Perinatal Origins of Disease

Vision: A Healthier Start for All Children

Mission: We bridge fetal, pediatric, maternal and paternal medicine through collaborative research to uncover the very beginnings of health.


Physical, mental and social maternal factors during pregnancy have been shown to affect fetal development and can impact an individual’s health from infancy to adulthood. Early and accurate identification of disease predisposition and its causes provides a critical window of opportunity for prevention before full-blown disease develops.

In 2016, our multidisciplinary group began with a strong foundation of clinical and research excellence in infant lung disease and behavioral disorders in early childhood. Since then, our group has grown across ten different specialties to study the mechanisms and relationships between the baby’s environment before birth and their long-term health.

Through research conducted at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute, we are pursuing discovery that targets the development of diseases that begin in early life, before birth and soon after. Lurie Children’s, Northwestern Medicine, and Northwestern University are working together to impact the future of preventative and individualized care before birth and throughout life. Our research uniquely approaches discoveries to understand why disease occurs, what keeps us healthy, and how to translate our findings into future care

Our approach combines basic lab science, clinical studies, translational and outcomes research. By examining links between maternal health and a child’s medical outcomes, we can develop interventions to give every baby a healthy start in life and improved long-term health.

Our research includes:

  • Understanding the environment of mother’s womb on the baby’s outcomes by studying the placenta and cord blood
  • How breastmilk and diet impacts baby’s outcomes, microbiome and metabolic health
  • Mother’s stress during pregnancy and the effect on baby’s brain development

Learn more about our ongoing research.

Contact Us

Interested in collaborating with us? Reach us at