Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research
The mission of the Smith Child Health Research Program is to address important clinical and public health problems of children.
The program’s interdisciplinary collaborations are designed to benefit children, their families and their communities.
The program uses the following tools:
- Laboratory methods
- Epidemiologic research
- Clinical studies
- Social observations and interventions, and
- Behavioral studies.
The program engages in:
- Clinical research
- Community research and
- Population-based research.
The objectives are:
- To advance knowledge about the natural history, biological, psychological, social and environmental causes of common and important child health problems and
- To identify childhood precursors of adult diseases.
The program aims to translate scientific knowledge into effective clinical and public health interventions and policy to address child health problems through partnering with:
- Policy makers and
- The general public.
Additionally, the program trains a new generation of child health professionals and researchers in interdisciplinary, collaborative, and public health approaches to research. The program is striving to become one of the leading national centers for child health research.
Smith Child Health Research is comprised of six units that span disciplines from biology through clinical practice to population health and policy.
Mothers and children share health habits. Helen Binns and colleagues in the Pediatric Practice Research Group found that when mothers adopt healthy behaviors, their children are much more likely to do so as well.
Brief counseling is effective in changing parents’ fruit and vegetable consumption. A survey of parents by the George Washington University and the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children found that a community social marketing campaign on obesity risk factors was effective with parents, but that the effect did not lead to positive behavioral outcomes for their children.
Vitamin D deficiency and food sensitization may be related. A study of a large sample of children by Molecular Epidemiology and Bioinformatics found that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to food sensitization and then food allergy in individuals with specific genotypes.
Molecular Epidemiology & Bioinformatics (MEPI) MEPI examines the role of factors in the development of complex human diseases. These include environmental factors, genetic and epigenetic factors and gene-environment interactions.
Pediatric Practice Research Group (PPRG) The PPRG conducts practice-based research in a network of primary care settings to improve pediatric care. Its research focus is on childhood obesity prevention and management.
Center on Obesity Management and Prevention (COMP) COMP examines clinical approaches to obesity management and facilitates the development of collaborative research projects.
Child Health Data Lab (CHDL) CHDL performs epidemiological research to identify risks to healthy youth development and program evaluation to youth-serving organizations.
Injury Prevention & Research Center (IPRC) IPRC addresses the leading causes of injury to children through behavioral risk reduction and promotion of safe social and physical environments.
Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) CLOCC’s mission is to confront the childhood obesity epidemic by promoting healthy and active lifestyles for children throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.