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Research Grants

NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health Centers: Novel Methods to Assess Effects of Chemicals on Child Development

Institution: University of Illinois
Center Director: Susan Schantz
Project Period: July 2013 – June 2018

Research Questions

Project 1: Can endocrine disrupting chemicals interact with diet and obesity to negatively impact brain development?
Project 2: Can endocrine disrupting chemicals interact with a high fat diet to harm reproductive system development and function?
Project 3: What is the combined impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals and diet on a child’s brain development?

Keywords: BPA, Diet, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Neurodevelopment, Phthalates, Prenatal Exposure, Reproductive Development, Stress

Overview

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the body’s natural hormones and can have a negative impact on health. Phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) are common examples of EDCs that are found in many household products. Exposure to EDCs is widespread, but their impact on child health and development is not well understood. The primary goal of this center is to examine the impact of these chemicals on child development. Researchers are investigating how BPA and phthalates interact with diets high in saturated fat to impact brain and reproductive system development.

Project Abstract and Annual Reports: Novel Methods to Assess the Effects of Chemicals on Child Development
Center Website: Children's Environmental Health Research Center at Illinois  Exit

  • Research Projects

    Project 1: Joint Effects of Endocrine Disruptors, Diet and BMI on Child Development
    Exposure to EDCs during pregnancy and adolescence can be especially critical to health. This project is assessing environmental exposures during these two critical windows of development. Researchers are studying the effects of EDCs, both alone and in combination with high-fat diets and body mass index (BMI), on brain development.

    Project Leaders: Susan Schantz, Ph.D., University of Illinois; Susan Korrick, M.D., Harvard Medical School

    Project 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Diet and Gonadal Toxicity
    This project is using mice to study reproductive development in adolescents after exposure to EDCs. Exposure to EDCs can alter the development and function of reproductive organs, leading to reduced function or even infertility. The findings from this study will be used to better understand the effects of EDCs in humans.

    Project Leader: Jodi Flaws, Ph.D., University of Illinois

    Project 3: Endocrine Disruptors and Diet: Effects on the Developing Cortex
    This project is using mice to study the impact of diet and EDCs on brain development in babies and adolescents. The findings from this study will be used to better understand the effects of EDCs in humans.

    Project Leader: Janice M. Juraska, Ph.D., University of Illinois

  • Publications