Stephanie Wesolowski photo

Stephanie Wesolowski PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Pediatric Perinatal Research (SOM)


Stephanie Wesolowski, PhD, received her BS from Michigan State University, her MS from University of Nebraska and her PhD from Cornell University. With a long-standing interest in metabolic physiology and molecular metabolism, her time in graduate school inspired her to explore the concept of developmental programming and how pregnancy conditions and in utero exposures to the fetus may have a life-long impact on the offspring. 


Research + Funding 

In 2010, she began her Ludeman Center-funded research project titled, “Role of DNA Methylation and Nuclear Factors in Activation of Hepatic Glucose Production and Insulin Resistance in IUGR Fetal Liver.” The one-year proposal addressed two major gaps in the understanding of the adaptive increase in hepatic glucose production and insulin resistance in the intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) fetus. First, they determined the role of DNA methylation of gluconeogenic genes (PEPCK, G6Pase) and regulatory factors (PGC1a, SGK1). Secondly, they determined the role of specific nuclear factors (FOXO1) in the activation of gluconeogenesis. 

In 2021, she began her second project funded by the center titled, “Mechanisms for In Utero Programming of Diabetes Risk in Offspring,” that focuses on Dr. Wesolowski’s ongoing research in her lab to understand two different conditions that affect pregnant women and how these exposures impact the developing fetus.  In project one, they studied hypoxia, low oxygen exposure, in pregnancy and how it programs the fetal liver to have dysregulated glucose production, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. In project two, they studied fetal exposure to metformin, which occurs because metformin taken by mothers during pregnancy crosses the placenta. 

The Ludeman Center helped her career development through training, networking and financial support for women’s health research.  


Transforming Women’s Health 

In Dr. Wesolowski’s lab, she has studied fetal metabolic physiology and, more specifically, how different intrauterine exposures, including fetal growth restriction or maternal obesity, impact the developing fetal liver and contribute to increased risk of T2DM and NAFLD in the offspring. Through integrative approaches in fetal sheep and non-human primate models, she studies metabolic physiology at the whole-body level in the fetus in parallel with mechanistic studies to test organ, tissue and cell-specific responses. Her long-term goal is to understand how intrauterine exposure to altered nutrient supply programs fetal metabolism, specifically in the liver, and how these changes may persist after birth and increase susceptibility to adult metabolic disease.


Ludeman Family Center for Women's Health Research

CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

12348 East Montview Boulevard

Mail Stop C-263

Aurora, CO 80045


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