2016 Progress Report: Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center for Environmental Health Disparities

EPA Grant Number: R836158
Center: Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors
Center Director: Gilliland, Frank D.
Title: Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center for Environmental Health Disparities
Investigators: Gilliland, Frank D. , Bastain, Theresa Frilund , Cockburn, Myles G , Dunton, Genevieve Frilund , Hricko, Andrea M. , Van Doren Breton, Carrie
Institution: University of Southern California
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020
Project Period Covered by this Report: July 1, 2015 through June 30,2016
Project Amount: $1,500,000
RFA: NIH/EPA Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health

Progress Summary:

Good progress has been made in the Population Core in establishing laboratory, recruitment and retention protocols, hiring and training staff, obtaining institutional review board (IRB) approvals, developing questionnaires and online databases, pilot testing the study methods, and initiating recruitment of the cohort. This effort is a huge undertaking, as it is the backbone for the recruitment of a 750-member pregnancy cohort upon which Projects 1 and 2 will take place and from which all scientific hypotheses will be answered.

The Exposure Core has set up an Exposure Analytics Lab to support air pollution monitoring primarily in Project 2. Members of the core have provided advice on personal exposure sampling for the Project 2 substudy, which is being piloted. This includes testing and validation of the microPEM instrument as well as conducting a simulation study. The Core has also begun creation of an equipment and calibration database to track equipment and its use across projects.

Progress has been made in each of the two projects to differing degrees. Project 1 is primarily in the planning phase, as all of the aims for Project 1 require the babies of the cohort to have been born. Because enrollment just began, no babies have been born yet. We continue to prepare all visit and interview materials, and to solidify our collection protocols, including questionnaires, medical record abstraction procedures, and biospecimen collection procedures. We have also begun specifically to prepare the MRI protocol for the infant substudy of 40 infants. For Project 2, much progress has been made in pilot testing the EMA protocols, diet recalls and personal monitoring equipment on a total of 10 subjects recruited from our ongoing Maternal and Child Health Study birth cohort (see Project 2 report for details). We have demonstrated participant acceptance and compliance with protocols as well as quality control for the PM2.5 personal monitoring data and the EMA data. We anticipate beginning recruitment for the substudy in Project 2 within the next few months.

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) hosted several meetings to local organizations to share the MADRES project and learn about key concerns of members. The CEC focused on key partners, including (1) First Five Los Angeles “Best Start Community: East L.A.”; (2) high school youth who participate in Legacy L.A., which has its base in a public housing project in Boyle Heights called Ramona Gardens; (3) high school youth reporters working with Boyle Heights Beat; (4) East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, a longstanding community partner; and (5) the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program as a source of statistics and information. The CEC then hosted a community-scientist workshop titled “Mothers, Babies and the Environment.” This event brought together key partners, clinicians and community leaders interested in the intersection between maternal and child health, and environmental pollution. This event fostered dialogue between scientists researching impact of pollution and stress on maternal and child health with local organizations working on the ground to improve health and well-being of mothers and their families. Twenty-five community leaders met with 12 scientists from USC to share both community-focused and research perspectives around this topic and brainstorm community needs and opportunities for collaboration related to: (a) air pollution, (b) healthy homes, and (c) green spaces and parks. The CEC developed a new blog for the MADRES center and will continue to add content to the site.

The Administrative Core is functioning well in fiscal management and reporting, facilitating the meeting of the External Advisory Committee, Executive Committee, supporting the career development investigator, promoting inter-center collaboration, and assisting the CEC in outreach to the public interested in environmental health disparities.

Future Activities:

During the next reporting period, the Population Core will continue and expand efforts to recruit at least 250 pregnant women into our cohort. We currently recruit from the LAC + USC prenatal clinic and will actively explore the addition of at least one more recruitment site. We will continue to fine tune and create all necessary protocols and questionnaires to support the data collection efforts of both projects. We will begin recruitment of the 60 participants for the Project 2 substudy on EMA. The Administrative core will summarize the recommendations from the EAC meeting to be held on April 25, 2016, and will work to integrate recommendations. The CEC will summarize and prioritize recommendations and community concerns from the community luncheon that occurred on March 7, 2016, with the goal of identifying and planning next steps. The Administrative Core will continue to manage administrative needs of the Center and the agenda of community engagement of the CEC.


Journal Articles: 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 2 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Alderete TL, Song AY, Bastain T, Habre R, Toledo-Corral CM, Salam MT, Lurmann F, Gilliland FD, Breton CV. Prenatal traffic-related air pollution exposures, cord blood adipokines and infant weight. Pediatric Obesity 2018:13(6):348-356. R836158 (2017)
R836158 (2018)
R835441 (2018)
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  • Full-text: Wiley-Full Text PDF
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Environmental stressors, social stressors, health disparities, environmental health, PM2.5, pollution, maternal health, child health

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report
  • Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R836158C001 Cumulative prenatal and infant environmental exposures and early childhood obesity risk
    R836158C002 Environmental Exposures, Stress, and Maternal Pregnancy-Related Weight Outcomes