September 7, 2018

Two faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have received a five-year, $20.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to continue a study of the impact of the environment upon children’s health.

Dr. Rebecca Fry

Rebecca Fry, PhD

Rebecca Fry, PhD, Carol Remmer Angle Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Michael O’Shea, MD, MPH, C. Richard Morris Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics in the UNC School of Medicine, will continue their collaboration with the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program.

The program will examine relationships between a number of aspects of the environment and health outcomes, including obesity, asthma, positive child health, neurodevelopmental outcomes, and disorders that occur before, during and after birth.

“We are excited to have this wonderful opportunity to focus on identifying solutions that optimize children’s health,” Fry said. “Some solutions we are pursuing include removing contaminants from a child’s environment, providing adequate health care early in life and improving maternal health during pregnancy.”

Collaborators from UNC include environmental sciences and engineering (ESE) postdoctoral fellows Jackie Bangma, PhD, and Catherine Bulka, PhD; Julie Daniels, PhD, professor of maternal and child health and of epidemiology; Kun Lu, PhD, ESE associate professor; Lisa Smeester, MS, program manager for the Institute for Environmental Health Solutions; Martha Scott Tomlinson, ESE doctoral student; and Amanda Thompson, PhD, associate professor of nutrition and of anthropology – all from the Gillings School; Julie Rollins, MA, project manager for the ECHO-ELGAN study, Michelle Hernandez, MD, associate professor of pediatrics; Stephen Hooper, PhD, associate dean and chair of allied health sciences and professor of psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics and education; Janice Wereszczak, CPNP, pediatric nurse practitioner, and Jennifer Talbert, MS, RN, BSN, RDH, CCRP – all from the UNC School of Medicine; Hudson Santos, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing, in the UNC School of Nursing; and James Peak, Adam Mack, Jennifer Baucom, and Elizabeth Gunn, of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.


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