2017 Progress Report: Microbiome, Environment, and Neurodevelopmental Delay (MEND)

EPA Grant Number: R836153C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , 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: Microbiome, Environment, and Neurodevelopmental Delay (MEND)
Investigators: Mahoney, Ashley Darcy , Brennan, Patricia A. , Kugathasan, Subramaniam
Institution: Emory University
EPA Project Officer: Louie, Nica
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2019
Project Period Covered by this Report: September 1, 2016 through August 31,2017
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health , Children's Health


Aim 1: Characterize the relationship between prenatal and postnatal environmental exposures and the infant gut microbiome across the first year of life.

Aim 2: Evaluate the associations among prenatal and postnatal toxicant exposures, the infant gut microbiome, maternal caregiving, and infant neurocognitive and social-emotional development.

Progress Summary:

1) Data collection for the Microbiome, Environment, and Neurodevelopmental Delay study has continued throughout the year, and we now have 65 mother-infant pairs enrolled in the postnatal follow up and an additional 15 scheduled for upcoming newborn visits;

2) We have worked to cultivate strong relationships with research participants and this has resulted in a successful retention rate of 85%;

3) Our research staff have received training in infant neurological assessments and have been certified as reliable on the NNNS;

4)We have hired an additional staff member with a background in Neuroscience to assist in data collection and inputting for the project;

5) We have successfully piloted and implemented our protocols for the age 6 and 12 month follow ups;

6) We have worked synergistically with Project 1 staff to complete home visits where dust and other data on environmental exposures are collected;

7) We have successfully collected and stored over 2000 samples of stool, urine, blood, and buccal cells;

8) Co-Project Lead Rodriguez has developed a supplemental measure of infant nutritional intake which we have added to our 3, 6, and 12 month follow up visits.

9) We have added an additional measure to assess mother’s cognitive abilities.

Future Activities:

Our plans for the next reporting period include continued recruitment, enrollment and data collection. We will initiate our first 18-month follow-up visits during the next project period and we will devise and implement our mother child interaction coding scheme. We will continue to review progress with the investigative team and make adjustments (especially to recruitment strategies) if necessary. Our demonstrated ability to retain 85% of our recruited mother infant pairs is highly significant and bodes well for the outcome of Project 2. Thus, our primary plans during the next reporting period are to continue to address our Specific Aims by recruiting participants and conducting our study as planned. A secondary goal of the next project period is to increase our production of manuscripts; currently Co-Project Leads Brennan and Rodriguez have three papers in development with this dissemination goal in mind. The publication of manuscripts is supported by data entry and verification that is on track for each time point.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 6 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Other center views: All 51 publications 16 publications in selected types All 16 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Jordan, S., Baker, B., Dunn, A., Edwards, S., Ferranti, E. Mutic, A., Yang, I., & Rodriguez, J. (2017). Maternal‐child microbiome:Collection, storage, and implications for research and practice. Nursing Research, 66(2), 175‐183. R836153 (2017)
R836153C002 (2017)
not available
Journal Article Rodriguez, J., Huntington-Moskos, L., Johnson, A., Williams, S., Gulledge, E., Feeley, C., & Rice, M. (2016). Collecting biological measures for research with children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, Doi 10.1016/j.pedhc.2015.12.007. R836153C002 (2017)
not available
Journal Article Mutic, A., Jordan, S., Ferranti, E., Thul, T., Edwards, S., Yang, I. (2017). The Postpartum and Newborn Microbiomes. MCN; The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. (in press). R836153 (2017)
R836153C002 (2017)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

Infant development, African American, environment, gut microbiome, neurocognitive, prenatal

Relevant Websites:

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

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2018

  • 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)