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EPA-funded Researchers Receive New Awards
New Centers for the National Childrens Study

Contact: Suzanne Ackerman (ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov), 202-564-7819

Three researchers funded by EPA recently received prestigious awards to form new study centers related to the impacts of the environment on childrens health. The awards were announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington, DC, as the kick-off to launch the National Childrens Study (NCS). A total of 22 study centers were announced.

The new study center directors have received support for their research from the EPAs research office for more than six years. Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto is the lead investigator for two ground-breaking projects in the University of California/Davis Center for Childrens Environmental Health: Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study, and Markers of Autism Risks in Babies, Learning the Early Signs (MARBLES). Both studies are the largest of their kind in the United States, and seek to understand the genetic and environmental differences between in the early childhood of autistic and non autistic children.

Dr. Elaine Faustman is the principal researcher in the Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research at the University of Washington. The Center works with community groups in the Yakima Valley of Washington State to better understand childrens susceptibilities to agricultural pesticides and promote effective risk management and exposure prevention strategies.

Dr. Philip Landrigan is the co-director of the Mount Sinai Center for Childrens Environmental Health and the 2006 recipient of the prestigious EPA Childrens Environmental Health Champion award. Now in its ninth year, the Mount Sinai Childrens Center continues to investigate environmental risks to children in the urban environment while promoting science-based policies to reduce or eliminate harmful chemical exposures at the local-level.

Drs. Picciotto, Faustman and Landrigan have been an integral part of the EPA/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Centers for Childrens Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research (Childrens Centers) for the past six years or longer. Beginning in 1998, EPA and the NIEHS established the Childrens Centers to better understand and prevent harmful chemical exposures, build the research base for more protective environmental decisions, and create a network of researchers and community-partners focused on childrens environmental health.

During the past nine years, EPAs Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program and NIEHS have provided the funding to generate a growing body of research in childrens environmental health, providing the means for these researchers to achieve a level of expertise in this field necessary to lead this national study. The Childrens Center program has also provided training for a new generation of researchers in the field of childrens health.

The National Childrens Study will be the largest study to date on the possible effects of environmental and genetic factors on adult and childrens health in the United States. The study will follow a representative sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, seeking information to prevent and treat some of the nations most pressing health problems, including autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.  These new study centers join seven Vanguard Centers, announced in 2005, for a total of 29 study centers announced so far. Funding for the new study centers and the studys initial phase was provided as a $69 million appropriation from Congress in fiscal year 2007.

The National Childrens Study began in response to the Childrens Health Act of 2000, when Congress directed the NICHD and other federal agencies to undertake a national, long-term study of childrens health and development in relation to environmental exposures. The study is a collaborative effort between the EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

More information about the EPA/NIEHS Centers for Childrens Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research: http://www.epa.gov/cehc/

More information about the National Childrens Study: http://www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov

Centers Funded By:
Centers Funded by Epa and NIEHS

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