In 2018, researchers funded by NICHD made significant progress in advancing the health and well-being of infants, children, teenagers, and adults across the United States and around the world. These selected highlights help demonstrate how investment in biomedical research advances science and benefits public health. Dr. Diana Bianchi, NICHD Director, also reviewed the year in her Reflecting on 2018 blog.
Promoting Women’s Health
NICHD has a long history of supporting research on women’s health, including work to improve treatments for gynecological disorders, develop easier-to-use contraception, and understand sexual assault.
Understanding Fertility and Pregnancy Loss
Reproductive health and its related issues—contraception, infertility, and pregnancy loss—affect people from all walks of life. This year, NICHD supported research on experimental male contraceptive drugs and on potential risk factors for infertility and pregnancy loss.
Advancing Healthy Pregnancy, Labor & Delivery
Preconception and prenatal care are important for promoting a healthy pregnancy. NICHD-supported research offers new insight on multivitamins, induction of labor, gestational diabetes, HIV treatments for pregnant women, and a new fetal growth scale specific to African Americans.
Optimizing Infant Health
NICHD research continues to help improve health outcomes for infants. This year, NICHD-supported researchers published work on infant formula and type 1 diabetes risk, treatments for preterm infants, the genetics of a common but serious birth defect, and exposure to second-hand smoke.
Promoting Child Development
NICHD supports research on all aspects of child health and development, including child maltreatment research. Institute-supported researchers also reported on long-term outcomes of an early childhood education program, ADHD, and the benefits of conversation on a child’s brain.
Leading Research on Adolescent Health
Adolescents have health unique needs compared to children and adults, and NICHD research aims to better understand and improve the health and wellbeing of teens. This year, researchers reported work on cyberbullying, teen driving risks, and treatments and care for HIV infection.
Combatting Infectious and Rare Diseases
NICHD supports research to prevent and treat a variety of diseases, including Zika virus, malaria, and certain blood disorders.
Advancing Rehabilitation and Functional Recovery
Effective rehabilitation and follow-up care help alleviate symptoms of chronic disease and help individuals recover from an injury, accident, and illness. This year, NICHD announced a Limb Loss and Preservation Registry along with other exciting research findings.
Boosting Basic Science Research
Since its inception, NICHD has supported basic science research to increase our understanding of human behavior and biology. These insights provide the foundation for discovering new and better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat health conditions and diseases.