment and different adult diseases.
  2. Describe how and which insults to the in utero environment can disrupt development and lead to adult disease.
  3. Discuss the types of adult diseases that are associated with the DOHAD hypothesis to collaborate and discuss causes and prevention.
  4. Identify impacts of developmental disruptions and associated long-term health to advocate for policy change with health care professionals and governmental agencies.
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.

Assessment 1 – Module tests (30%)

Upon the completion of each module (a total of three), students will be write short tests, ensuring comprehension of the material covered in each module. These questions will consist of short or long answer questions, focusing on integration of material as opposed to strict memorization. Each test will be worth 10%.

Assessment 2 – Written Report (20%)

Students will be expected to write a report based on a specific type or group of in utero exposures that are related to later-in-life diseases. Students will need to conduct independent literature searches to gain information pertaining to mechanisms of disease progression, as well as characteristics of the adult disease.

Assessment 3 – Advocacy Presentation (20%)

Working in small groups, students will research and orally present adult disease states that have a connection to in utero origins to a small tutorial group. In addition to discussing the impact of this disease state on society as well as the characteristics of the disease, students will need to determine the current support groups, prevention strategies, and policies in place for combating the impact of these diseases, and advocate for change as each group sees fit.

Assessment 4 – Advocacy Report (20%)

As a continuation from Assessment 3, groups will receive feedback in the form of discussion and writing from other members of their tutorial group. Groups will be expected to consider and incorporate appropriate feedback into a written summary of their group presentation. In addition to being evaluated on their written assignment, students will also be evaluated based on the professionalism and quality of feedback provided to other groups.

Students will be required to participate in a TA-facilitated tutorial/discussion to facilitate peer feedback in the group assignment. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with the instructor through regular online “office hours”.

9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).

Required Texts

BMED 473 course notes via modules posted online.

Dr. Nikki Philbrook

Meet Dr. Nikki Philbrook