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Your Environment. Your Health.

Maternal And Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES)

Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research

group posing by a tree

Center Directors
Carrie Breton, Sc.D.
University of Southern California
Environmental Health Division
School of Medicine

Theresa Bastain, Ph.D., M.PH.
University of Southern California
Environmental Health Division
School of Medicine

Organization
University of Southern California

Project Location
California

Community Partners
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation
LA Grit Media
Legacy LA
USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative
Promesa Boyle Heights
Physicians for Social Responsibility
First 5 LA
Wellness Center
Elisner Health

Academic Partners
Southern California Environmental Health Science Center
Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes
Southern California Clinical Translational Science Institute
USC Spatial Science Institute California State University, Northridge

Overall Center Goal

Given the lack of data on the relationships between prenatal exposures and stressors with postpartum maternal health, the Maternal And Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center focuses on these two maternal health outcomes: maternal depression and cardiovascular health following childbirth.

The MADRES Center examines whether prenatal environmental exposures and social stressors lead to higher depression and cardiovascular risk factors postpartum. It also studies whether patterns in exposure disparities from the built environment and physical, chemical, or social stressors at the residential and neighborhood level relate to individual-level characteristics including allostatic load.

The MADRES Center combines three innovative research projects, a strong Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, a comprehensive Investigator Development Core, and a synergizing Administrative Core. The MADRES Center brings together clinical, environmental, social, and public health scientists and community engagement professionals to create a world-class research program in environmental health disparities. The researchers use a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to identify timely and effective disease prevention strategies and recommendations for approaches to reduce maternal morbidity in the years following childbirth.

Specific Aims

  • Address key gaps in the knowledge base needed for timely and effective disease prevention strategies and recommendations for strategies and behaviors to reduce maternal morbidity in the years following childbirth.
  • Conduct ground-breaking environmental health disparities research through its three integrated research projects: Investigator Development Core, Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, and Administrative Core.
  • Identify key targets for policy, clinical, and programmatic intervention. The MADRES Center will examine whether prenatal environmental exposures and social stressors lead to depression and cardiovascular risk factors postpartum.
  • Support mentorship of the next generation of health disparities investigators and build community capacity.

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