Characterizing Exposures and Outcomes in an Urban Birth Cohort (CHERUB)

EPA Grant Number: R836153C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R836153
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, Microbiome, and Metabolomics’ Center
Center Director: McCauley, Linda
Title: Characterizing Exposures and Outcomes in an Urban Birth Cohort (CHERUB)
Investigators: Barr, Dana Boyd , Dunlop, Anne , Ryan, P. Barry
Institution: Emory University
EPA Project Officer: Louie, Nica
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2019
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health , Children's Health

Objective:

The overall goal of this project is to better understand the range of fetal and early life exposures faced by African American children and to assess whether these prenatal exposures influence birth outcomes.

Approach:

Gaining a better understanding of the complex relationships between the exogenous environment and the endogenous microbiome may help to explain inter-individual susceptibility to environmental exposures. The proposed study will fill existing knowledge gaps by leverage resources of two pillar studies: (1) Subjects and data collected from the socioeconomically diverse cohort of pregnant AA women participating in our recently initiated 5-year study (Parent Study, R01 NR014800) assessing the maternal prenatal microbiome as predictive of birth outcomes; (2) Analytic and bioinformatic resources of Emory University’s NIH-funded Human Exposome Research Center (HERCULES; P30 ES019776). For a subset of the existing cohort from the Parent Study (N=300 mother-infant pairs), the proposed study will add prenatal and postnatal environmental exposure assessment data (to phthalates, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants, pesticides, parabens, air pollutants) that will provide both a better understanding of the range of fetal and early life exposures faced by AA children and an opportunity to assess whether these prenatal exposures influence birth outcomes.

Rationale:

Despite numerous studies demonstrating the elevated risk of minorities for environmental toxicant exposures and adverse birth, health, and developmental outcomes, no birth cohorts have characterized exposures among minorities in the US Southeast, which are likely distinct due to differences in climate, housing, population and traffic density, culture, and racial/ethnic composition. Among the most pronounced of health disparities is in the rate of preterm birth (birth < 37 weeks gestation), an important predictor of infant health and neurodevelopment. Compared to those of other race/ethnicities, African Americans (AA), particularly those of the metropolitan Southeast, experience markedly elevated rates of preterm birth. While AA race is a strong predictor of shortened gestation, within-race variation remains poorly understood. Growing evidence supports that aspects of the prenatal and postnatal exposome – exogenous environmental exposures and endogenous microbiome and metabolic processes – influence birth outcomes and neurodevelopment through complex relationships. For example, the microbiome plays a role in the pre-systemic transformation of environmental toxicants and, conversely, environmental exposures may perturb the microbiome. Today little is known about the exogenous and endogenous exposures of AA mother-infant pairs or how they combine to affect infant health and development because prospective studies characterizing exposures and how they influence pregnancy and infant health are scarce.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 6 publications for this subprojectView all 41 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 journal articles for this subprojectView all 6 journal articles for this center

Progress and Final Reports:

2016 Progress Report
2017 Progress Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R836153    Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, Microbiome, and Metabolomics’ Center

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R836153C001 Characterizing Exposures and Outcomes in an Urban Birth Cohort (CHERUB)
R836153C002 Microbiome, Environment, and Neurodevelopmental Delay (MEND)
R836153C003 Metabolic, Microbiome and Toxicant-Related Interactions (MATRIX)