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Q&A with NICHD Acting Director Catherine Spong, M.D.
Dr. Cathy Spong became NICHD’s acting director on October 1, 2015. Here she shares her plans for the year and her thoughts on what makes NICHD so unique.


NIH invests $46 million in technologies to monitor placental health
The National Institutes of Health has announced $46 million in research awards for the Human Placenta Project, an initiative to revolutionize understanding of the placenta. The awards will fund technology development and testing to assess placental function throughout pregnancy, with the ultimate goal of improving pregnancy outcomes and lifelong health.


NICHD Supports Wide Range of Research on the Placenta
The placenta plays a crucial role in human development. Researchers are working to learn more about this poorly-understood organ and its role in pregnancy and lifelong health.


Exploring Population Dynamics
NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch supports research on a range of topics, including the factors that make populations rise and fall, such as fertility and mortality. We checked in with branch chief Rebecca Clark to learn more about the branch’s work.


Researchers design placenta-on-a-chip to better understand pregnancy
National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers and their colleagues have developed a “placenta-on-a-chip” to study the inner workings of the human placenta and its role in pregnancy.


NICHD Launches Pinterest Site to Share Health Information with the Public
NICHD is now on Pinterest. With about one in four American adults using Pinterest to access and share information, this new page is an opportunity to effectively communicate with the public about NICHD’s important research and educational initiatives.


Promoting the Health of Women
NICHD scientists study several common, sometimes serious conditions to improve the health of women.


Annual Report Highlights Population Health Research Findings
In its 2014 annual report, NICHD’s Division of Intramural Population Health Research takes stock of research progress and defines future directions.


In Search of Answers for Those Struggling With Infertility
During National Infertility Awareness Week 2015, Dr. Alan Guttmacher explores the latest research in an article in the Huffington Post.


Q&A with Human Placenta Project Coordinator David Weinberg
Dr. Weinberg answers questions about a new initiative that aims to revolutionize our understanding of the placenta.


NIH announces $41.5 million in funding for the Human Placenta Project
The National Institutes of Health has dedicated $41.5 million for an initiative to understand and monitor the development of the human placenta during pregnancy. The funding will support the development of new technologies to assess the health of the placenta as it grows and matures, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of mothers and children.


Stillbirth may increase women’s long term risk for depression
Women who deliver a stillbirth—but who have no history of depression—may be at a higher risk for long-lasting depression, conclude researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The depression may last beyond the six months most people require to recover from a major loss and persist for as long as 36 months.


Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Newborns: Research to Improve Outcomes
Our Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch supports research on improved care for pregnant women and newborns and better treatment for pregnancy-related complications and neonatal diseases.


NIH Institutes Commit $2 Million to Small Businesses to Promote Placental Research
This month the NICHD and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) reissued two funding announcements, inviting grant applications for the development of methods to assess placental development and function. The Institutes intend to commit an estimated total of $2 million to small businesses in 2015 to support this research.


Aspirin does not prevent pregnancy loss, NIH study finds
A daily low dose of aspirin does not appear to prevent subsequent pregnancy loss among women with a history of one or two prior pregnancy losses, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.


Tobacco, drug use in pregnancy can double risk of stillbirth
Smoking tobacco or marijuana, taking prescription painkillers, or using illegal drugs during pregnancy is associated with double or even triple the risk of stillbirth, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Picture This: NICHD Support for Neuroscience Research
This week, thousands of neuroscientists from around the world—many of them supported by the NICHD and other NIH Institutes and Centers—are gathering at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. This Spotlight highlights the diverse areas of neuroscience research that the NICHD supports.


Lab animal study suggests smoking during pregnancy places descendants at risk for asthma
For this research conversation, NICHD’s Dr. Tonse Raju spoke with grantee Dr. Virender Rehan on his study of rats given nicotine during their pregnancies.


Stressful life events may increase stillbirth risk, NIH network study finds
Pregnant women who experienced financial, emotional or other personal stress in the year before their delivery had an increased chance of having a stillbirth, say researchers who conducted a National Institutes of Health network study.


Scientific Vision: The Next Decade
The NICHD embarked upon a collaborative process in 2011 to create a scientific Vision, identifying the most promising scientific opportunities for the Institute and its partners to pursue over the next decade. The newly published Scientific Vision statement presents the results of that process and outlines scientific goals for the coming decade.


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