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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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Raising Awareness of the Environmental Origins of Disease and Celebrating 25 Years of Research

25 Years of Endocrine Disruption Research: Past Lessons and Future Directions

By Tara Failey

Not only is 2016 the 50th anniversary of NIEHS, this year is also marks 25 years of endocrine disruption research. The NIEHS WHOCC is playing a significant role in scientific events on the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and endocrine disruption.

International Conference on Prenatal Development

NIEHS scientists will join experts from around the world in Kitakyushu, Japan, November 13-16 at the 5th Prenatal Programming and Toxicity (PPTOXV) Conference. At PPTOXV, scientists, clinical researchers, pediatricians, public health professionals, and policy leaders from abroad will explore how environmental hazards, including chemicals and endocrine disruptors, impact fetal and early postnatal development as well as diseases at all stages of life.

5th Prenatal Programming and Toxicity (PPTOXV) Conference

NIEHS WHOCC focus area leader Jerry Heindel, Ph.D., will present “Expanding the DOHaD perspective in setting research priorities” and “The DOHaD paradigm in environmental health research and public health.” Thaddeus Schug, Ph.D., a health scientist administrator in the NIEHS Population Health Branch, will chair a panel on preconception exposures.

NIEHS WHOCC focus area leaders will also hold a collaborative brainstorming session with representatives of the Japan DOHaD Society and researchers from across Asia. Session participants will discuss opportunities for expanded collaboration, infrastructure, and education related to using DOHaD research as an approach to prevent diseases across the globe with emphasis on developing countries.

“NIEHS is excited to see a new DOHaD Society in the United States as well as new international networks focused on DOHaD and endocrine disruption research,” said Heindel. “We hope that PPTOX and related initiatives will continue to advance research on sensitive developmental stages, and inspire efforts to understand and prevent diseases related to environmental exposures.”

A Look Back on 25 Years of Endocrine Disruptors Research

Complementing the “25 Years of Endocrine Disruption Research: Past Lessons and Future Directions,” which was organized by NIEHS as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary celebration, NIEHS scientists led by Schug published a minireview in the August edition of Molecular Endocrinology. The article, “Minireview: Endocrine Disruptors: Past Lessons and Future Directions,” chronicles the development of the unique, multidisciplinary field of endocrine disruption, highlighting what has been learned about the threat of endocrine disrupting chemicals and lessons that could be relevant to other fields.