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$13.2M NIH Award for Environmental Influences of Child Health Outcomes in Puerto Rico

September 12, 2018

Snell Professor and Associate Dean for Research Akram Alshawabkeh, civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded $13.2M over five years from the National Institutes of Health to lead a renewal of the multi-institutional and interdisciplinary research project, entitled, “Environmental Influences of Child Health Outcomes in Puerto Rico (ECHO-PRO). ECHO co-investigators from Northeastern include College of Engineering Distinguished Professor David Kaeli, electrical and computer engineering, and Assistant Professors Justin Manjourides and Emily Zimmerman of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Additionally, the project is in collaboration with the University of Michigan, University of Georgia, and the University of Puerto Rico.

In collaboration with the larger ECHO Consortium, the project will contribute data, biological samples, and knowledge to allow for better understanding of how environmental exposures affect child health outcomes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. Research from ECHO-PRO will build on the work conducted by the PROTECT (Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats) and CRECE (Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico) research centers led by Alshawabkeh, which study exposure to environmental contamination in Puerto Rico and its contribution to preterm birth, and how mixtures of environmental exposures and other factors affect the health and development of infants and children living in Puerto Rico.