Michigan's role in National Children's Study expanded with $57 million NIH grantOctober 3, 2008
DETROIT- Wayne State University is playing a major role in the most ambitious children's health research project in history. The National Institutes of Health has expanded Michigan's role in its National Children's Study with a $57 million grant announced today. The National Children's Study is the largest research project ever undertaken to study children's health and the causes of ailments such as autism, cerebral palsy and asthma.
Wayne State University will oversee the assessment and care of pregnant women in the study; Michigan State University will lead the study overall with project collaborators from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Department of Community Health and Wayne County and city of Detroit Health Departments.
As part of an alliance with Michigan's top research universities, health care systems and state and local health agencies, the National Children's Study will monitor more than 100,000 children across the nation from before birth to age 21. "Working cooperatively with the other major biomedical institutions in the state allowed us to bring together a team of unmatched expertise," said Robert J. Sokol, M.D., Director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. "It also assured that our joint efforts would be adequately funded so we will be able to perform all portions of the study well," he added.
The $57 million in funding announced today will allow the consortium to study children in Genesee, Grand Traverse, Lenawee and Macomb counties. This award is in addition to $18.5 million announced last fall for study work in Wayne County.
"This is the largest human health study ever undertaken," said Nigel Paneth, MSU professor of epidemiology, and pediatrics and human development and the project's principal investigator. "By following children from before birth and studying their environment, we will be able to seek out ways to prevent many of the diseases children now suffer from."
The project will follow about 1,000 participants in each of the five counties to study the environmental influences that affect them, including toxins, nutrition, physical living conditions and socioeconomic factors, Paneth said. Children will continually be assessed throughout their development, including before birth.
Planning for this project began in 2002 when the partners formed the Michigan Alliance for the National Children's Study. The idea, said Paneth, was that each institution brings unique skills to the table:
• WSU will oversee the assessment and care of pregnant women.
• Children's Hospital of Michigan has responsibility for managing for biological samples.
• Henry Ford Health System has responsibility for managing environmental samples and will perform medical examinations of children.
• U-M will be responsible for enrolling and interviewing study participants and assessing postnatal child development.
• MSU will coordinate the overall work of the study and house the project at its East Lansing campus. MSU Extension will help develop community support for the study.
• MDCH will provide information related to live birth characteristics and locations in Wayne County.
Participants for the study will begin being enrolled in 2009 in Wayne County; 2010 in Grand Traverse and Lenawee counties; and 2011 in Genesee and Macomb counties.
"The National Children's Study will provide new insights into maternal-child health and development for the next 50 years and will, I'm sure, be considered a brilliant initiative, well worth the effort and cost," said Robert Sokol of Wayne State. "Our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will reap the benefits."
Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting, ranked among the top 50 of public universities in R & D expenditures. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world.
- Contact: Julie O'Connor
- Voice: (313) 577-8845
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: (313) 577-3626