Robert Roghair, MD

Contact Information

Office: 1270 CBRB 
Phone: 319-335-9895 
Faculty Profile

Brief description of current research:

Over the past decade, we have investigated the developmental origins of adult disease. Epidemiological studies and animal models have shown individuals born in the face of nutritional deficiency reprogram their development to thrive in the face of adversity and are born small, but thrifty. When environmental conditions change, this early life adaptation becomes maladaptive, and abundant caloric intake leads to accelerated weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, attempts to constrain early growth recovery may be associated with impaired brain development, predisposing to a different set of adult diseases, including hypertension. We seek the identification of trophic factors, such as leptin, that facilitate organ development without subjecting the individual to the harmful effects of overnutrition.

3 most influential diabetes/obesity/metabolism publications:

  • Steinbrekera B, Roghair R. Modeling the impact of growth and leptin deficits on the neuronal regulation of blood pressure. J Endocrinol. 2016;231:R47-60. PMID:27613336
  • Kummet GJ, Haskell SE, Hermann GM, Ni C, Volk KA, Younes AK, Miller AK, Roghair RD. Neonatal SSRI Exposure Programs a Hypermetabolic State in Adult Mice. J Nutr Metab. 2012;2012:431574. PMID:22570769
  • Hermann GM, Dallas LM, Haskell SE, Roghair RD. Neonatal macrosomia is an independent risk factor for adult metabolic syndrome. Neonatology. 2010;98(3):238-44. PMID:20389129
  • Hermann GM, Miller RL, Erkonen GE, Dallas LM, Hsu E, Zhu V, Roghair RD. Neonatal catch up growth increases diabetes susceptibility but improves behavioral and cardiovascular outcomes of low birth weight male mice. Pediatr Res. 2009; 66:53-8. PMID:19342983


“As we uncover ways to prevent the development of diabetes and obesity, we improve the health and happiness of our global community.”