Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development (NICHD) Scientific Vision
Workshop on Environment
Bethesda, MD
March 10-11, 2011

Views expressed in the workshop presentations are those of the
presenters alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the NICHD.

This workshop will explore, in a series of breakout sessions, what is known, what needs to be known, and how to investigate selected environmental factors that are of critical importance to the components of the NICHD mission (i.e., child health and human development, reproductive health, and rehabilitative medicine). The objective of the workshop is to identify the most compelling scientific opportunities in the next ten years within the Institute’s mission and the theme of the workshop. These opportunities will be set out in a workshop white paper, for inclusion in a major journal article on NICHD’s scientific vision for the next decade.

The opening talks on the morning of the first day will set the stage for breakout group discussions by reviewing critical concepts in broadly-defined, general fields of inquiry, methodological challenges in multiple disciplines engaged in relevant research, and recent scientific breakthroughs that suggest further research potential.

Each participant will attend three breakout sessions. The breakout sessions are charged with identifying the most compelling research opportunities for the coming decade that could emerge from investigation of the impacts and mechanisms of “their” environmental factor(s). The concluding sessions on the second day will be devoted to reports of the breakout groups’ conclusions and discussion.


8:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Plenary Session

8:30 a.m.

Welcome/NICHD Visioning Process
Alan Guttmacher, M.D.
Director, NICHD

8:45 a.m.

Welcome and charge to participants
Barbara A. Cohn, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Public Health Institute

9:00 a.m.

The changing environment and child health (PDF - 528 KB)
Michael Greenstone, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9:30 a.m.

Ecological developmental biology: The ecology of gene expression (PDF - 2.07 MB)
Scott F. Gilbert, Ph.D.
Swarthmore College

10:00 a.m.


10:15 a.m.

Plenary Session Continues

10:15 a.m.

Social Environment (PDF - 1 MB)
Greg J. Duncan, Ph.D.
University of California, Irvine

10:45 a.m.

Panel on Methods (PDF - 204 KB)
Barbara Entwisle, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

11:00 a.m.

Panel on Methods
Shumei S. Sun, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University

11:15 a.m.

Panel on Methods
Nina T. Holland, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

11:30 a.m.

Panel on Methods (PDF - 270 KB)
Duncan Thomas, Ph.D.
Duke University

11:45 a.m.


12:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.

Breakout Group Discussions

Guidance for breakout group discussion and presentations: Breakout groups’ discussions should enable each group to prepare presentations for day two of the meeting. The groups should discuss the following questions:

  • What is (are) the scientific opportunity(ies)?
  • How do we get there?
  • What is the public health impact of this knowledge or this (these) opportunity(ies)?
  • Are there scientific and/or workforce challenges, and if so, what are they?

1:00 p.m.

Session I: Breakout Group Discussions

3:00 p.m.


3:15 p.m.

Session II: Breakout Group Discussions

5:15 p.m.


5:30 p.m.

Session III: Breakout Group Discussions

7:30 p.m.


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7:30 a.m.

Working Breakfast (Preparation of Breakout Groups’ Presentations)

9:30 a.m.

Plenary: Reports of Breakout Groups

  • Toxicity: Food, Soil, Water, etc.
  • Healthy Homes
  • Impact of Air Pollution on Human Health

10:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Plenary: Reports of Breakout Groups Continue

  • Water Pollution and Human Health
  • Multiple Exposures, Mixtures, and Dose Response
  • Building in vitro Models for Environmental Research
  • Discussion

11:30 a.m.


12:15 p.m.

Plenary: Reports of Breakout Groups Continue

  • Early Life Determinants of Neurodevelopment and Mental Health
  • Social Behavior and Physical Development in Young Girls in Developed and Developing Countries
  • Social Environment: Influences on Child Health and Development
  • Economic and Social Barriers to Adoption of Known Preventive Practices
  • Eradicating HIV
  • Vaccine Development and Delivery
  • Discussion

2:00 p.m.


2:15 p.m.

Plenary: Reports of Breakout Groups Continue

  • Environmental Influences on Female Reproduction: Windows of Susceptibility
  • Environmental Influences on Male Reproduction: Windows of Susceptibility
  • Role of Comparative Biology in Understanding Effects of Environmental Factors on Human Development, Reproduction, Health, and Disease over the Lifecourse
  • Womb to Death: A Lifecourse Perspective on How Environmental Factors Influence Health and Development over Time
  • Environmental Justice: The Impact of Environment on Health in Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
  • Transgenerational Effects of Environmental Exposure
  • Discussion

4:00 p.m.

Concluding Remarks and Adjournment

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Last Reviewed: 04/18/2011