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Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch (PGNB)

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As the focal point within the NICHD for nutrition science and pediatric endocrine research and training, the PGNB supports research aimed at understanding the mechanisms of growth and development at the gene-molecular level and at higher levels of cell and organ function.

The Branch initiates and supports research focused on:

  • Determining the role of nutrition throughout the life cycle, with an emphasis on the needs of women of reproductive age, (including pregnant and lactating women), preterm and term infants, and children through adolescence, to promote health, optimal growth and development, and to prevent disease.
  • Exploring the role of nutrients in reproduction, immune function, cognition and behavioral development.
  • Elucidating the interactive roles played by nutrients and hormones in growth and development of the central nervous system and its interactions with the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Determining the roles played by lactation and breastfeeding in infant nutrition, including studies of the non-nutrient components of breast milk and their roles in infant health, with an emphasis on the immunologic properties of breast milk, the intestinal microbiome, and the role of breast milk in protecting against infections and enteric diseases.
  • Improving our understanding of the causes, potential prevention, and treatment of the antecedents and sequelae of childhood obesity as well as the nutritional and developmental origins of health and disease.
  • Highlighting the cultural and behavioral aspects of food selection and eating behavior;
  • Elucidating the neuroendocrine basis of linear growth and the onset of puberty, including studies of growth failure and precocious and delayed puberty.
  • Ascertaining the genetic, nutritional and hormonal antecedents of bone health and the early origins of osteoporosis with an aim to developing preventive strategies.
  • Studies related to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and prevention of disorders of bone accrual in children
  • Determinants of peak bone mass,
  • Hormonal, mechanical factors and directional regulators of longitudinal bone growth during puberty
  • Cellular, molecular, and genetic determinants of pulsatile hormone secretion
  • Pediatric endocrinology, including linear growth and development of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal, gonadal, and thyroid axes
Last Reviewed: 08/27/2014

Contact Information

Name: Dr Gilman Drew Grave
Branch Chief
Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch
Phone: 301-496-5593
Fax: 301-480-9791

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