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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Faculty Awarded NIH Grant to Investigate Effect of Substance Use on Children In Utero Through Age 10

Dr. Dani Fallin, Sylvia and Harold Halpert Professor and chair of the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, received a $283,000 NIH grant as part of a national study to investigate the effects of substance use on children—from in utero exposure through age 10.

Researchers across the nation will track children’s development over time through cognitive testing, brain imaging, and wearable technology, along with other measures.

The 18-month planning phase award—part of the nationwide HEALthy Child and Brain Development (CBD) study — supports the development of experimental design and research protocols for the  study, including the development of research questions, goals, and supportive services to enroll women and children in the long-term study. The Johns Hopkins site includes investigators reflecting broad expertise across the university as well as at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliated research institute and service provider dedicated to pediatric developmental disabilities.

Although it is well understood that substance use during pregnancy and while parenting can have profound adverse effects on child development, the consequences have rarely been directly measured in the same mothers and babies over time.

Longitudinal data collected throughout pregnancy and childhood will measure maternal and child substance use exposures and other relevant social, environmental, and genomic risk factors and biomarkers.

The planning phase award will help to ensure a robust study design for phase two of the HEALthy CBD study, which is expected to launch in 2021.

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