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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.


Scan may identify best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery
Fetuses with enlarged ventricles—the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain—may be less likely than their counterparts to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes
NIH seeks input on a proposed new research program to assess biological, chemical, psychosocial, and other environmental influences on child health outcomes. Join one of NIH’s webinars to learn more.


Neuroscience Research Resources
NICHD supports a variety of research projects and networks that are useful to neuroscientists. Find a detailed list here.                                                    


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.


Birth Defects Research Findings from the NICHD
Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies born in the United States each year. Learn about recent research findings on birth defects and their causes.


NIH launches tool to advance Down syndrome research
The National Institutes of Health has launched a subsite of DS-Connect: The Down Syndrome Registry for researchers, clinicians, and other professionals with a scientific interest in Down syndrome to access de-identified data from the registry.


Study Reaffirms Safety of Anti-HIV Drugs During Pregnancy
The antiretroviral drugs used to keep HIV at bay are an unqualified success at preventing the spread of the virus from mother to child. The drugs are not only essential for maintaining the health of a pregnant woman with HIV, they have also nearly eliminated the transmission of HIV to her baby. Among U.S. women, the likelihood of a mother passing the virus on to her child is now less than 1%.


NIH Scientists Combine Efforts to Advance Birth Defects Research
The Trans-NIH Structural Birth Defects Working Group aims to step up research on birth defects by coordinating efforts at the NIH and beyond.


It’s in the DNA: Animal Models Offer Clues to Human Development
In the evolutionary sense, we have a lot in common with animals. That’s why researchers can learn much from them about human development and birth defects.


NICHD Hosts Upcoming Lecture on Fetal Individualized Medicine
The next NICHD Director’s Lecture at the NIH will feature Diana Bianchi, M.D., from Tufts University School of Medicine. Her talk, titled “Changing Paradigms: From Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis to Fetal Individualized Medicine,” will take place on January 21, 2015, 9:00–10:00 a.m., in Lipsett Amphitheater, at NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.


NIH teams with industry to develop treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C disease
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have entered into an agreement with biotechnology company Vtesse, Inc., of Gaithersburg, Maryland, to develop treatments for Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) and other lysosomal storage disorders.


NIH Updates Down Syndrome Research Plan
NIH has made progress in research on Down syndrome since the release of its first research plan 7 years ago. To reflect that progress and lay out future research directions, a newly released, revised plan is now available.


NICHD Co-Sponsors White House Disability Summit
More than 50 million Americans, about 1 in 5 people, are living with a disability. People with disabilities tend to be less physically active than people without disabilities and have higher rates of corresponding health problems such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension and stroke.


Mouse study reveals potential clue to extra fingers or toes
Researchers working with mice have uncovered a potential clue to polydactyly—a birth defect involving extra fingers on the hand or extra toes on the feet. The researchers have found that a mouse version of polydactyly results from a malfunction of the cellular machinery that processes one of the cell’s internal transportation vehicles.


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.


How Can You Improve a Woman’s Health? Study the Health of Populations.
From infertility to problems in pregnancy, the NICHD’s Epidemiology Branch tackles health issues from a population perspective.


NICHD-Supported Research Sheds Light on a Family of Genes Involved in Dyslexia, Respiratory Health, and Organ Position
NICHD-supported scientists observe connections among seemingly unrelated conditions.


March is Trisomy Awareness Month: Time to Get "DS Connected"
The NICHD highlights DS Connect™: The Down Syndrome Registry, which allows people with Down syndrome and their family members to share health information and to advance research.
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For details and further information on select NICHD News Releases, please see Backgrounders.

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