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NIH awards more than $150 million for research on environmental influences on child health

The National Institutes of Health today announced $157 million in awards in fiscal year 2016 to launch a seven-year initiative called Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). The ECHO program will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development — from conception through early childhood — influences the health of children and adolescents. 

"Every baby should have the best opportunity to remain healthy and thrive throughout childhood.  ECHO will help us better understand the factors that contribute to optimal health in children."

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, NIH

Clinical Sites for the IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network:

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ECHO will leverage NIH-funded institutions that are part of the IDeA Program to build an IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN).  The goal of the ISPCTN is to provide medically underserved and rural populations with access to state-of-the-art clinical trials, apply findings from relevant pediatric cohort studies to children in IDeA state locations, and build pediatric research capacity at a national level. Funding will also support professional development of faculty-level pediatricians and their support teams in the conduct of clinical trials research. 

Awardees include

  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Arkansas Children's Research Institute
  • Dartmouth College
  • Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
  • Rhode Island Hospital
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of Montana
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
  • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • University of South Carolina at Columbia
  • University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
  • West Virginia University
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The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program broadens the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical research. The program fosters health-related research and enhances the competitiveness of investigators at institutions located in states in which the aggregate success rate for applications to NIH has historically been low. The program also serves unique populations—such as rural and medically underserved communities—in these states. The IDeA program increases the competitiveness of investigators by supporting faculty development and research infrastructure enhancement at institutions in 23 states and Puerto Rico.

VIDEO: What is NIH's ECHO program?

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