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Your Environment. Your Health.

Children's Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR)

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

"Technology advances have become a powerful driver in studying and understanding the start and spread of disease," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "These projects will expand the toolbox available to researchers to improve our ability to characterize environmental exposures, understand how environmental exposures affect in utero development and function, and bolster the infrastructure for exposure research."

Children’s health and wellbeing are influenced by interactions between environmental and genetic factors. NIEHS is establishing an infrastructure, the Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR), to provide the extramural research community access to laboratory and data analyses that add or expand the inclusion of environmental exposures in children’s health research. The goal of CHEAR is to provide tools so researchers can assess the full range of environmental exposures which may affect children’s health. We anticipate that CHEAR will be used by children’s health researchers conducting epidemiological or clinical studies that currently have limited consideration of environmental exposures, or those who have collected exposure data but seek more extensive analyses.

CHEAR is intended to:

  • Expand the number of studies that include environmental exposure analysis,
  • Implement the exposome concept in children’s health studies,
  • Create a public resource of children’s exposures across the country, and
  • Develop data and metadata standards for the environmental health sciences community.

The CHEAR infrastructure is comprised of three distinct units:

  • National Exposure Assessment Laboratory Network (Lab Network or Hubs, RFA-ES-15-009) – A network of laboratories providing access to state-of-the-art infrastructure for analysis of biological samples as well as understanding biological responses associated with those exposures.
  • Data Repository, Analysis, and Science Center (Data Center, RFA-ES-15-010) – A data and analytics support resource providing a repository for all data and support for statistical analysis and interpretation. This resource will also lead the development of community based data standards and support the development of technologies and metadata standards.
  • Coordinating Center (RFA-ES-15-011) – A coordinating Center providing administrative management of the resource including an interface to the research community and an index of additional exposure analysis tools not included within the CHEAR infrastructure.

The main access to CHEAR is through the Coordinating Center which will provide pre-application consulting services in support of study design and analysis, as well as develop and oversee a proposal process.

Program Leads

David M. Balshaw. Ph.D.
David Balshaw, Ph.D.
Branch Chief, Exposure, Response, and Technology Branch
Tel 984-287-3234
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-04
Durham, N.C. 27709
Claudia Thompson
Claudia Thompson, Ph.D.
Branch Chief
Population Health Branch
Tel 984-287-3330
Fax 919-541-4937
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-04
Durham, N.C. 27709

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