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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins Awarded $1.5 Million Grant for Large-Scale Prospective Birth Cohort Study on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration / Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Dr. Xiaobin Wang, director of the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease, and Dr. M. Daniele Fallin, director of the Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities, will lead a multidisciplinary team to carry out the study. Both centers are part of the Bloomberg School.

The three-year project will draw from a long-standing NIH-funded cohort, the Boston Birth Cohort (BBC), which consists of approximately 8,500 mother-baby pairs of predominantly low-income, urban-minority families. In the new project, researchers will study children in the cohort who have completed at least three years of postnatal follow-up to identify children with ASD based on electronic medical records, questionnaire interviews and clinical assessment. Researchers then will analyze ASD status in relation to a broad spectrum of risk and protective factors during the window before and after birth already ascertained by the cohort. Researchers will also analyze patterns of diagnosis and service utilization of children with ASD.

“By far, this is the largest U.S. prospective birth cohort study on Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities,” Dr. Wang says. “This is made possible by leveraging the rich data already collected on the early life environments of these children.”

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