Skip to main content
Explore URMC



The Infant Development and the Environment Study



Participation in The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES) began when pregnant mothers were in their first trimester of pregnancy and ended shortly after birth for girl babies and at 1-year old for boy babies.  During the first 5 years of TIDES, we enrolled almost 800 moms and their babies across four research study sites (Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Minneapolis, MN, and San Francisco, CA).

Our study suggests that prenatal exposure to common chemicals in our diet and homes – phthalates, which make plastics soft and flexible – may affect reproductive tract development during pregnancy of boys, but not that of girls, and these results are affected by the amount of stress the moms reported during pregnancy.

TIDES Follow-Up Study – What’s Happening Now

Because of the success of the initial TIDES and the importance of these and other findings related to phthalate exposures, the National Institutes of Health has funded the next phase of TIDES, which we are calling TIDES II. This phase will allow us to learn more about TIDES moms and their TIDES children as they grow up. TIDES II will continue to be based at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and will involve up to 700 families in Rochester, NY; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; and San Francisco, CA.

TIDES II gives us the opportunity to extend our knowledge beyond pregnancy and learn about the potential effects of prenatal and postnatal phthalates on the development of young children. Your participation will help us understand how the early environment can affect a child’s growth, well-being, and behavior.

We hope our TIDES families will continue to be part of this important and innovative study!

What Does Participation in TIDES II Involve?

Participation in TIDES II will consist of:

  • An online questionnaire to be completed prior to the clinic visit
  • A few additional surveys at the first clinic visit
  • The following measurements on your TIDES child: Height, weight, skinfolds, blood pressure, finger length and collection of a urine specimen
  • Two clinic visits for each participating family over the course of 3 years.
  • The second study clinic visit will repeat the same measures on the TIDES child, and include an assessment of play behavior of the TIDES child
  • Questionnaires from the first clinic visit will be repeated at the second clinic visit.

Participant families (mother and child) will receive $75 in gift cards for the first visit and $125 in gift cards for the second visit, totaling $200 in gift cards for the completion of all study requirements.

Next Steps

If you agreed to be contacted for further participation when TIDES was ending, Heather Fiore, the TIDES II study coordinator, will contact you via email or phone to determine your interest in participating in TIDES II. Should you agree to participate, we will schedule you and your child for your first clinic visit. We very much look forward to being in contact with you again!

Study Visit Locations

Lattimore Road Women's CenterMother and child visits for TIDES II will take place at the Ob/Gyn Ultrasound service at 125 Lattimore Rd.  Our Lattimore facility is easy to get to, on the bus line, and parking is free.  Enter building through the West Entrance, turn right and walk through the door to the Women’s Health Practice/Ultrasound Suite.  Give your name to the Ultrasound receptionist, and our team will meet you in the waiting area to the right.

Center for Healthy LivingAn alternative location for study visits is the Healthy Living Center on the 3rd floor of URMC’s Center for Community Health at 46 Prince St.  Take the elevator to the 3rd floor and enter the door to your left.  Give your name to the receptionist, and our team will meet you there.

Study Team

Emily BarrettEmily S. Barrett, PhD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Dr. Barrett is the TIDES II center director for the Rochester, NY study site.  Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on how environmental exposures across the life course affect reproductive function. Dr. Barrett first became interested in this topic during her doctoral work in Biological Anthropology at Harvard University, where her dissertation focused on understand variation in women’s ovarian function. She has since expanded her work to examine how endocrine-disrupting exposures, including environmental chemicals and stress, may impact reproductive development. To that end, she has worked on several large pregnancy cohort studies including the National Children’s Study and TIDES. She is also principal investigator of the Study of Early Life and Fertility (SELF) and Understanding Pregnancy Signals and Infant Development (UPSIDE).

Daniel MruzekDaniel W. Mruzek, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Mruzek is an investigator on the TIDES II study and oversees the collection of standardized data related to cognitive and behavioral functioning of participants at the Rochester, NY study site. Dr. Mruzek is a licensed psychologist and behavior analyst with specific expertise in child development and developmental disabilities. His research interests include measuring the impact of interventions on cognition and adaptive behavior, and he has extensive experience in the standardized assessment of human behavior, including implementation of structured behavioral observation of parents and children. Dr. Mruzek has been the primary investigator and co-investigator of several externally-funded research projects, author and co-author of several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and maintains an active clinical practice that focuses upon psychoeducational and behavioral assessment of children.

Heather FioreHeather Fiore, MS Ed, RD, CDE
Study Coordinator

Heather Fiore is the Study Coordinator for TIDES II and the main contact for study participants.  She is responsible for managing the research study by conducting visits and following up with women and infants who are participating in the study.  Heather has been involved in TIDES since 2010 when recruitment of pregnant women first began.  She is a Registered Dietitian.  She completed her Nutrition/Dietetics training at Cornell University and also holds a Masters of Health Education from SUNY Brockport.  In addition her position on the TIDES team and other women’s health studies, she works as a Clinic Dietitian at University Health Service on River Campus.  Heather can be reached at or (585) 295-9165. 

Hillary RichHillary Rich
Study Recruiter and Coordinator    

Hillary Rich is a study coordinator at Lattimore Women’s Health Practice. She will be assisting with TIDES study visits. Hillary received her BA from SUNY Geneseo, where she first became interested in research.  Hillary can be reached at or (585) 275-3565.