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Understanding Pregnancy Signals and Infant Development (UPSIDE)

UPSIDE Logo - mom with babyPurpose of UPSIDE

The purpose of this study is to learn about how the ways in which a mother’s daily environment and changing emotions may affect her baby’s development. We are particularly interested in hormones, which are messengers that carry signals from a mother to her baby. We are trying to understand the ways in which those hormones influence the baby’s health and development.  

What we will ask of you:
  • to meet with a study coordinator at a total of 6 visits (each trimester, birth, 9 months, and 15 months postnatal)
  • to provide saliva, urine, and blood samples
  • to respond to questionnaires
  • to receive a short phone call
  • to allow us to do brief baby assessment
You will be paid up to $330 in gift cards for taking part in this study.
  • Visit 1-3: $40 each visit
  • Saliva Samples: $15 each collection (3)
  • Dietary Recall: $15
  • Visit 4-6: $50 each visit

Study Visit Location

Lattimore Road EntranceVisits for UPSIDE will take place at 125 Lattimore Road.  Our Lattimore facility is easy to get to, on the bus line, and parking is free.  You can enter the 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. Alternatively, if you visit the General Obstetrics team upstairs, we’d be happy to meet you there and bring you down to our office.


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 principal investigator of the UPSIDE Study.  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 the study site director for The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES II).

Thomas G. O'ConnorThomas G. O'Connor, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center

Thomas G. O'Connor is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and is Director of the Wynne Center for Family Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. O'Connor received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia in 1995. His research focuses the mechanisms by which early stress exposures, including prenatal maternal anxiety and caregiving stress, may persistently shape children's behavioral and biological health. His work encompasses epidemiological, observational and experimental designs and incorporates behavioral, physiological, genetic, and immunological methods.


Jessica BrunnerJessica Brunner
Study Coordinator for UPSIDE

Jessica Brunner is the study coordinator for Dr. Emily Barrett’s UPSIDE study. She will recruit women during their first trimester and will follow up with them through their pregnancy to 15 months postnatal. She is also the coordinator for Dr. Kimberly O’Brien and Dr. Eva Pressman’s research on vitamin D and infection during pregnancy. Prior to her work at Strong, Jessica worked at the Waisman Center at UW-Madison, researching neurodegenerative diseases. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Outside of work Jessica enjoys sports and outdoor activities, cooking, and travel.

Next Step

If you are interested in participating in UPSIDE, contact Jessica Brunner, the UPSIDE study coordinator. We can discuss the visit, and if you are eligible we can schedule you for your first clinic visit!

Jessica Brunner
Study Coordinator
(585) 275-4149
Want to know more about the study?