CSU participating in $1.2 million study about environmental impacts on children

Posted: September 28th, 2016

Colorado State University, in collaboration with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, has been awarded $1.2 million to participate in a National Institutes of Health initiative called Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).

The award is part of a planned seven-year grant with an estimated total value of $15 million for the Colorado participation. The funding was awarded to the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), a partnership among CSU, CU and the University of Northern Colorado.

The ECHO program will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development — from conception through early childhood — influences the health of children and adolescents. It is part of a $150 million NIH effort announced on Sept. 21.

The Colorado study will leverage an existing and ongoing pre-birth cohort in Colorado, Healthy Start, which is currently following 1,410 mother-child pairs.

Unlocking clues

Sheryl Magzamen, an assistant professor of epidemiology for ColoradoSPH and in CSU’s Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, is CSU’s principal investigator on the study. She will lead the measurement and evaluation of Healthy Start participants’ exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants.

“Being able to add this element to an already rich study lets us better understand the role of the environment in childhood development,” Magzamen said. “A lot of adult disease has its roots in childhood, so this study may unlock clues for enhancing health, understanding the mechanics of disease, and improving environmental policies.”

Sheryl MagzamenThe instruments that will be used for the study were developed by John Volckens, a professor of mechanical engineering at CSU and environmental and occupational health at the ColoradoSPH, and Professor Chuck Henry, head of CSU’s Department of Chemistry.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to deploy our wearable sensors on children,” Volckens said. “This technology was designed specifically to measure personal exposure to environmental stressors — something that’s critical for health protection but difficult to achieve at scale. Results of this study could have long-lasting impacts on improving the health of millions of children.”

Read more at SOURCE.