The California Center's research efforts, in collaboration with other Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (CBDRP), will enhance scientific understanding of the causes of birth defects, which will undoubtedly have important implications for risk assessment and prevention of common, costly, and deadly malformations. In this application, the aims of the California Center are to collect data for the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) and to utilize NBDPS data to conduct collaborative and 'local' research studies that will explore potential causes of birth defects associated with environmental exposures, genetic factors, and various combinations of these exposures and factors. This application provides the requested performance parameters that will be used to successfully meet these Aims. As a CBDRP Center, we will continue to contribute data to the NBDPS, an on-going, case-control study of over 30 types of birth defects. Data collection, along with IRB approval to locate and interview subjects for this study, has been on-going since 1997. As required, we will continue to contribute interview data and cheek cells on approximately 300 cases and 100 controls each year. The California Center is part of the March of Dimes California Research Division in Oakland. California law mandates the administration of a birth defects surveillance program by the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program (CBDMP). The CBDMP provides diagnostic and demographic data for subjects that are included in this study. The CBDMP is organizationally located within the Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Division of the California Department Public Health. The CBDMP has a legal mandate to monitor all births in California and to collect medical and demographic information on infants with birth defects and has been conducting such surveillance for 26 years. Data collected as part of the NBDPS will be analyzed by leaders in birth defects research and prevention. The California Center has led the field of epidemiologic research on the causes of birth defects, including gene-environment etiologies of birth defects. Looking to push the edge of the field even further in the next phase of Centers funding, the California Center has solicited the support of some of the best scientists in the world. These experts represent manifold disciplines including cell biology, molecular and biochemical genetics, nutrition, teratology, and clinical medicine. They are committed to working with the core scientists in the California Center to capitalize on the rich opportunities that the NBDPS offers for finding causes of birth defects. The California Department of Public Health and the March of Dimes are proud of the accomplishments that have been made by the California Center and look forward to making additional contributions to birth defects research through collaborative efforts with the CDC.
The proposed research will improve our understanding of exogenous and genetic causes of birth defects. Its findings will contribute to the development of effective interventions or prevention messages, so that these common, costly, deadly outcomes can be prevented.
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