Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, affecting 5 - 7% of all pregnancies worldwide1. IUGR babies who survive are at risk for adult diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, which together define the 'metabolic syndrome'. Many research studies confirm that this predisposition may be programmed in the womb. Under poor prenatal conditions, a fetus adapts in order to guarantee immediate survival, at the expense of growth. However, while altering its physiology before birth may be beneficial prenatally, it may set the stage for dangerous cardiovascular and metabolic consequences later in life. These adult-onset conditions account for over 50% of deaths worldwide, with women being especially susceptible to cardiovascular disease. Indeed, in women of all ages, cardiovascular disease is becoming compounded by the developing obesity epidemic. Thus, determining the mechanisms behind fetal programming of adult disease is an important and socially significant area of health research, and is our primary focus of health research.