The candidate is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and a clinical investigator and epidemiologist whose research investigations are thematically linked through their focus on delineating prenatal and early life determinants of asthma and lung function to inform efforts to increase protective exposures, decrease adverse exposures, and inform prevention efforts. Prenatal exposures, such as diabetes during pregnancy, have the potential to have lifelong effects on respiratory health through associated systemic inflammatory, immunologic, or oxidative stress changes that influence the developing pulmonary or immune system of the fetus. The candidate?s current patient-oriented research investigations include prenatal exposures such as maternal traumatic stress, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutritional exposures, and oxidative stress, and she proposes to expand to investigations of diabetes during pregnancy and child asthma and lung function in prospective and novel cohorts of mother-child dyads. The candidate has developed a plan to increase and strengthen her skills in both patient-oriented research and mentoring to include formal research mentor training. The candidate proposes a mentoring plan for trainees to facilitate their effective transition from junior clinical investigator to independent investigators.
Asthma is common in childhood and a growing body of evidence suggests that metabolic derangements during pregnancy play a role in asthma inception. Diabetes during pregnancy has the potential to have lifelong effects on child respiratory and immune health through associated systemic inflammatory, immunologic, or oxidative stress changes that influence the developing pulmonary or immune system of the fetus. The aims of this study will be met by allowing the candidate to mentor new clinical investigators in patient-oriented research and conduct studies of prenatal risk factors for asthma, including prenatal diabetes, in a research program that serves to delineate risks factors and mechanisms of disease for asthma prevention.