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Dartmouth-led team gets $8 million grant to research arsenic in children

The Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth and its partner universities have received an $8 million grant to expand their research into arsenic toxicity in children and pregnant women.

The five-year grant is jointly funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (part of the National Institutes of Health) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dartmouth leads the multidisciplinary effort in collaboration with Stanford University, Harvard Medical School and the University of Miami. About 15 percent of the grant will support the work of these collaborators. Center members specialize in environmental, nutritional and molecular epidemiology, public health, pediatrics, ecology, nutrition, bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, trace element analysis and other fields.

"With the expansion of the center, we can deepen our understanding of environmental exposure to common contaminants such as arsenic during fetal development and childhood and the impact these exposures have on childhood immunity, growth and neurobehavioral development," says Professor Margaret Karagas, director of the Center and a professor at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine.

The Center builds on a Dartmouth study begun in 2009 of pregnant New Hampshire women, whose private wells may contain elevated arsenic levels. The long-term health of their children will be evaluated. The Center's research will focus on three projects:

  • Investigating the effects of arsenic exposure on mothers and infants and their susceptibility to allergies and infection.
  • Quantifying arsenic exposure through water and food during infancy and early childhood and determining its impact on growth and neurobehavioral developm

Contact: John Cramer
Dartmouth College

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