News Release: Research , School of Public Health

Oct. 3,  2008

Emory Awarded $28.5 Million for Landmark Child Health Study

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A consortium headed by Emory University today was awarded $28.5 million as part of a second wave of federal funding for the landmark National Children's Study. Emory will partner with the Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga College of Medicine (UTCOMC) and Battelle Memorial Institute to initiate this phase of research. Emory and its partners are one of only 36 U.S. study centers selected to take part in the National Children's Study (NCS), a multi-year study examining the impact of environmental and genetic factors on the health of children in the U.S.

In 2007, Emory was awarded $25.5 million during the first round of federal research funding to initiate the National Children's Study in DeKalb and Fayette Counties in Georgia. The current award will be used to recruit study volunteers in Baldwin County, Ga., and Bradley County, Tenn.

"We are very pleased that rural Georgia and rural Tennessee will be represented in the National Children's Study," says Carol J. Hogue, PhD, MPH, professor of epidemiology and maternal and child health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. Hogue is also principal investigator for the Emory consortium. "Environmental problems for rural infants and children may be quite different from those of our urban centers, like Atlanta, but we wouldn't know that without including them in the study."

Emory and its partner research teams will collect genetic, biological, and environmental samples from study volunteers in rural Georgia and Tennessee, and compile statistical information for analyses. "Baldwin County in middle Georgia and Bradley County at the Tennessee/ Georgia border each have unique features that will determine how we will be engaged with the community throughout the course of the study," says Frances J. Dunston, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the Morehouse School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. "We look forward to working with community-based organizations and agencies who serve the children and families that will be a part of this major undertaking. Our goal is assure all of the benefits of the NCS to these communities."

"I am very excited about the opportunities the National Children's Study will bring to Bradley County," says Marvin Hall, MD, UTCOMC clinical assistant professor of pediatrics. "Bradley County's citizenry has long been known for working together to benefit the health of all. I am sure that once again, our residents will work hard to help with study efforts. We will all benefit in learning more about the environmental issues associated with the health of local children."

The National Children's Study will follow a representative national sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, seeking information to prevent and treat some of the nation's most pressing health problems, including autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Authorized by Congress in the Children's Health Act of 2000, the NCS is being conducted by a consortium of federal agencies, including two National Institutes of Health institutes, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Emory University is a national leader in pediatric and public health research. The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory is leading the world toward better health. In classrooms and across the globe, Rollins faculty, students and alumni are designing programs to help eliminate deadly and disabling diseases and creating innovative methods of prevention through research. Whether they are providing solutions for the more than 1 billion people who lack safe water, identifying the causes of infant mortality, or helping to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, Rollins researchers are at the forefront of today's most pressing health issues.

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Blog: http://emoryhealthblog.com
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci
Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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