zes a five-year training program for the development of the academic career of Dr. Sarbattama Sen in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Dr. Sen has already shown that she is committed to becoming a leader in the field of maternal obesity research. This career training award would allow her to pursue formal training through a Master's degree in Clinical and Translational Research, with a focus on designing interventions and conducting clinical trials to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in obese pregnancy. She will benefit from the experience of an expert mentoring team. Her primary mentor will be Dr. Simin Meydani, Professor of Nutrition and Immunology at Tufts University and a renowned expert in micronutrient intervention studies. Her co-mentors will be Dr. Marlene Goldman, an expert in antioxidant interventions and reproductive health, Dr. David Greenblatt, an expert in pharmacologic interventions and obesity and Dr. Norma Terrin, an expert in clinical trial design. Dr. Diana Bianchi and Dr. Jonathan Davis will serve as career mentors. The academic environment at Tufts University and The Department of Pediatrics at Tufts Medical Center/Floating Hospital for Children is an ideal training environment, with an established track record of successfully transitioning junior faculty to independent researchers. In addition, Tufts University and the Jean Mayer USDA HNRCA provide an unparalleled combination of resources, core facilities, intellectual expertise and potential collaborations in nutrition and obesity research. The proposed research project, "BMI-based prenatal vitamins to ameliorate oxidative stress in obese pregnancy," is a novel intervention aimed at decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, key abnormalities in the intrauterine milieu of obese pregnancy. Dr. Sen previously identified the importance of oxidative stress in the causative pathway of intergenerational obesity in an animal model, and her pilot data shows that oxidative stress is markedly increased, and anti-oxidant defenses markedly depleted, in obese pregnant women. This trial is a logical extension of this previous work. Her central hypothesis is that obese pregnancy is characterized by an oxidant/anti-oxidant imbalance, which increases inflammation and adversely impacts maternal health and neonatal outcome. Restoring oxidant/anti-oxidant balance with a body mass index-based prenatal micronutrient supplement will decrease oxidative stress and inflammation and improve both maternal and neonatal outcomes in obese pregnancy. This hypothesis will be tested in a randomized controlled trial in obese pregnant women. Given its overwhelming current and future impact, innovative approaches to diminish the effect of maternal obesity on future generations are of paramount public health importance.

Public Health Relevance

One out of three pregnant women is obese, predisposing the next generation to obesity and metabolic dysregulation. Interventions to ameliorate the adverse effects of obese pregnancy are of paramount importance in arresting the propagation of this vicious cycle. Since oxidant/antioxidant balance appears to play a critical role in transgenerational obesity, a BMI-based antioxidant vitamin supplement will be given to obese mothers during pregnancy and biochemical and clinical outcomes will be followed, making the proposed study a safe and inexpensive approach to significantly impact a condition that the WHO has stated is the most important public health problem facing the world today.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Raiten, Daniel J
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Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
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