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The Rochester ECHO-UPSIDE project was initiated in 2015 with a 5-year grant from the NICHD and was extended considerably in 2016 with a 7-year NIH grant. The project has been following over 300 mothers from the first trimester to examine how prenatal experiences such as stress and anxiety, and prenatal biological factors such as inflammation, may shape individual differences in child behavior, neurodevelopment, and growth. This is a multi-site project, with a sister cohort based at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Magee-Womens Hospital.  Efforts are now underway to understand the complex story of how prenatal psychological and biological factors, along with the placenta, help shape future child health and development.

Funding is provided by the NIH ECHO program, which is supporting a large, national effort to study early environmental influences on child health outcomes. Funding is also provided by the Office of the Director at the NIH and The Wynne Center for Family Research.

Investigators at Rochester include Drs. Tom O’Connor, Rich Miller, Emily Barrett, Kristin Scheible, Mary Caserta, Loralei Thornburg, Shawn Murphy, and Xing Qiu.

The Rochester cohort was expanded in 2018 with funding from the NINR to create “UPSIDE-MOMS” which will follow the health of mothers in the postnatal period to examine how changes in biology across gestation and the early postnatal period may influence maternal cardio-metabolic health years after the pregnancy. Investigators on the UPSIDE-MOMS project include Drs. Sue Groth, Tom O’Connor, and Emily Barrett.

In 2019, the project was further expanded with a career development award to Dr. Ying Meng to include a particular focus on eating behavior in young children.

Representative Publications

O’Connor, T.G., Miller, R.K., Salafia, C. (2019). Placental studies for child development. Child Development Perspectives, 13, 193-198. PMID 31413725

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