The CDC funded Texas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention is just completing its 12th year of operation. The Center is seeking another five years of continued funding. Texas has been and will continue to be well positioned as one of the National Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, due to its vast geography and population, varied industries, and racial/ethnic diversity. In addition, the Texas Birth Defects Registry, from which cases are drawn for the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), is one of the largest active birth defects surveillance systems in the world. Furthermore, the Texas Center has assembled an impressive group of consultants, scientists, and institutions to carry out our operations and research. For the next five years, the Texas Center proposes to accomplish the following in order to help discover preventable causes of birth defects, the leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S: (1) perform mandated activities for the NBDPS; (2) conduct pilot studies to improve the NBDPS methodology; (3) expand the NBDPS clinical responsibilities of the Texas Center's clinician; (4) enhance NBDPS data collection and research capacity with additional personnel; (5) contribute to all NBDPS activities as needed; (6) complete approved NBDPS projects; (7) develop new and innovative research areas for the NBDPS; (8) conduct local studies that can be expanded to all sites; and (9) translate Center findings into prevention messages. In the first three years, Texas collaborators will complete at least 10 NBDPS projects, resulting in 15 or more manuscripts and focusing on environmental causes, racial/ethnic disparities, and other topics of high public health impact. In addition, the Texas Center will collaboratively develop a new NBDPS research agenda in each of four areas: etiologic complexity/risk factor heterogeneity; environmental risk factors; gene-environment interaction studies, and methodological issues surrounding gestational dating estimates. Finally, we propose to conduct four innovative local studies. For the first year of funding, $1,000,000 is requested for the Texas Center.
CONTINUATION OF THE TEXAS CENTER FOR BIRTH DEFECTS RESEARCH AND PREVENTION: RETURN ON INVESTMENT PROJECT NARRATIVE Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, accounting for approximately 20 percent of infant deaths annually. Each year, almost 150,000 babies are born with a congenital malformation. Because of the morbidity and long-term disability associated with these conditions, birth defects are also the fifth-leading cause of years of potential life lost. Birth defect surveillance and research are key functions of public health agencies in identifying the causes and thus leading to the development of prevention strategies for these serous conditions.
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