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Wei Bao, MD, PhD

Contact Information

Office: S414 CPHB
Phone: 319-384-1546
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

The Development Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis suggests that intrauterine exposure may shape one’s health throughout the life course. Maternal nutrition and health status during pregnancy are critical for short- and long-term health in both the mothers and their children. Our research has mainly focused on the life course epidemiology of maternal nutrition, obesity, and diabetes. Specifically, it includes three domains: (1) dietary and lifestyle factors and etiologic biomarkers of gestational diabetes; (2) dietary and lifestyle factors in relation to the progression from gestational diabetes to type 2 diabetes; and (3) transgenerational impact of gestational diabetes and maternal nutrition on the offspring’s health. We have a particular interest in identifying novel biomarkers and mechanisms for gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. We are also interested in examining the associations of genetic and environmental factors and gene-environment interactions with cardiovascular disease and mortality.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Bao W, Tobias DK, Bowers K, Chavarro JE, Vaag A, Grunnet LG, Strøm M, Mills J, Liu A, Kiely M, Zhang C. Physical activity and sedentary behaviors associated with risk of progression from gestational diabetes mellitus to type 2 diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014;174(7):1047-55.
  • Wang X, Ouyang Y, Liu J, Zhu M, Zhao G, Bao W* (Co-corresponding author), Hu FB*. Fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. BMJ. 2014;349:g4490.
  • Bao W, Bowers K, Tobias DK, Hu FB, Zhang C. Prepregnancy dietary protein intake, major dietary protein sources, and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a prospective cohort study. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(7):2001-8.


For me, the most enjoyable word is: together we made it. I believe collaboration creates wonders. I look forward to work with people across all disciplinary, including basic, clinical, and population health sciences.