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Danielle Caci

$2.5 Million NIH Grant Helps Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Study Childhood Obesity

St. Petersburg, Fla. – November 15, 2017 – Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and four other institutions received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how social adversity impacts the risk of childhood obesity. The study will focus on expectant mothers who have significant stress during pregnancy and through their lifetime, and whether that impacts the development of obesity in their children. The study leverages data from an existing Johns Hopkins All Children’s study called PREDICT, which looks at factors during pregnancy and childhood and how it affects a child’s development later in life.

“As we continue to expand our research programs, this study is one of many that leverages collaborations and partnerships with colleagues on the Baltimore campuses of Johns Hopkins and at other research institutions, to tackle some of the biggest issues in children’s health and disease,” said Neil Goldenberg, M.D., Ph.D., director of research at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This new NIH award allows us to look more intently into the earliest determinants of childhood obesity, and investigate whether prenatal stress is associated with changes in genes involved in growth and metabolism.”

Researchers plan to recruit 470 mothers into the study during the NIH grant period, with half coming from Johns Hopkins All Children’s-affiliated OB/GYN clinics. Others will come from participating sites at prestigious research institutions across the United States. The study will follow the group of children, watching their growth patterns over the first 24 months of life.


About Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care focused solely on children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. With a network of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Outpatient Care centers and collaborative care provided by All Children’s Specialty Physicians at regional hospitals, Johns Hopkins All Children’s brings care closer to home. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital consistently keeps the patient and family at the center of care while continuing to expand its mission in treatment, research, education and advocacy. For more information, visit