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EPA-funded Researchers Lead the Way in Children's Health Research

Release Date: 10/10/2007
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(10/10/07) Protecting children's health is one of the highest priorities at EPA. To ensure healthy U.S. children, three EPA-funded researchers will assume key roles in the National Children's Study, the largest study ever on the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and human health in the United States. The study will follow a representative sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, collecting data to prevent and treat the widespread diseases of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, autism, and birth defects. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) made the announcement of the 22 research awardees last week.

EPA's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants program will fund the researchers who will be lead investigators of the Childrens Environmental Health Centers created by EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The two agencies established the Children's Centers in 1998 to better understand and prevent harmful chemical exposures, further research, and to create a network of researchers and community-partners focused on children's environmental health.

The study leaders are:

  • Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto - lead investigator for two ground-breaking projects on autism at the University of California/Davis Center for Children's Environmental Health. Both studies are the largest of their kind in the U.S., and examine the genetic and environmental differences between autistic and non autistic children.
  • Dr. Elaine Faustman - principal researcher in the Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research at the University of Washington. The Center works with community groups in Yakima Valley to better understand childrens' susceptibilities to agricultural pesticides and promote effective risk management and exposure prevention strategies.
  • Dr. Philip Landrigan - co-director of the Mount Sinai Center for Children's Environmental Health and the 2006 recipient of the prestigious EPA Children's Environmental Health Champion award. Now in its ninth year, the Mount Sinai Children's Center continues to investigate environmental risks to children in the urban environment and promotes policies to reduce or eliminate exposure.

More information about the EPA/NIEHS Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research: epa.gov/cehc/

More information about the National Children's Study: http://www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov