EU research results


English EN
Stressfully Transmitted Diseases: How your partner’s past stress affects your current and future health

Stressfully Transmitted Diseases: How your partner’s past stress affects your current and future health


Early-life stress can reduce the lifespan of individuals and recent work shows that this lifespan reduction can be transmitted to reproductive partners. However, the mechanisms that allow early-life stress to damage the health of individuals that did not experience early-life stress themselves have been little studied.

The overall aim of this proposal is to examine how the negative effects of early-life stress on longevity are transmitted to social partners, with focus on the neuroendocrine hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The research objectives are: 1) To determine whether partners become hormonally and behaviourally similar to early-life stressed individuals; 2) To determine whether early-life stressed individuals adversely affect the health of their reproductive partners by ineffectively buffering their partners against stress; 3) To examine whether being paired to a partner that has experienced early life stress influences immune function, oxidative stress, and telomere loss.

The experienced researcher will be trained by the host in adopting a life history approach to early-life stress and parental care and learn new skills in several areas of physiology and molecular biology to carry out these objectives. She will be trained to combine studies at different biological levels ranging from the molecular to the individual. This training will enhance the experienced researcher’s knowledge in different biological domains and greatly enhance her chances of starting her own independent research group in the EU.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries




University Avenue
G12 8qq Glasgow

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 183 454,80

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 751356


Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2017

  • End date

    30 August 2020

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 183 454,80

  • EU contribution

    € 183 454,80

Coordinated by:


United Kingdom