Santos awarded NINR grant to study neurodevelopmental impairment in preterm children

October 17, 2018

Dr. Hudson Santos

Dr. Hudson Santos

Hudson Santos, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing and member of the Institute for Environmental Health Solutions (IEHS) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has received about $395,000 in grants funding from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research.

The grant project will work to establish relationships between DNA methylation, maternal hardship and neurodevelopmental impairment in extremely preterm children. Its ultimate goal is to prevent or minimize that impairment.

The three-year study, “Placental DNA Methylation, Maternal Hardship and Child Neurodevelopmental Outcomes,” aims to:

  • Employ advanced statistical and bioinformatics approaches to establish maternal hardship clusters, using prenatal socio-economic and stressful life event factors;
  • Identify association between maternal hardship clusters and child cognitive and affective outcomes at ages two, 10 and 15; and
  • Determine the extent to which DNA methylation mediates the relationship between maternal hardship and cognitive and affective outcomes.

Santos’s team includes Rebecca Fry, PhD, IEHS director and Carol Remmer Angle Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the UNC Gillings School; Michael O’Shea, MD, MPH, division chief of neonatal-perinatal medicine at the UNC School of Medicine; Stephen Hooper, PhD, associate dean and chair of allied health sciences in the UNC School of Medicine; Diane Holditch-Davis, PhD, RN, FAAN, Marcus E. Hobbs Professor Emerita in Duke University’s School of Nursing; and Xianming Tan, PhD, associate professor, and Matthew Psioda, PhD, assistant professor, both in the Gillings School’s biostatistics department.


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Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@listserv.unc.edu.

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