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Q&A with NICHD Acting Director Catherine Spong, M.D. (October 2015)

On October 1, 2015, Dr. Catherine Spong became acting director of NICHD. We recently checked in with her to chat about her plans for the year and to learn what she appreciates most about the institute.

Helping Your Child Improve Reading Skills (August 2015)

At the start of a new school year, Dr. Guttmacher highlights the importance of reading every day with children. Here's an excerpt of his recent article in The Huffington Post.

Celebrating 25 years of the ADA (July 2015)

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dr. Alan Guttmacher highlights the advances of this groundbreaking legislation in an article for The Huffington Post.

In Search of Answers for Those Struggling With Infertility (April 2015)

During National Infertility Awareness Week 2015, Dr. Alan Guttmacher explores the latest research in an article in The Huffington Post.

Vaccines Protect Our Kids and Our Communities (February 2015)

A recent multi-state outbreak of measles has reignited national discussion about the importance of childhood vaccines. As a pediatrician, I am saddened that childhood diseases like measles are making a comeback. I have witnessed firsthand the debilitating impact that now-preventable infections can have on kids.

AAMC Highlights Research on Neonatal Care, Placental Health (February 2015)

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently interviewed NICHD Director Alan Guttmacher, M.D., about improvements in the care of preterm infants.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month (January 2015)

One in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect, so chances are, you or someone you know has been affected by one. The term encompasses an assortment of health conditions, from clubfoot and cleft palate to Fragile X and phenylketonuria, among a host of others. All of these vary in their causes, severity, and treatments.

Scientists’ New ‘Human Placenta Project’ Aims to Improve Health of Moms and Their Children (December 2014)

At the National Institutes of Health, we’re planning a new initiative to learn more about the placenta, in hopes of better health for mothers and their children—not just in pregnancy, but long after.

Reducing Preterm Birth Rates (November 2014)

Medical, scientific, and technological advances have revolutionized our world—from vaccines and antibiotics to genetics and a lab-on-a-chip, we continue to reap the benefits of our nation’s investment in biomedical research.

20 Years of Protecting Infants During Sleep (November 2014)

Many years ago, my wife’s youngest brother died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). That tragedy deeply affected her family and her personally. It is part of the reason she became a grief counselor, to help others struggling with loss.

Learning to Use Genomics Safely, to Improve Children's Health (September 2014)

Newborn screening is one of the nation's most successful public health programs, each year sparing thousands of American infants from a lifetime of severe disability or premature death. Using a few drops of blood from an infant's heel, state newborn screening programs test for a few dozen debilitating disorders that may be present at birth and which can cause significant problems unless there is early diagnosis and intervention.

Prevention key for reducing risk of gestational, Type 2 diabetes (June 2014)

Here’s some good news for women who have, or have had, gestational diabetes: moderate exercise—as little as a 30 minutes of walking each day, 5 days a week—may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. This encouraging finding comes out of the Diabetes and Women’s Health Study, from Dr. Cuilin Zhang and her colleagues in NICHD’s Division of Intramural Population Health Research. The Study seeks to determine the risk for Type 2 diabetes among women who have had gestational diabetes—high blood sugar during pregnancy in a woman who didn’t have high blood sugar previously.

NICHD research networks help piece together the puzzle of polycystic ovary syndrome (April 2014)

Women with this condition produce high levels of androgens—male hormones. PCOS can result in infertility and also in irregular menstrual cycles, increased facial and body hair, acne, and cyst-like growths in the ovaries. Women with PCOS often have difficulty metabolizing insulin and may be at increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Although PCOS affects roughly 5 to 7 percent of women of reproductive age, we aren’t sure what causes it, and often lack effective treatments for it.

New ‘Placenta Project’ could yield health benefits for children, pregnant women, and adults (March 2014)

The placenta is arguably the least studied of all human organs and tissues. Each one of us comes into the world attached to one: the lifeline that supplies oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood, and which removes carbon dioxide and other wastes via the same route. In most cases, the placenta does what it’s expected to do, and few of us give it any thought.

Early childhood education programs help children grow up to be healthier adults (March 2014)

Analysis of long term NIH-funded study shows health benefits more than 30 years later

Down syndrome research plan revision promotes study of aging (March 2014)

Processes thought to underlie Alzheimer’s symptoms in individuals with Down syndrome, others

Obesity begins early (February 2014)

Obesity, it appears, has something in common with smoking: once the pattern is established, it’s difficult to change. A new study shows that children who are overweight or obese as 5 year olds are more likely to be obese as adolescents. Other studies have shown that obese adolescents tend to become obese adults. Thus, it appears that, if a child is obese at age 5, chances are high that child will become an obese adult.

NIH institutes combine forces to understand, treat, and prevent birth defects (January 2014)

Ahead, the NICHD has embarked on an exciting new collaboration with other Institutes here at the National Institutes of Health to find novel ways to understand, prevent, and treat a wide array of birth defects affecting body parts and structure. Glancing back, I’d like to recount the great strides we’ve made against neural tube defects, a group of sometimes devastating conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord.

NICHD, global health groups set preterm birth research agenda (December 2013)

NICHD has helped organize a coalition of global health organizations to set a research agenda for tackling the problem of preterm birth.

Last Reviewed: 11/20/2015
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology