A multidisciplinary group of researchers have received a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the impact of environmental influences on pregnancy and children’s health.
The research project is part of the NIH’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program, the largest and most significant national research program focused on enhancing the health of children in the United States.
The team from Rutgers Health plans to recruit up to 500 pregnant participants who are less than 20 weeks from conception from RWJ University Hospital and Saint Peter’s University Hospital, both in New Brunswick, N.J., into the ECHO Cohort, a research study including sites across the U.S. The researchers will follow the participants, their partners and children for seven years, tracking factors such as obesity, neurodevelopment, exposure to environmental chemicals and positive health through biosamples and surveys.
“As the largest U.S. study ever conducted on children’s health, ECHO has the power to transform our understanding of how the early environment shapes our health,” said principal investigator Emily Barrett, professor and vice chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health and a member of the Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute. “We are thrilled that we can include New Jersey families in this important work.”
(Source: Rutgers Today – January 25, 2024)
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