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Jocelyn Glazier, PhD


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Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Division of Evolution, Infection and Genomics, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Jocelyn (Jo) Glazier is a Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Evolution, Infection and Genomics, University of Manchester. Jo's research investigates diverse aspects of placental nutrient transport function in normal and complicated pregnancies, and more recently she has been investigating the role of the yolk sac in early embryonic nutrient provision.

Her research has focussed on placental development and the regulation of placental function, both in normal pregnancy and in pregnancy complications such as intrauterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. In particular, she is interested in the mechanisms underlying placental nutrient transfer capacity and their modes of regulation, and how these might be altered in pregnancy complications leading to altered patterns of fetal development and growth, which may be associated with long term health impacts later on in life. Her studies have focused on the placental transport of amino acids, folate and calcium with a strong interest in one-carbon metabolism and the folate-methionine-homocysteine axis of placental function.

Her research group has also been investigating the impact of maternal intermittent fasting (as a model of fasting during Ramadan) on pregnancy outcomes, and growth and development of the baby. Additionally, more recently, her group has been investigating the effects of maternal immune activation on placental function and the programming of neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia.

Her broad knowledge and application of various models has provided insights into the integrative physiological framework governing nutrient delivery to the developing embryo, and by defining key mechanistic loci, the aim is to develop novel therapeutic interventions to improve outcome in complicated pregnancies.

Jo has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles, including reviews and book chapters and has served on the International Editorial Board of the journal ‘Placenta’. She is a member of the International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA), The Physiological Society and the Society for Research into Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida (SRHSB) and is a member of the Executive Committee of SRHSB, and currently serves as its Honorary Secretary. 

Research interests

  • Placental transport and its regulation in health and disease
  • Characterisation of placental transport mechanisms especially with respect to amino acids, calcium, sodium, lactate and protons
  • Placental transport of homocysteine and effects on vascular distensibility
  • Placental folate transport and metabolism
  • Role of yolk sac in early embryonic nutrition
  • Impact of Ramadan fasting on placental function and fetal development
  • Aetiology of fetal growth restriction
  • Maternal immune activation and prenatal programming of neurodevelopmental disease


Undergraduate teaching

Supervision of laboratory-based research projects for BSc students and MBChB students


 Postgraduate teaching


Academic Supervisor of 25 postgraduate students leading to successful award of MRes, MPhil, MD and PhD degrees 



Academic PhD Supervisor to 3 PhD students



My collaborations


Affiliated staff and students

Affiliated staff  

Dr S. D'Souza (Honorary Reader in Biomedical Research). Maternal nutrition, placental function and fetal growth, role of B vitamins in fetal development.

Dr R. Hager (Senior Lecturer). Maternal immune activation effects on maternal care and offspring behavioural outcomes.

Professor J. Neill (Professor of Psychopharmacology). Maternal immune activation and offspring behavioural outcomes.

Dr N. Ashton (Senior Lecturer in Physiology). Effects of maternal intermittent fasting on fetal developmental outcomes and offspring health.

Prof M. Harte (Professor in Neuropsychopharmacology). (1) Effects of maternal immne activation on epigenetic regulation of brain development and cognitive function. (2) Effects of maternal intermittent fasting on offspring cognitive and behavioural outcomes.


Affiliated PhD students

Mr Yusuf Alimi. Impact of maternal intermittent fasting during pregnancy on cognitive development and function. (Co-supervisors Dr N. Ashton & Prof M. Harte).

Ms Francessca McEwan. Epigenetic mechanisms of behavioural, placental and cognitive impairment in a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. (Co-supervisors Dr R. Hager, Prof M. Harte & Dr J. Gigg).

Ms Isabel Faulkner. Epigenetic mechanisms linking maternal immune activation-induced transcriptional changes to adult behavioural impairment in a neurodevelopmental rat model. (Co-supervisors Dr R. Hager & Prof M. Harte).



Dr M. Constância (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK) . Physiological roles of system A in placental and fetal growth and development.

Prof R. Lewis (University of Southampton, UK). Amino acid transport mechanisms in human placenta.

Dr S. Moat (Cardiff University, UK). Homocysteine impacts in pregnancy.

Prof W. Dunn (University of Birmingham, UK). The placental metabolome in health and disease; associations with altered fetal developmetal trajectories.

Dr P. Bouef (Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia). Impacts of malaria on nutrient sensing and placental nutrient transport function.

Dr J. Erickson (Louisiana State University School of Medicine New Orleans, USA). Role of system A amino acid transporter activity in physiological function of pregnancy.

Dr M. Ceckova (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic). Drug uptake and characterisation of transport mechanisms in human placenta.

Dr S. Kimber (University of Manchester). Effect of PTHrP gene ablation on development and differentiation of placenta and its influence on nutrient transfer and fetal development. 

Dr N. Ashton (University of Manchester). Effects of Ramadan-type fasting on placental function, fetal development and cardiorenal outcomes in offspring.

Dr M. Tassabehji (University of Manchester). Epigenetic regulation of offspring phenotypes associated with maternal intermittent fasting.

Prof J. Neill   (University of Manchester). Effects of maternal immune activation on fetal and offspring development.

Dr R. Hager (University of Manchester). Behavioural and developmental consequences of maternal immune activation in offspring. 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA)

European Placenta Group

The Physiological Society

Society for Research into Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida (SRHSB)

Methodological knowledge

  • Molecular biology
  • Placental plasma membrane vesicles
  • Transporter characteristics
  • Nutrient transport assays


BSc Biochemistry (Hons), University of Manchester 1980

MSc, University of Manchester 1989

PhD, Univeristy of Manchester 1994

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Placental physiology, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 28 Jul 1994

Master of Science, Placental physiology, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 27 Nov 1989

Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 28 Jul 1980


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