The Newborn Epigenetics Study (NEST) (Liaison: Dr. Cathrine Hoyo)
Dr. Hoyo leads a pre-birth cohort study of mothers and children residing in three contiguous counties–Wake (the home of NC State), Durham, and Orange. The overarching goal of the cohort study is to improve understanding of how the environment affects gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modification. She developed a specimen repository with annotated clinic and epidemiologic data from pregnant mothers and their children. Over 2,500 pregnant women were enrolled during their first prenatal clinic (mean gestational age at enrollment was 13 weeks) and questionnaires and peripheral blood were collected for exposure characterization. At delivery, offspring cord blood and maternal blood specimens and parturition data were collected from over 2,000 women and children. This rich resource includes maternal peripheral blood, cord blood, and buccal cell DNA, RNA with appropriate IRB approvals, which CHHE members can access. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please submit a Request.