Developmental Effects of Environment on Reproduction


Welcome to the webpage of DEER, a multidisciplinary research project aiming at improving our understanding of the role of environmental factors in the development and establishment of human reproductive health.


Developmental Effects of Environment on Reproduction

The project started May 1, 2008 and will run for four years until April, 2012. The research being carried out in DEER receives funding (EU contribution 3.49 million) from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 212844.


DEER is part of the Network on Environmental Chemical Toxicants Affecting Reproduction (NECTAR) together with the EU-funded research projects CONTAMED and REEF.

It is widely accepted that fetal events can predispose an individual to develop certain health disorders in adulthood; indeed, the commonest disorders of European and Western adults today (obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease), which are increasing progressively in incidence, are well-established to have prenatal determinants.


Equally, it is increasingly clear that the commonest disorders of male reproductive health in newborn (cryptorchidism, hypospadias) and young adult (low sperm counts, testis germ cell cancer) human males may also be caused by adverse events in fetal (and perhaps neonatal) life. These reproductive disorders are thought to comprise a testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), which arises because of a cascade of changes triggered by maldevelopment and malfunction of the fetal testis. The incidence of TDS disorders appears to be increasing in Europe.

The website reflects only the author's views and the Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.