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Margaret Heerwagen

BS, Molecular Biology (2004) University of California San Diego

RC1 South, L18-7403G

Phone: 303-724-3981

Rotation 1:  Dr. James McManaman's Lab (Fall 2007)

Rotation 2:  Dr. Jed Friedman's Lab (Fall/Spring 2007/08)

Rotation 3:  Dr. Virginia Winn's Lab (Spring 2008)

Thesis Advisor:  Dr. Jed Friedman

Current Research:

My research in Dr. Friedman’s lab focuses on pregnancy complications and adverse outcomes associated with maternal obesity and a high-fat diet. The notion that an abnormal maternal/fetal intra-uterine environment may lead to permanent developmental changes and increased risk for fetal obesity is gaining acceptance. However, the mechanisms involved in generating these responses are far from understood and there is little information available to determine if and when preventive and therapeutic interventions might be successful. When pre-existing obesity accompanies advancing gestation, there is thought to be an increase in maternal inflammation and fuel metabolism, which may influence the intra-uterine environment. To better understand the mechanisms behind this, I am conducting experiments using a transgenic mouse model expressing an anti-inflammatory n-3 desaturase to examine the role of inflammation, obesity, and high fat diet on disease programming of the offspring. Using this model, I will be able to study both the physiological and the molecular effects of high-fat diet and reduced inflammation on maternal and fetal health. ​​

Bachelor of Science

Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego (2004).

Intern, Scripps Clinic, The Shiley Center for Orthopaedic Research and Education, 2004-2005.

Research Associate, City of Hope Bechman Research Institute, 2005-2007.


1: Heerwagen MJ, Miller MR, Barbour LA, Friedman JE. Maternal Obesity and Fetal Metabolic Programming: A Fertile Epigenetic Soil. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp  Physiol. 2010 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 20631295.

2: Klein LL, Jonscher KR, Heerwagen MJ, Gibbs RS, McManaman JL. Shotgun proteomic analysis of vaginal fluid from women in late pregnancy. Reprod Sci. 2008 Apr;15(3):263-73.​​

I like to spend my free time cooking, reading a good book, or finding a dance class to join for the day.