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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / August 2017 / Researchers Unite to Address Maternal and Child Health Issues

Researchers Unite to Address Maternal and Child Health Issues

The UNYTE Scientific Session held on Friday, July 14, 2017 brought together over 100 caregivers, researchers, students, and community partners from across Upstate NY who are invested in fostering maternal and child health. The session offered opportunities for networking and showcased a variety of research being done across the UNYTE Translational Research Network, which is organized by the UR CTSI and includes 18 biomedical institutions in and around Upstate NY.

“UNYTE Scientific Sessions are meant to provide a stimulus for productive research and educational collaborations across Upstate NY,” said Gary Noronha, M.D., director of the UNYTE Translational Research Network. “Maternal and child health is an area particularly suited for cross disciplinary and cross institutional collaborations, and is an area that already has had longstanding successful collaborations with UNYTE partners.”

The session featured a keynote address on the research behind newborn screening delivered by Michele Caggana, ScD, deputy director of the Department of Genetics, and chief of the Laboratory of Human Genetics at the NYS Department of Health, Wadsworth Center.  Caggana also directs the NY Newborn Screening Program, which screens infants shortly after birth for 45 life-threatening disorders and diseases. 

The keynote address was followed by a panel that touched on topics ranging from improving contraceptive use among young women to preventing severe dental cavities in infants and toddlers. Afternoon break-out groups discussed the Perinatal Network as a resource for researchers, supporting breastfeeding though policy change, using family interventions to combat childhood obesity, and improving communication between patients and their healthcare providers.

The session offered plenty of opportunities for like-minded researchers, students, and community partners to network and brainstorm new avenues for research and community programs.

“My research team and I were able to meet many other researchers in our area with the same interests,” said Barbara Lohse, Ph.D., R.D., C.D.N., head of the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition at RIT. “We wouldn’t have been able to connect if it wasn't for this event.”

The afternoon also included a poster session featuring 22 posters (7 descriptive and 15 award-eligible) from researchers and students across the UNYTE network. Congratulations to the winners of the Student and Faculty Poster Awards, listed below.Ann Dozier, PhD; Hayley Martin, Gary Noronha, MD

Student Poster Award

Hayley Martin
Graduate student in Epidemiology, Public Health Sciences at URMC
Mentor: Ann Dozier, Ph.D., professor and chair of Public Health Sciences at URMC
Title: Is food insecurity a potential explanation for formula stretching and early introduction of complementary foods?
(Pictured at right: Ann Dozier, Ph.D., Hayley Martin, Gary Noronha, M.D.)


Xiaozhong Wen, PhD; Gary Noronha, MDFaculty Poster Award

Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics,
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Title: A multicomponent behavioral intervention for smoking cessation during pregnancy: a non-concurrent multiple baseline design
(Pictured at left: Xiaozhong Wen, Ph.D., and Gary Noronha, M.D.)
This UNYTE Scientific Session was supported by the University of Rochester CTSA award number UL1 TR002001 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Michael Hazard | 8/10/2017

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