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Perinatal Origins of Disease Research

Perinatal Origins of Disease (POD) engages physicians and researchers from across Lurie Children’s, Northwestern and other institutions in the fields of neonatology, maternal fetal medicine, developmental/behavioral sciences, biomedical engineering, cardiology, endocrinology, allergy, immunology and more. These multidisciplinary collaborations have sparked innovative ideas and new areas of investigation.
POD’s centralized biorepository provides researchers access to high quality placental and cord blood biospecimens to conduct a broad range of investigations. Some of the current studies focus on:

  • Pinpointing growth factors in cord blood that may identify premature infants at risk for a type of lung disease that is often fatal.
  • Preventing the adverse effects of early life stress exposure on children’s neurodevelopment and well-being.
  • Identifying the role of maternal diet and metabolism on preterm infant nutrition.
  • Using markers in umbilical cord blood to identify babies at risk for early onset neonatal sepsis, an invasive bacterial infection.
  • Optimizing medication management for pregnant mothers with depression to improve treatment and reduce risks to the healthy development of their children.
  • Examining the impact of the maternal metabolic environment on childhood risk of obesity and adverse metabolic health.