Formative Center for the Evaluation of Environmental Impacts on Fetal Development

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The conditions a person experiences in the womb can have lifelong health effects; for example, being exposed to certain chemicals (e.g., endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals) in the womb can lead to diseases later in life. At this center, researchers work to identify new biomarkers - measurable indicators that can be used to link environmental exposures in the womb to particular health outcomes.

Biomarkers help researchers identify how exposure to common environmental pollutants during development causes disease. They also help scientists identify people who may be at increased risk for disease. Researchers at this center use rodent models to identify new biomarkers for common environmental exposures. They also investigate how and why certain chemicals and toxic materials impair healthy organ function and find ways to detect and measure this damage early in development. The pollutants studied include chemicals like arsenic as well as endocrine disruptors, which affect hormonal regulation in the body.

Researchers at the center communicate the implications of their findings to health care practitioners, other scientists, and the public to inform efforts to prevent, detect or treat environmentally-induced diseases.

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