Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

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Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

An area of great interest amongst many PHS investigators is the study of the early life developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). Through Dr. Ganesa Wegienka and others, HFHS was the site of the founding of the US-DOHaD Society in 2016. The epidemiologists and biostatisticians in PHS are working to understand how the prenatal experience and placental health and early exposures relate to immune, metabolic and neuro-development and subsequent child and adult health.

Three NIH funded birth cohort studies have been established and are ongoing at HFHS

  • Childhood Allergy Study (CAS) with children born from 1987-1989

  • Wayne County Health Environment Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS) with children born from 2003-2007

  • Microbiota, Allergy, Asthma & Pets (MAAP) birth cohort with children born from 2014-2016.

Dr. Christine Johnson and PHS team members: Dr. Christine Joseph, Dr. Kimberley Woodcroft, Dr. Jia Li, Suzanne Havstad, Alexandra Sitarik, Dr. Andrea Cassidy Bushrow, Dr. Jennifer Straughen, allergist collaborators Dr. Edward Zoratti and Dr. Haejin Kim and collaborators from across the country (Dr. Dennis Ownby at Augusta University, Dr. Nick Lukacs at the University of Michigan and Dr. Susan Lynch at UCSF) lead a newly renewed NIH funded Program Project program that focuses on the effects of the home environmental microbiota and maternal and early life gut microbiota on childhood health. Members of this team have also recently become part of a national NIH-funded food allergy research consortium, CoFAR. Johnson, Zoratti, Wegienka, Havstad, Joseph, Sitarik, Cassidy-Bushrow, and Straughen are also working with other scientists and data teams from across the country on the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program which seeks to pool 50,000 children enrolled in cohort studies in the Unites States to further identify early life factors related to subsequent health.


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