Henry Leese is an Emeritus Professor of Biology in HYMS. His first degree was in Physiological Chemistry from Reading University and his PhD (Imperial College London) was on the effect of diabetes on glucose transport and metabolism by small intestine.
He continued to work on nutrient absorption and metabolism as a post doc at York University, followed by a year at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich studying the enzyme lactase. He then returned to York and changed research direction to examine secretion by the female reproductive tract and following a sabbatical at Harvard USA in 1980, began work on metabolism in early mammalian embryos.
He devised and pioneered the use of non-invasive biochemical assays to determine the metabolism of single embryos and is co-inventor of four patents on the use of metabolic profiling to determine cellular health.
He has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE: 2002), British Fertility Society (BFS: 2010) Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF 2011) and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG ad eundem) in 2003. He was awarded the Marshall Medal of the SRF in 2010. In 2016, he gave the BFS Steptoe Lecture and received Honorary Membership of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. From 1998-2002 he was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
Research interests include the biology of early mammalian embryos and their environment in the fallopian tube and uterus. Professor Leese is associated with Dr Roger Sturmey's research group within Hull York Medical School, which studies how preimplantation embryo metabolism relates to the capacity to produce a blastocyst and give rise to a pregnancy; specifically, it aims to identify the optimal metabolic zone within which embryos with maximum developmental potential will be located. This information is important in ensuring the safety and efficacy of techniques for human assisted conception and the health of the offspring in later life
He has ~300 publications and an ‘H’ Score of 70.
Forsey KE, Ellis PJ, Sargent CA, Sturmey RG, Leese HJ (2013), Expression and localization of creatine kinase in the preimplantation embryo, Molecular Reproduction and Development 28: 1031044
Guerif F, McKeegan P, Leese HJ, Sturmey RG (2013), A Simple Approach for COnsumption and RElease (CORE) Analysis of Metabolic Activity in Single Mammalian Embryos, PLoS One; 8 (8):e67834
Brison DR, Sturmey RG, Leese HJ (2014), Metabolic heterogeneity during preimplantation development: the missing link? Human Reproduction Update 20: 632-640
Leese HJ (2014), Effective nutrition from conception to adulthood, Human Fertility 17: 252-256
Leary C,Leese HJ, Sturmey RG (2015), Human embryos from overweight and obese women display phenotypic and metabolic abnormalities, Human Reproduction 30:122-32
Leese HJ (2015), History of oocyte and embryo metabolism, Reproduction Fertility and Development 27:567-571
Leese HJ, Brison DR (Co-editors) (2015) Cell Signalling during Mammalian Early Embryo
Development, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 843 Springer, New York.
Leese HJ, Guerif F, Allgar V, Brison D, Lundin K, Sturmey RG (2016), Biological optimization, the Goldilocks principle, and how much is lagom in the preimplantation embryo, Molecular Reproduction and Development 83:748-54
Leese HJ and Brison DR (2018), The female reproductive tract and early embryo development: a question of supply and demand. In Michael Carroll (ed) Clinical Reproductive Science Wiley Blackwell 99-108